Transfer Student Requirements

Transfer Student Requirements

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Application Checklist:

  • Application and non-refundable $55 fee
  • Portfolio of artwork
  • Official Transcripts
  • Writing Sample
  • Letters of Recommendation (optional, but encouraged)

Portfolio Information

  • All students are required to submit a portfolio of ten to fifteen completed works of art.
  • The included work should be a reflection of your most recent advanced work related to your intended major.
  • The skills demonstrated should reflect relevant coursework.
  • Work should be formatted digitally as a high quality JPG or PNG and submitted via Slideroom prior to the submission deadline.
  • Each file should be labeled with the tags provided in Slideroom

Submit your portfolio with Slideroom here.

Official post-secondary transcripts are required of transfer applicants, regardless of whether or not they intend to seek credits for the work. Transcripts must be requested from each institution attended.  This includes completed degrees, non-credit courses and non-related course material. Students who are currently enrolled at another institution should submit a copy of their current class schedule. You may be asked to provide course descriptions for coursework completed outside of the Corcoran.

If you have completed less than 24 college credits a copy of your high school transcripts or GED diploma is also required. 

A Writing Sample is required of all applicants. Please choose two of the four topics below to address in a minimum of 250 words (about 2-3 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 your 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 for. How did you go about solving it? Were you successful? Would you do anything different next time?

Letters of Recommendation from teachers, professors or mentors qualified to evaluate the applicant’s academic, artistic, or personal qualities are optional but recommended. The full name of the applicant must appear on each letter of recommendation submitted to the Office of Admissions.


Once the Application is Complete:

Once an applicant has submitted all of the required transfer materials, an admissions counselor will prepare the file to be reviewed. The department chair of the applicant’s desired major will review previous coursework, portfolio, short answer questions and letters of recommendation (if provided). Department chairs will be looking for department related coursework, and a portfolio that demonstrates a strong understanding of technical and conceptual principles.  Based on the applicant’s application materials, the department chair will determine the placement of transfer credits and class status (freshman, sophomore or junior)


Transfer Credits:

The Corcoran’s BFA curriculum is studio based, therefor transfer credits and standing are determined almost entirely by previous studio coursework and a portfolio review. The Corcoran maintains a residency requirement of two years/ 48 credits of full time study. Therefore, a maximum of 72 credits are eligible for transfer. Only courses carrying a grade of C or better will qualify for transfer credit.  


Sample Transfer Courses:
The following courses may be eligible for transfer:
College Composition (or English) levels 1 & 2, Art History Surveys levels 1 & 2, 2D, 3D or 4D design courses, Drawing courses, Upper level studio art courses, humanities courses including (but not limited to) psychology, philosophy, literature, writing, sociology. Math and Science are not a required part of the Corcoran College of Art + Design degree program curriculum, therefore we can only transfer a combined 6 credits of the subject matter. 

Residency Requirement
The Corcoran requires two years (four semesters) of full-time study (a minimum of 12 credits per semester) in residence to receive the BFA degree. Students are expected to complete their final four semesters at the Corcoran. In keeping with this requirement, the highest level at which students may transfer is the junior year of their intended major.


For more information about transferring to the Corcoran College of Art + Design please contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at 202-639-1814 or