NCAD accepts admissions applications year round. New students enter the program in the Fall semester. The recommended deadline for admission for the Fall semester start is July 15.

Transfer students can enter the program in either the Fall, Winter, or Spring semesters.

Use this checklist to guide you through the Admissions and Enrollment process at NCAD.

Important: Applicants can apply to NCAD by downloading a “paper” application elsewhere on this web site and following the instructions on that application form, or by using our online application form (also available online elsewhere on this web site) and following the instructions on those pages.

Admissions Checklist

  1. Submit application and application fee.
  2. Submit official high school transcript, GED plus required test results, or proof of school accreditation or program accreditation for homeschooled students and official transcripts for all colleges attended.
  3. 1 page essay addressing 4 questions submitted online.
  4. Submit digital portfolio online.
  5. Set up informational interview with Admissions Representative.

All new and transferring applicants for admission to NCAD must comply with the following:

A. Submit a completed application accompanied by a $25 nonrefundable application fee made payable to NCAD. $100 application fee for International Students.

B. Submit official high school transcript or GED certificate and official transcripts for all colleges attended.

Students must: be a public or accredited private high school graduate, or be an accredited home school graduate, or have earned a GED. Students who have completed a homeschool program must show proof of school accreditation, program accreditation or GED. GED students will be required to submit SAT or ACT scores or Accuplacer test results, or college transcripts that show a minimum of 30 successfully completed college credits.

C. Submit transfer credit information (if applicable) as outlined under “transfer credit” in this catalog. The transfer credit deadline is August 1st. Credit will not be transferred after this date.

D. Submit essay responses online that addressing the following:

  1. Discuss your academic background and achievements.
  2. Describe in detail one personal challenge that you have faced and how you met that challenge.
  3. Briefly describe your long and short- term career goals.
  4. Why have you chosen this career or profession?

E. Submit digital portfolio online.
F. Arrange for an informational interview with an Admissions Representative. This can be conducted on the phone or at the NCAD campus. You will be asked to complete an interview form at this time.


10 pieces of your best recent work is to be submitted in digital format with your application packet. All pieces need not be in your chosen medium of concentration, but they should enable the Review Committee to assess your current skills and potential for success in the program. Digital formats that are considered acceptable include .jpegs of images/work or .pdfs of compilations of work. Please contact an Admissions Representative for more specifics about digital portfolio submission requirements and the submission process.

In addition to the 10 pieces of recent finished work, applicants may choose optionally to submit several additional sample pages from their sketchbook digitally to illustrate the applicants artistic process.

The Review Committee may determine additional information or work is necessary from the applicant in order to make a determination for enrollment.

International Students

NCAD welcomes students from all countries and cultures. International applicants are persons who are not residents of the United States. Because of language and educational differences, NCAD does require some additional information from international applicants in order to ensure a successful experience for students. International applicants are also asked to complete the application process early to allow sufficient time to process required documents for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

International Applicants are required to comply with all admissions requirements as outlined in the NCAD catalog. In addition, all international applicants must meet the following minimum requirements:

1. Proficiency in the English Language: International students must demonstrate English proficiency in one of the following ways:

  • TOEFL exam score of at least 550 (paper), 213 (computer exam) or 80 (internet). TOEFL code: 8835.
  • TOEFL score reporting and exam information:
  • A Minimum International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 6.5 or higher (
  • Completion of four years of high school in the United States at an English speaking school, or an International School where the primary language of instruction is English
  • Completion of a post-secondary degree in the United States at an English speaking school, at an International School where the primary language of instruction is English

2. Financial Responsibility: An official bank statement indicating that sufficient funds are available for an academic year of study and living expenses must be submitted to NCAD and made available to the U.S. ICE upon entry into the United States in a timely manner.

International students intending to study at NCAD must obtain an F-1 visa from the U.S. ICE. An F-1 student is a non- immigrant who is pursuing a full course of study towards a specific educational or professional objective at a school in the United States. Once that objective has been attained, the F-1 student is expected to return to his or her residence abroad. International students should note their citizenship on the application form for admission. If accepted, NCAD will send you a Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant [F-1] Student Status). If you are a foreign citizen and are accepted, but do not receive a Form I-20 in your acceptance packet, please contact the Registrar as soon as possible.

After you receive your I-20 form from NCAD, take it to the nearest U.S. consulate to obtain a student visa. Please note that the visa process may take several months to complete, so NCAD recommends that you complete your application process early. You will also be required to take appropriate documents to prove that you have sufficient financial resources for your education and stay in the United States. For more information on visas, please consult the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website at

Applicants who are Permanent Residents of the United States do not need a student visa; however, they must prove their immigration status by submitting a copy of their permanent residency card and marking the appropriate citizenship status on their application for admission to NCAD. The copy of their permanent residency card confirms that a student is a legal resident and that he or she may pursue studies at NCAD. Permanent residents are subject to the same rights, services, and rates as U.S. citizens.

3. International Students with Transcripts in Languages Other than English: Applicants must submit official academic records. If those documents are written in a language other than English, applicants must submit certified-true copies of both the originals and a literal translation. These must be marked as “certified-true” or “attested” and signed by a school official on each page. The documents must be certified to be at least equivalent to the credential required by the school in its admissions criteria (e.g., a U.S. high school diploma). Records that confirm graduation will be required from all applicants prior to enrollment.