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How to Apply

Undergraduate Applicants

Application Deadlines

Otis College accepts undergraduate applications for the fall and spring semesters. Admission is rolling after the priority deadline.

 

Fall Semester Entry

Students can enter into the Foundation, Sophomore, Junior level

Application Opens: September 1st

Early Action Deadline: December 1st*

Priority Deadline: February 15th 

*Early Action applicants who submit their application and all materials by December 1st will receive an early decision by mid-January and an early financial aid award estimate (requires submission of the FAFSA).

Spring Semester Entry

Students can enter as first-semester Foundation, second-semester sophomore or first-semester sophomore in Architecture/Landscape/Interiors "Jump Start" Program

Application Opens: September 1st

Priority Deadline: November 1st (with Rolling admission after)

Application Requirements

  1. Online Application - New for 2018 applicants, submit the Common Application at www.otis.edu/commonapp
  2. $50 application fee - The fee is nonrefundable and can be paid online when you submit your application. In addition to granting fee waivers through the Common App's options, Otis College grants fee waivers to veterans, Summer of Art, Portfolio Prep and Ryman Arts alums.
  3. Portfolio - Submit 10–20 pieces of your best work submitted online through SlideRoom on the Common App. When you get to your Otis College specific questions, an option to submit your portfolio through SlideRoom will appear on the left-side navigation. If you do not submit the portfolio through Common App, it will not get linked to your application. See instructions below in "Preparing a Portfolio." The portfolio costs $10 to submit on SlideRoom.
  4. Personal Statement - In at least 500 words, describe your background and interest in studying art and design. Your statement should be submitted with the Common App as your writing supplement. 
  5. Transcripts
    • Official transcripts are required showing all completed work to date. Please note, admitted high school students must also submit a final high school transcript after graduation.
    • Transfer students are required to submit final high school transcripts (with the graduation date) and official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
    • International students are required to submit official translations for transcripts not in English. Please submit both the translation and the official transcript. International transfer applicants should submit a course-by-course transcript evaluation from World Education Services (www.wes.org).
  • SAT/ACT Test Scores

We encourage freshmen applicants to submit either an SAT or ACT score along with their other application materials. However, these scores are not required. Transfer students do not need to submit standardized test scores.

  • English Proficiency Exam

International applicants whose primary/native language is not English should take one of the three tests recognized by Otis College: TOEFL, IELTS, or the Pearson Test of English (SAT/ACT scores not required). The minimum scores required for BFA admission are a 79 on the TOEFL ibt, 6.5 on the IELTS or 58 on the Pearson Test of English. Our TOEFL institution code is 4394.

If you have attended an accredited high school or college where English is the primary language of instruction, you may be waived of this requirement if you submit a transcript documenting completion of non-ESL coursework in English or Literature. Contact the Admissions office at admissions@otis.edu or 310.665.6820 for additional information.

The English proficiency requirement may also be waived for native English speakers who are citizens of any of the following countries and attend schools where English is the primary language of instruction: England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, India, South Africa and Common Wealth Caribbean (Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago).

 

Submitting your Application Materials

You can check to see if your application materials have been received by logging in to your status page. Application materials should be sent to: Otis College of Art and Design, Attn: Admissions, 9045 Lincoln Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045. Once all required application materials are received, the Admissions Committee will notify you of its decision by mail and on your status page.

 

Preparing a Portfolio

Select your best work to show off your technical skills and your creativity! The portfolio should include 10–20 examples of your best and most recent work. Your portfolio should reflect your mastery of technique and your creative ideas. Applicants to Foundation are advised to include at least five examples of work made from direct observation. Artwork can be in any medium, including the following: animation; drafting; drawing; illustration; mixed media; motion-based projects; painting; performance; installation; photography; sculpture; 2-D design; 3-D design or video (maximum two-minute excerpt). 

Applicants whose work is digital or photo/video based should include five examples of work in other mediums. This also applies to transfer applicants. Artwork can be in any medium, which best showcases your abilities.

Transfer students are encouraged to submit work that is appropriate to the level and major they are applying.

Transfer Information

Taking the right classes before transferring is an important step for a smooth transition into the College's art and design programs. Please view our Transfer page for more information on our transfer credit policies. 

 

International Applicants

English Proficiency Exam

International applicants whose primary/native language is not English should take one of the three tests recognized by Otis College: TOEFL, IELTS, or the Pearson Test of English (SAT/ACT scores not required). The minimum scores required for BFA admission are a 79 on the TOEFL ibt, 6.5 on the IELTS or 58 on the Pearson Test of English. Our TOEFL institution code is 4394.

If you have attended an accredited high school or college where English is the primary language of instruction, you may be waived of this requirement if you submit a transcript documenting completion of non-ESL coursework in English or Literature. Contact the Admissions office at admissions@otis.edu or 310.665.6820 for additional information.

The English proficiency requirement may also be waived for native English speakers who are citizens of any of the following countries and attend schools where English is the primary language of instruction: England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, India, South Africa and Common Wealth Caribbean (Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago).

 

Visa Requirements

International Students who require an F-1 student visa must submit the following:

  • Verification Form provided by mail in the acceptance packet. Students must complete the forms, including a permanent foreign address and a sponsor signature from the parent, sponsor, or agency guaranteeing the student’s financial resources. Students currently studying within the U.S. will need documentation of their status from their current school and have their SEVIS record released to Otis College.
  • A copy of the current passport photo page. If the student is currently holding an F-1 visa, then a copy of the I-20 and visa are also required.
  • A bank statement or other documentation from the parent’s or sponsor’s bank or sponsoring organization certifying that sufficient funds for support of the student’s education and living expenses are available.

