Undergraduate Application

The Corcoran College of Art and Design accepts applications for the fall, spring, and summer semesters on a rolling basis.

Spring semester: November 15 – Early Decision (nonbinding) Priority Application Deadline

Fall semester: February 15 – Regular Deadline & Priority Filing Deadline for Financial Aid

Please not that rolling admissions occur on an as space available basis.

Admissions Requirements

In assembling a student body of diverse educational, cultural, and interest backgrounds, the admissions committee reviews the academic qualifications as well as the art and design ability of each student. Admission to undergraduate graduate programs is competitive and the following are necessary for consideration:

Application and Fee

The application may be completed electronically or in-person. The application fee is $45.

Apply online to the BFA or BFA programs


Portfolio Requirements

The portfolio is an integral part of your application and is the primary tool that the admissions committee uses to determine an applicant's skill and potential. It is important to make sure that this is the best representation of you as an artist, and of your work up to this point.

Here at the Corcoran, we feel your portfolio should tell your story in a way that makes sense to you. For this reason, we have no restrictions or requirements on what should be in your portfolio other than what you believe to be your strongest work.

When preparing your portfolio for submission, it is a good idea to get as much feedback as possible—ask your art teacher, a trusted friend, or your parents—anyone who you trust will give you sound advice on how to improve your portfolio.

One of the best ways to get many different perspectives on your work is to go to a National Portfolio Day event (http://www.portfolioday.net). National Portfolio Days take place all across the country and are a chance for you to meet with recruiters and counselors from many different art schools—including us!

Once you feel confident in your portfolio, you are ready to submit. Here are the guidelines for submitting your portfolio:

  • All students are required to submit a portfolio of 10-15 completed works of art.
  • The included work should be a reflection of your best and most recent work.
  • If possible, the work submitted in your portfolio should be related to your area of interest.


Official Transcripts

Official transcripts must be sent directly from the originating institution. Applicants transferring from another college or university must send transcripts from any and all institutions previously attended. Transfer applicants who have completed fewer than 24 college credits must also submit high school transcripts.

High school students who have taken college courses for credit or participated in pre-college programs must submit the appropriate transcripts.

A minimum GPA of 2.5 is required, though the accepted students' average GPA is 3.25.

Short Answer Essays

Applicants are required to choose two of the four topics below to address in no fewer than 250 words, about two of three paragraphs:

  • What do you think you will need to be successful in college? How will you go about finding resources to develop your skills? Please describe which of yours activities—extracurricular, work, or volunteer experiences—have been the most meaningful to you. Why?
  • Please describe a time you set a personal goal for yourself and detail the plan you created to succeed.
  • Tell us about a time you encountered a problem for which you did not originally have a solution. How did you go about solving it? Would you do anything differently next time?


Interviews are optional but we look forward to meeting students at National Portfolio Days, Corcoran Open Houses, and private visits. Students interested in scheduling an interview and a tour of the Corcoran should contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at 202.639.1814.

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation are not required, but anything that speaks to and elaborates on a student's good character and artistic abilities is worth including in the application. Students should limit their submissions to three.

Test Scores

ACT / SAT scores are not required; however, students whose scores exemplify academic success are welcome to include them with their application.

TOEFL scores are required for all incoming international students. The Corcoran accepts only Internet-based scores with a minimum score of 80. No TOEFL score is required, however, for international students who have successfully completed English 101 and 102—or the equivalent—with an average of C+ or higher at an English-speaking institution.