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Apr 23, 2014

CIA grads win 25% of nation's top retail design honors

View details CIA's Traveling Sketchbooks make a last stop at MOCA


Mar 15, 2014 @ MOCA Cleveland in Cleveland, OH

CIA's Traveling Sketchbooks make a last stop at MOCA

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Apr 17, 2014

Design major gets zombie's reception at her former school

View details The Accident: Recent Work by Nicky Nodjoumi

cia exhibition

Mar 28, 2014

The Accident: Recent Work by Nicky Nodjoumi

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about 20 hours ago via Facebook

CIA students presented NEO: A Runway Show in which they modeled wearables – in the form of accessories, design, and conceptual art – before nearly 200 audience members in CIA’s Reinberger Galleries last night. The award winners for the evening were Sculpture major Graham Baldwin, Best of Show; Jewelry + Metals major Hongzhe Ma, Best Accessory; and art education major Raisa E. Cabrera, Best Material and Technology.

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Apr 16, 2014

Alumnus and superhero comics writer Brian Bendis visits CIA

View details Dinner by Design – Art of the Table, and a runway show

cia exhibition

Mar 28, 2014

Dinner by Design – Art of the Table, and a runway show

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Apr 15, 2014

Students win $11,000 in Dealer Tire art competition

View details 2014 Spring Design Show

cia exhibition

Apr 22, 2014 @ Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland in Cleveland, OH

2014 Spring Design Show

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Apr 22, 2014

4/24-27: Bernard Hermann weekend with CITIZEN KANE, MARNIE & more!

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Aug 20, 2013

CIA named one of the "Best in the Midwest"

View details 2014 Spring Illustration + Animation Show

cia exhibition

Apr 22, 2014

2014 Spring Illustration + Animation Show

Admissions . Apply . For Transfer Students 

For Transfer Students

Transfer Your Creativity to CIA

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 Student Application Process

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. 

1. Complete the application. You may apply online or fill out an application form and mail it to our Office of Admissions. Please note that we must have your signature at the bottom of the form.

2. Attach the $30 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 6 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.

4. Arrange to have official transcripts sent to us from all colleges, universities, and post-secondary schools attended.  

  • If you have completed less than 24 college credits, you must submit your official high school transcripts. 
  • If you have completed more than 24 college credits or attended a regionally accredited college or university full time for a year, you do not need to send your high school transcripts.
  • If you have completed less than 12 college credits, you must request your SAT or ACT test results to be sent to CIA. Our identification numbers are SAT-1152 and ACT-3243. 

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: 

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of at least 525 PBT (paper-based test), 213 CBT (computer-based test), or 80 IBT (Internet-based test)
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System ) band score of 6.0 or higher
  • SAT or ACT test scores
  • Completion of Level 112 ESL coursework 

7. Submit your portfolio of artwork. Your portfolio must be submitted in CD or DVD format or online. If you choose to submit your portfolio online, we will send you online instructions once you start your application. 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

Transfer Credits 

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: 

  • Academic credit: Generally, academic credit earned at another accredited institution will transfer as long as you earned a C or higher. 
  • Studio Credit: Credits for studio coursework are reviewed based on transcript, rigor of program from the transferring institution, and portfolio review. 

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.

Transfer Student Financial Aid and Scholarships

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. 

Have Questions?

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.

Apply Online Now

Apply Online Now

Get started here.

Transerring to CIA: One student's experience

Click here to read one student's transfer experience. 

Application Timeline

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.

Fall Application Deadlines
(Freshman and Transfer)

December 2: 
Early action 1 deadline 

January 15: 
Early action 2 deadline

March 3: 
Regular decision

March 15: 
Priority deadline for need-based financial aid applications

May 1: 
Intention to register deadline and tuition deposit

June 1: 
Housing application deadline
Regular decision deadline for transfer students  

Spring Application Deadlines
(Transfer Only)

November 15: 
Regular decision deadline

Read More

Pre-College Program

Sharpen your artistic skills at CIA's Pre-College Program this summer.

Read More

Nicky Nodjoumi and Dinner by Design exhibitions

CIA welcomes spring with two wildly different shows.

Read More

Cores + Connections

Learn more about CIA's proven method for academic and professional excellence.