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If you have attended any other accredited four- or two-year college, university, or post-secondary professional school, you are encouraged to apply to the Cleveland Institute of Art as a transfer student.
Transferring to a new college can be overwhelming and intimidating. But at the Cleveland Institute of Art, we do our best to personally ease you through the process. Take a moment to review this page for information on our application and credit transfer processes as well financial aid and scholarships for transfer students. Read more about admission deadlines on the Apply page.
Transfer candidates are accepted at CIA based upon artistic and academic qualifications as well as available space. To be considered for admission, you must follow the application procedures and criteria below.
2. Attach the $40 application fee. Make checks payable to The Cleveland Institute of Art.
3. Complete a personal statement, in which you describe your purpose for attending a college of art and design, what led you to this decision, and why you have chosen to apply at CIA. You may either fill out the personal statement prompt outlined in Section 5 of the application form or include a typed statement. If you send a typed statement, please sign the bottom of the personal statement form in the application. This glossary of art terminology may help you in crafting your statement.
4. Arrange to have official transcripts sent to us from all colleges, universities, and post-secondary schools attended.
5. Forward one letter of recommendation.
The letter preferably should come from a faculty member or counselor who knows your artistic and academic work well and understands your desire to become a working artist.
6. If you are a transfer international student and English is not your native language, you also must demonstrate proof of English language proficiency with one of the following:
7. Submit your portfolio of artwork. All work can be submitted online (cia.slideroom.com) or in CD or DVD form. Your portfolio should consist of no fewer than 12 and no more than 20 pieces of work. Please carefully follow all our portfolio guidelines, and make sure to provide the specific elements required of transfer students.
If you choose to mail your application materials, please send to:
Office of Admissions
Cleveland Institute of Art
11141 East Boulevard
Cleveland, Ohio 44106
Once you have submitted your official transcripts from any colleges attended, we will evaluate all transcripts to determine which courses will transfer into CIA's undergraduate program.
Transfer credit is divided into two categories:
Before submitting a final application, you are strongly encouraged to meet with an admissions counselor to discuss which classes most likely will transfer and at what studio level you will be placed.
In order to receive financial aid or loans, you must first be accepted as a degree-seeking student. Review our general financial aid tips included in our application checklist or learn more about financing your education.
Besides applying for financial aid, you also will be automatically entered in CIA’s Transfer Merit Scholarship Competition upon completion of your transfer student application. You do not need to apply for this scholarship. To be considered, complete your transfer student application by June 1 for the fall semester or November 15 for the spring semester.
We pride ourselves on providing a personal connection to our prospective and current students, so if you have any questions about our requirements, please contact our Office of Admissions.
CIA's Portfolio Tips video demonstrates how to photograph your work.
Click here to read one student's transfer experience.
We strongly encourage you to meet the following deadlines to ensure admission to CIA and eligibility for the highest amounts of portfolio scholarships and institutional financial aid. However, you may submit an application for admission any time before the first day of classes on a “rolling basis” and will be considered as long as space is available. Please note that only transfer student who qualify for advanced standing with at least 9 college studio credits are eligible for spring admission.
Early action 1 deadline
Early action 2 deadline
Priority deadline for need-based financial aid applications
Intention to register deadline and tuition deposit
Housing application deadline
Regular decision deadline for transfer students
Regular decision deadline