Communication must be in English or accompanied by certified English translation, and funds should be in U.S. dollars. Address these letters to Otis College's Admissions Office. When all required documents are received, an I-20 will be issued for the student. The student may take this document to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate to obtain an F-1 Student Visa

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Graduate Applicants

Application Deadlines

Otis College accepts graduate applications for the fall, spring and summer semesters. Admission is rolling after the application deadline and will be considered on a space-available basis.

 

Fall Semester Entry (classes begin late August)

Fine Arts, Art and Social Practice, Writing

Application Opens: September 1st

Priority Deadline: January 15th*

*After this date, applications will be accepted on rolling admission basis as space remains available. 

 

Summer Semester Entry (classes begin mid-June)

Graphic Design only

Priority Deadline: January 15th*

*After this date, applications will be accepted on rolling admission basis as space remains available. 

 

Spring Semester Entry (classes begin early January)

Fine Arts, Art and Social Practice, Writing

Application Opens: September 1st

Priority Deadline: November 1st

 

Application Requirements

  1. Online Application - Submit the online application at admissions.otis.edu/apply.
  2. $50 application fee - The fee is nonrefundable and can be paid online after you submit your application.
  3. Resume - This can be uploaded with your application. 
  4. Statement -  Please describe how you are hoping to advance your work through graduate study at Otis College. This can be uploaded with your application. 
  5. Transcripts - Official transcripts are required from any college or university where you pursued undergraduate study and where you earned your bachelor’s degree. International students must submit official foreign language transcripts as well as certified translations or a WES evaluation (www.wes.org). Unofficial transcripts can be submitted with your application and used to evaluate you for admission.
  6. Portfolio - For Graduate Fine Arts, Graphic Design or Social Practice, submit 15-20 images (see Preparing a Portfolio below). For Graduate Writing, a writing sample is required. Submit your portfolio or writing sample online at otis.slideroom.com
  7. Letters of Recommendation (optional) - Up to three letters of recommendation can be submitted through the online application, but are optional.
  • English Proficiency Exam 

    If you are an international applicant whose primary/native language is not English and you are applying for Fine Arts, Graphic Design or Public Practice, you should take one of the three tests recognized by Otis College: the TOEFL, the IELTS, or the Pearson Test of English. The minimum scores required for MFA admission are a 79 on the TOEFL ibt, 6.5 on the IELTS or 58 on the Pearson Test of English.

    Applicants who have earned a bachelor's degree from an institution where English is the primary language of instruction may be waived of this requirement.

    The English proficiency requirement may also be waived for native English speakers who are citizens of any of the following countries and attend schools where English is the primary language of instruction: England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, India, South Africa and Common Wealth Caribbean (Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago).

    Contact the Admissions office at gradadmissions@otis.edu or 310.665.6820 for additional information.

  • Interview (by request) - Departments may request interviews over video conference as a part of the application process. 

 

Admissions requirements for the Graduate Programs are designed to give admitted students a high probability of success in academic and studio work. Technical competence in the area of concentration is a primary factor in the admissions process.

Completion of an accredited BFA, BA, or BS degree is required. For Fine Arts, it is preferred that students have a degree in art or a related field, but all applicants with a prior bachelor’s degree will be considered for admission.

Submitting your Application Materials

You can check to see if your application materials have been received by logging in to your applicant account. Application materials not submitted digitally should be sent to the Otis College of Art and Design, Attn: Admissions, 9045 Lincoln Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045

Preparing a Portfolio

Graduate Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Social Practice: 
15-20 images including the name of each piece, approximate dimensions, medium, date, and file type (e.g., jpeg, tiff, gif, mov, mpg). Submit your portfolio online at otis.slideroom.com.

Graduate Writing: 

Please submit a 15- to 20-page writing sample of poetry, nonfiction, or fiction. Submit your writing sample online at otis.slideroom.com.

International Applicants

English Proficiency Exam

If you are an international applicant whose primary/native language is not English and you are applying for Fine Arts, Graphic Design or Public Practice, you should take one of the three tests recognized by Otis: the TOEFL, the IELTS, or the Pearson Test of English. The minimum scores required for MFA admission are a 79 on the TOEFL ibt, 6.5 on the IELTS or 58 on the Pearson Test of English.

Applicants who have earned a bachelor's degree from an institution where English is the primary language of instruction may be waived of this requirement.

The English proficiency requirement may also be waived for native English speakers who are citizens of any of the following countries and attend schools where English is the primary language of instruction: England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, India, South Africa and Common Wealth Caribbean (Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago).

Contact the Admissions office at gradadmissions@otis.edu or 310.665.6820 for additional information.

 

Visa Requirements

International Students who require an F-1 student visa must submit the following:

  • Verification Form provided by mail in the acceptance packet. Students must complete the forms, including a permanent foreign address and a sponsor signature from the parent, sponsor, or agency guaranteeing the student’s financial resources. Students currently studying within the U.S. will need documentation of their status from their current school and have their SEVIS record released to Otis College.
  • A copy of the current passport photo page. If the student is currently holding an F-1 visa, then a copy of the I-20 and visa are also required.
  • A bank statement or other documentation from the parent’s or sponsor’s bank or sponsoring organization certifying that sufficient funds for support of the student’s education and living expenses are available.

Communication must be in English or accompanied by certified English translation, and funds should be in U.S. dollars. Address these letters to Otis College of Art and Design Admissions Office. When all required documents are received, an I-20 will be issued for the student. The student may take this document to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate to obtain an F-1 Student Visa

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