A bachelor's degree or its equivalent.* Applicants must submit an official transcript/mark sheet from each college/university attended. Prior to enrollment at SCAD, proof of completion of the bachelor's degree (or its equivalent) must be received by SCAD. All transcripts/mark sheets must be in English or accompanied by a certified English translation.
*SCAD uses the standards established by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers to determine the equivalent academic achievement of a bachelor's degree. Transcripts are evaluated to determine the conferment of bachelor's degrees from institutions that are approved by the U.S. Department of Education and hold regional accreditation, or have appropriate specialized or programmatic accreditation, or have been evaluated and proven to have comparable course content and level of instruction to SCAD, or are recognized by the ministry of education or equivalent agency in the applicant's home country. Course content is evaluated by comparing the curricula of other institutions with that of SCAD and assessing whether or not foundation studies, general education and major discipline courses are comparable to those offered at SCAD. Level of instruction is evaluated by comparing the percentage of faculty at other institutions who hold graduate and terminal degrees with the percentage of faculty at SCAD who hold graduate and terminal degrees.
English is the language of instruction for all classes at SCAD. In addition to meeting or exceeding all other SCAD admission criteria, applicants who wish to be admitted with no further English proficiency requirements must demonstrate their current level of proficiency by providing official minimum scores on one of the following:
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) minimum scores (SCAD code 5631):
a. 550 on the paper-based test
b. 85 on the Internet-based test with minimum score of 20 on each section.*
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS) composite score of at least 6.5 with a score of at least 6.5 in both speaking and writing.
- American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) score of at least "high advanced" on the writing proficiency portion of the test.
- GRE score of at least 500 on verbal section.
Otherwise qualified applicants who do not meet the minimum scores listed above may be considered for admission to SCAD if they meet the following composite score minimum requirements: 50 on the Internet-based TOEFL, 4.5 on the IELTS, or "intermediate low" on the ACTFL. These students must take an English language proficiency test to be placed in the appropriate level of ESL upon enrollment. Students must satisfactorily complete ESL coursework through satisfactory completion of Level VI.
*Students who meet the minimum required composite score but do not meet the minimum section scores are evaluated on a case-by-case basis for possible exemption. No exceptions are made if the minimum composite score is not met. All decisions are final.
For applicants whose native language is English, no additional proof of English proficiency is required. For applicants whose transcripts show extensive study in an institution in which English is the language of instruction, no additional proof of English proficiency is required for admission evaluation, but applicants may be asked to take an English proficiency test upon enrollment at the university.
Letters of recommendation from two professors, advisers, supervisors or community leaders who have had immediate contact with the applicant and who have knowledge of the applicant's level of commitment and history of achievement. Recommendations should provide relevant information about the applicant's creativity, initiative, motivation, character and achievements, thus assessing the applicant's reasonable potential for success as a student at SCAD. Recommendations may not come from friends or family members.
The statement should be a 500- to 750-word overview of the applicant's academic and professional accomplishments and should demonstrate a high level of interest in and a highly developed understanding of the discipline. The applicant should describe knowledge of the discipline, approach to past work, qualifications for graduate study and intended focus, as well as personal and professional goals.
Portfolio, audition or writing submission. The portfolio should be specific to the intended course of study, should represent the applicant's best work examples and should demonstrate a high level of craft presented as professionally as possible. The portfolio, audition or writing submission is scored according to a rubric relevant to the intended course of study and type of submission.
See graduate portfolio, audition and writing guidelines
The résumé should document educational credentials as well as professional and other employment such as internships or field experience in the intended area of graduate study, and should list commissioned works, exhibitions, performances, publications, honors, memberships, interests and activities, including volunteer work.
While not required of most applicants, submission of GRE scores is strongly encouraged for applicants to architectural history, art history, arts administration, and cinema studies. Performance on the GRE may assist in demonstrating adequate educational preparation and ability to succeed in academic coursework at the graduate level.
Applicants whose bachelor's degrees are conferred by institutions that are not approved by the U.S. Department of Education and/or do not hold regional accreditation, or do not have appropriate specialized or programmatic accreditation, or have not been evaluated and proven comparable in course content and level of instruction to SCAD, or are not recognized by the ministry of education or equivalent agency in the applicant's home country, are required to take the GRE and submit official scores to SCAD.
Official certification of sources and funds. Copy of the first page of the applicant's passport (requested, but not required). A copy of the first page of the passport for any dependent accompanying the student also is requested. These documents are used to verify correct spelling of names, correct birth dates, and other information vital to student registration.