SFAI BFA Admissions Requirements

Screen Shot 2013-10-11 at 11.43.09 AMChecklist:

  • Application Form
  • Application Fee
  • Official transcripts
  • SAT or ACT scores
  • One letter of recommendation
  • Portfolio

FRESHMAN & TRANSFER BFA Application Requirements

San Francisco Art Institute (Main Campus)

800 Chestnut Street (between Jones and Leavenworth)
San Francisco, CA 94133
Phone: 415.771.7020

Admissions Office at 800.345.SFAI / 415.749.4500


ASHCAN STUDIO STUDENT WORK for SFAI Admissions by Seamoon 


November 15, 2013

  • Priority Deadline for Spring 2014 Undergraduate Freshmen and Transfer Applications

February 1, 2014

  • Priority Deadline for Fall 2014 Undergraduate Freshmen Applications
  • Deadline for Freshmen Portfolio Achievement Scholarship Applications

March 1, 2014

  • Priority Deadline for FAFSA Application
  • Cal Grant Application Deadline (California residents only)

April 15, 2014

  • Priority Deadline for Fall 2014 Undergraduate Transfer Applications
  • Deadline for Transfer Portfolio Achievement Scholarship Applications

1. Completed and signed application for admission

SFAI provides two application options:
1) Apply using our Online Application. We encourage you to apply online.
2) Download a printable copy of the Paper Application Form. Please sign your completed application form and mail it together with the rest of your application materials.

Please send your supporting documentation (if you are applying online) or your complete application packet (if you are submitting a paper application form) to:

San Francisco Art Institute
800 Chestnut Street
San Francisco, CA 94133


ASHCAN STUDIO STUDENT WORK for SFAI Admissions by Seamoon 

2. Non-refundable application fee of $65

There are three payment options:
-Pay the application fee online by credit card, at the end of the online application.
-Send a check payable to San Francisco Art Institute.
-Call 1.800.345.SFAI or 415.749.4500 to pay by credit card.

3. Official sealed transcripts of all high school or other secondary school coursework, both completed and in-progress, or CHSPE Certificate of Proficiency, or GED certificate

All offical high school, college, or university transcripts or equivalency certificates must be sent directly to SFAI from the school, college, or agency in question. SFAI accepts transcripts directly from applicants only if the transcripts have been appropriately signed and sealed. SFAI reserves the right to reject any document that does not meet the appropriate standards and to request an additional copy. Final transcripts indicating graduation will be required prior to the start of classes.

4. Official SAT or ACT examination results (optional but highly recommended)

Official examination results can be sent directly to SFAI from the College Board, ACT, or ETS. Copies of student score reports (i.e., reports issued to students) are not sufficient.

aaa7ASHCAN STUDIO STUDENT WORK for SFAI Admissions by Seamoon 

BFA Applicants (studio art programs)

5. One Letter of Recommendation

The letter of recommendation should come from a teacher or another individual familiar with your abilities and goals, and must be written in English.

You have two options for submission of your references.

  1. You can submit your references online via Slideroom. This process requires you to submit the contact information for each of your references. Once you have submitted your Slideroom application your references will be contacted by Slideroom directly to submit your reference to SFAI.


  1. Your references can be sent by mail. Your references are welcome to mail these letters directly, or you can include your sealed letters of recommendation with your mailed application.

The SFAI Letter of Recommendation Form should be included with any letters of recommendation sent by mail.

6. Portfolio

Please submit 10-15 digital images or 3-4 video clips for our review via Slideroom (https://sfaicalls.slideroom.com), CD or DVD.

For additional details on how to prepare your portfolio, please see the Portfolio Requirementspage page, or you can also meet and contact and Admission Counselor if you have more detailed questions.

aaa21ASHCAN STUDIO STUDENT WORK for SFAI Admissions by Seamoon 

7. Portfolio Inventory Sheet

Please include your name, address, telephone number, and email address at the top of this document.

For each work, include an entry on your portfolio inventory sheet with corresponding numbers and the title, date, medium, and dimensions (height by width by depth, e.g., 21 in. x 42 in. x 36 in.; dimensions given in centimeters are also acceptable). For time-based submissions, please include the total running time for each piece.

You can submit this online via Slideroom or send a printed copy with your portfolio by mail.

8. Artist Statement

BFA candidates should briefly explain the ideas and content of the work in their portfolio. What factors have influenced this body of work? What do you want to accomplish at SFAI in terms of your art making? You may also include artists and outside sources that have influenced you.

You can submit this online via Slideroom or send a printed copy with your portfolio by mail.

International Applicants

Please refer to the International Undergraduate Applicants page for additional requirements and information.

 aaa221ASHCAN STUDIO STUDENT WORK for SFAI Admissions by Seamoon 

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