Apply to SMFA




  • Application
  • $65 Non-Refundable Application Fee
  • e-Portfolio
  • Personal Essay
  • High School Transcripts
  • College Transcripts (Transfer Applicants)
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • TOEFL/IELTS (non-native English speakers)
  • Verification of Finance Letter (VOF) (International Students)
  • Declaration of Finance Form (DOF) (International Students)


Application Fee

* The non-refundable application fee for all students is $65.


Students must submit 15-20, pieces of their recent work and/or up to 10 minutes of time-based work. It’s important to make sure that the work represents your strengths and interests, and represent your current skills and experiences.

Portfolios must be submitted online through Slideroom. Like the online application, you will need to create a user account. Once this is created, you will be able to view all of your portfolio submissions in one location.


Personal Essay

The personal essay should be seen as a written extension of your portfolio. In approximately 500 words describe who you are as an artist. This is a platform for you to discuss your interests, influences, goals, and/or answer questions like why art school? Or why SMFA?



All applicants must provide an official high school transcript. In order to be considered official transcripts must be sealed and stamped by a guidance department and/or registrar and sent directly to

School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Office of Admissions

230 The Fenway

Boston, MA 02115

We will also accept secure electronic transcripts from Parchment Exchange. Parchment Exchange allows you to securely submit electronic transcripts. Please note, if your school is a Parchment member, your transcript will be sent to us digitally. If your school is not a member, Parchment will request that a hard copy be mailed.


High School Applicants

Your transcript should reflect your current classes and a minimum of one-semester or quarter of grades. If you have attended multiple high schools, you may submit only the graduating school’s transcript if your grades and previous coursework appear on your current transcript.

GED Applicants

Applicants who have completed the GED must submit an official GED score report, in addition to their high school transcript, if they’ve attended high school.

Home-schooled Applicants

Home-schooled students must submit both an official home-schooled transcript and GED scores, in order to be considered for admission. In addition to your home-schooled transcript, official transcripts must be submitted from any high school attended.

Transfer Applicants

All transfer applicants must submit an official college transcript(s), for all colleges attended, regardless of whether you plan to apply those credits to your study at SMFA. In addition, transfer students need to submit a final high school transcript, unless you have previously completed a baccalaureate degree.

Please note that copies of course descriptions are required for transfer evaluation, these can be cut and pasted from your colleges website and sent to us via email at, please be sure to include your first and last name in the title of the file.

International Applicants

International students are required to submit academic records, in the original language issued, accompanied by a certified English translation. All academic records must be original, attested, or certified true copies beginning with the first year of secondary school (high school). Translations must mirror the format of the original document and be word-for-word. Transcripts and translations must clearly state the date or completion/graduation and the level of education received.

International Secondary School Applicants

If your secondary (high school) transcript is not converted into U.S. equivalencies, you will need to submit your official secondary school transcript and certified translations to a credentialing agency for a course-by-course evaluation and U.S. High School Diploma and GPA equivalency.


SMFA is test-optional. Should you choose to submit your scores please have them sent directly to us from ETS/CollegeBoard. Our SAT school code is 3794 and our ACT school code is 1895.


While we are test-optional, BFA candidates may be granted up to eight academic credits at the discretion of the respective department and the achievement of the required score. Please see Tufts 2014-2015 Bulletin for specifics.


Letters of Recommendation

Two official letters of recommendation are required to complete your application. We recommend that you ask an art or liberal arts teacher, guidance counselor, mentor, or employer. The best person to ask is someone who can speak to your potential as a student and/or an artist, your skills, motivation and character.


Letters of recommendation can be requested through our online application portal. You will need your recommenders name and email address for this. Requesting your letters through the portal allows your recommenders to upload their recommendations electronically and allows you to track the receipt of these as well.

Demonstration of English Proficiency

In addition to the general application requirements, all non-native English speakers are required to demonstrate proficiency on both written and spoken English. The following are acceptable way to demonstrate proficiency:


In addition to the general application requirements, all non-native English speakers are required to demonstrate proficiency on both written and spoken English. The following are acceptable way to demonstrate proficiency:


Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

A minimum of a 79 on the iBT version, 213 on the computer-based version, or a 550 on the paper-based version is required for admission. We look for students to have achieved a reading and writing sub-score of 18.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

A minimum of a 6.0 is required for admission.


The TOEFL or IELTS requirement may be waived if you meet one of the following:


You are a non-native English speaker who has completed 2 years of college prep English, with a grade of a B or better, at a U.S. high school, not in conjunction with ESL.


You are a non-native English speaker who has competed 3 years of college prep English at an English language-based high school abroad (such as an IB school or American/International school), not in conjunction with ESL.


You are a non-native English speaker, who has completed 2 semesters of college-level English at a U.S. accredited, baccalaureate degree granting, college/university. You must have achieved a grade of a B or better in both classes and they must not have been taken in conjunction with any ESL classes.

The Declaration of Finances (DOF) form is available here »

Verification of Finances Letter (VOF)

All funds listed on your DOF must be substantiated in your Verification of Finances Letter. The VOF is a letter from your or your sponsor’s bank. This documentation must reflect the total cost of attendance, which includes the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses for one academic year. For the 2015-2016 academic year the estimated amount that must be shown is the total estimated amount for the program in which you are applying, please see the chart available on the DOF form. Please note that all monies must be readily accessible, liquid funds, like savings and checking accounts. Additionally, all monies must be displayed in English and U.S. dollars.

Submitting the DOF/VOF

The Declaration of Finance form and the Verification of Finance letter are a required part of the application process. We required this information at the point of application, to expedite the I-20 process. Please submit this information in one of the following ways:

  • Email a PDF of the official, scanned Declaration of Finances form and Verification of Finances letter to Please be sure to include both your family and given name, as they appear on your application, and that official stamps and signatures are visible. Color scans are preferred because they are more readable.
  • Mail to: School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
  • Office of Admissions
  • 230 The Fenway
  • Boston, MA 02115



School of Museum of fine arts, Boston (SMFA) has established the transfer agreement with Ashcan studio of Art, NYC. SMFA students can pursue their interest in art and get a rigorous liberal art education in Tufts University at the same time; the BFA, Combined Degree, and MFA programs culminate in the granting of a Tufts degree.

Students who have successfully completed one year of study in the Ashcan Studio Art Program, and are admitted to the SMFA BFA program, will be awarded a maximum of 24 SMFA studio art credits (equivalent to 18 Ashcan Studio credits). Additional coursework that has been completed at Ashcan, beyond the 18 first-year credits, may be considered for additional transfer credit towards the SMFA BFA program. Students must earn a C or better in 100-level or higher courses in order to be considered for studio transfer credit. Students may receive a maximum of 38 transfer credits in studio areas.Students who have not completed at least 12 liberal arts credits, as outline above, will still ne considered for all applicable credits and should be able to complete the BFA program in three and a half years.

English Language Proficiency
In addition to the minimum IELTS score of 6.0 or minimum TOEFL score of 79 IBT, reading and writing sub-score of 18.


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