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COVID-19 Update: Classes Continue Online; Building Closures begin 3/23

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What is a portfolio?

A portfolio is simply a collection of work that represents an individual's creative and technical experiences and accomplishments. No two portfolios are alike and each is reviewed based on an applicant's unique background and education. Ideally, portfolios should include work done from the direct observation of life. For more information, please see our Portfolio Guidelines

Does SVA have an early action option?

Yes. High school seniors whose first choice is SVA can receive a non-binding early admission decision, early financial aid estimate, guaranteed housing and early registration privileges. In order to be considered for early action to the fall 2020 semester, applicants must complete all aspects of the admission process by December 1, 2019.

Can I apply to the spring semester?

Yes, however entry into the spring semester is limited. First-time freshman entry is limited based on program availability. Transfer entry is contingent upon the department chair's approval, based on portfolio quality, credits earned and space in the program. 

What is the deadline for admission to the fall 2020 semester?

Admission to the College operates on a rolling admission basis for applicants to the fall 2020 semester. Applications will be accepted throughout the year as space remains available in each program. International applicants should complete the application process by May 1, 2020.

Are application deadlines different for international applicants?

Yes. In order to process student visas in a timely manner, there is a recommended application deadline of April 1, 2020, for the summer 2020 semester, May 1, 2020, for the fall 2020 semester and October 1, 2019 for the spring 2020 semester.

How important is my academic background to the admission process?

An applicant's academic history plays an important role in the admission process. It is SVA's belief that art doesn't come from an empty head. As such, it is important that students demonstrate the ability to succeed in a classroom environment and have an aptitude and interest in humanities coursework.

Do I need to submit SAT or ACT scores?

SVA requires applicants to submit the results of either the SAT or ACT. Use CEEB code 2835 for SAT score submission and test code 2895 for ACT score submission. Test scores can play an important role in the review process. However, test scores, whether high or low, cannot replace the insight that is provided in the review of an applicant's academic transcripts.


Transfer applicants who have earned a minimum of 24 college credits, including work in the humanities and sciences, do not need to submit SAT or ACT scores.

What is the SVA CEEB Code?

The CEEB code for the College is 2835. Please use test code 2895 for ACT score submission.

Does SVA require international students to take the TOEFL?

Because a large part of an SVA education focuses on the exchange of ideas and critiques, it is important that all students possess a strong working knowledge of English. All international applicants must demonstrate a level of proficiency that will allow them to participate fully in class discussions. This can be demonstrated in a variety of ways, including the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). For more information, view our page on International Requirements here. SVA does not accept MyBEST TOEFL scores. 

How is transfer placement determined?

Approximately 30 percent of SVA students are transfer students. Transfer applicants follow the same procedures for admission as all other applicants. Transfer placement is based on studio coursework and the portfolio, not necessarily on the total number of credits previously earned. It is important that transfer applicants submit a digital portfolio that contains examples of work from each studio course for which transfer credit is sought. Copies of course descriptions of classes taken at other colleges and universities can be helpful to the transfer review process.