Please note Cranbrook Academy of Art is a graduate school and offers Master of Architecture and Master of Fine Art degrees only. We do not offer undergraduate or continuing education programs nor do we offer Bachelor or Associate degrees.
The application deadline has passed. While priority is given to applications submitted before Feb 1, some departments will be accepting late applications.
Please contact the admissions office directly at 248-645-3300 if you would like to inquire about a late application.
Completion of an undergraduate degree from an accredited educational institution is required for admission to the Master of Fine Arts program. Applicants holding a Bachelor’s degree in a field other than the arts may be considered on an individual basis, based upon a review of the candidate's portfolio and experience.
Completion of a Bachelor of Architecture or its equivalent undergraduate degree from an accredited educational institution is required for admission to the Master of Architecture program. Applicants holding a degree in a field other than architecture may be considered on an individual basis, based upon a review of the candidate's portfolio and experience.
Online Application Procedure
All application materials, with the exception of official transcripts, are to be submitted through Slideroom:
1. Statement of Purpose - Describe your goals and objectives for graduate investigation and study.
2. Autobiographical Statement – Describe what has influenced you to develop as an artist.
3. CV / Resume – Submit either a curriculum vitae (CV) or a resume.
4. Three Letters of Recommendation – Provide email addresses for referees, who will be asked to submit letters through a confidential online link.
5. Portfolio – Applicants are required to attach 20 examples of recent work and provide title, date, materials, and dimension for each image/file uploaded. Instructions on acceptable file types will be provided during the upload process in Slideroom. Applicants to the 3D Design Department are required to follow these instructions. For tips on putting together a great portfolio for all departments, click here.
6. Application fee - $85 application fee is collected directly through Slideroom via credit or debit card. We are unable to grant requests for application fee waivers.
7. Official Transcripts – Official transcripts from each college or university attended, regardless of whether or not a degree has been granted, are required as part of the application process. Official transcripts are to be sent directly to the Academy by the college or university: Registrar, Cranbrook Academy of Art, 39221 Woodward Avenue, P.O. Box 801, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303-0801 (email@example.com for electronic transcripts). Transcripts from foreign schools must be translated into English. Note: The Academy reserves the right to determine the validity of any degree submitted as a requirement of admission. The applicant must bear the cost if it is necessary to secure the services of an outside credentials evaluator.
Instructions for Using Slideroom
The application deadline has passed. While priority is given to applications submitted before Feb 1, some departments will be accepting late applications. Please contact the admissions office directly at 248-645-3300 if you would like to inquire about a late application.
IMPORTANT: If you experience technical difficulties while completing the online application process, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for technical support.
Statement of Purpose and Autobiographical Statement
Both statements must be inserted as unformatted* text in the Slideroom application. Applicants to the 2D Design department will ALSO be asked to upload formatted and stylized versions of their Statements and CV for review.
Statements should be between 1 and 2 pages in length (or 1200 words or less).
Please note the differences in what is requested for statements. The Statement of Purpose should describe your goals and objectives for graduate investigation and study. The Autobiographical Statement should describe what has influenced your development as an artist.
*If you need help creating unformatted text please use the guidelines found here.
Letters of Recommendation
You will be asked to list the name, position, and email address for three people who will provide letters of recommendation. An email will be sent to them automatically providing a confidential link where they may upload their letters of recommendation on your behalf.
Hint: Complete the recommendation section early! This will allow your referees more time to complete the letters. Do this even if you are not ready to submit.
Note: You may submit your application for admission before your letters of reference are received by the Academy. Referees are still able to attach letters to your application even after you have submitted.
After you have submitted your application you can log back in to view the status of your letters. "Complete" means the referee has successfully submitted their letter through the electronic system. If the status is labeled as "Requested," this means the referee has not yet completed the online submission process. You can choose to resend the request or supply an alternate email in case your referee's spam filter blocks the original request or has removed the link.
References are required to be submitted electronically through the Slideroom process. In rare instances, your referee may be unable to submit an electronic letter of recommendation. In such a case, please contact the Admissions Office (248-645-3300 or email@example.com) for guidance.
- When putting together your portfolio, remember to include only great images of your work.
- If you need help photographing your work, get help. Powerful photos showcase powerful work.
- When sequencing your images, start with strong work and end with strong work.
- It's a good idea to group pieces in a series together.
- It always helps to get a second-opinion; a friend or mentor can "see" your work in ways you might not.
- We recommend that no single video exceed 3 minutes. This is just a recommendation, though, and you can submit a longer video if necessary.
When writing your essays, think of them as two complementary pieces. The Statement of Purpose should address your plans for graduate study - why do you want to go to graduate school and what are the things you want to focus on at Cranbrook? In the Autobiographical Statement, tell us about you and what has shaped you as an artist so far. We're interested in the whole picture of who you are, so you might include information about your life history, travel experiences, family story, professional life, odd jobs and idiosyncratic details. We're a small community, so we are always interested to know about the people who may join us!
In addition to meeting the admission requirements, international students must demonstrate proficiency in the English language through the TOEFL test. For admission to the Academy, the minimum TOEFL score accepted is 85. Only test scores sent directly to the Academy by ETS will be accepted. The ETS code of Cranbrook for TOEFL reporting is 1156. International applicants who have or will receive a degree from an English speaking college or university are eligible to have the TOEFL requirement waived and will indicate this when prompted within the application.
Re-application for Admission
Students who left the Academy before completing their degree and who now wish to return, or those who wish to re-apply for admission, must begin a new application in Slideroom. Any re-admission is at the discretion of the Academy.
Submitted applications are reviewed simultaneously and competitively after the application deadline of February 1. Applicants will be notified of acceptance by email. Those who reside outside the United States will receive all admissions decisions and subsequent information via email. Applicants will generally receive an admissions decision by the end of April, although it is possible that some decisions may be extended beyond April.
Be Prepared in the Event You are Accepted
Students are encouraged to review the Academic Requirements and the departmental pages on this website to gain an understanding of our program. Please call or email the Admissions Office to discuss our programs or facilities, or with any questions you may have. Interviews are done at the discretion of the department heads and are not necessarily part of the application process. Contact the Admissions Office at 248-645-3300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are applying to the 3D Design Department you must follow these guidelines for submitting your portfolio in Slideroom.
All other departments MUST follow the portfolio guidelines listed in the application procedure section.
3D Design Applicants: Please upload one PDF containing your top 10 to 15 projects. Include process images if necessary. If your PDF portfolio is over the maximum size that Slideroom will allow (20MB), you can split your portfolio into two PDF uploads only. However, it is strongly suggested to keep your file size as small as possible.
If you have work that cannot be included in a PDF portfolio (for example video of performance based work) you may also upload additional files to support your PDF. However, please be advised the majority of your portfolio must be represented in one PDF.
When you save a document in most word processing programs, it will default to the format used by that particular program. Under the list of formats that pop up when you try to save a file, you must select the option to save the document as a plain text formatted file (.txt). After you have closed the document and reopened it, formatting will then be removed from the file. Select all of this text, and copy and paste it into the corresponding essay box within Slideroom. You may also work in a text editor, such as TextEdit (Mac), NotePad (Microsoft), or Note Tab, which is available in freeware and commercial versions. This unformatted text may then be selected, copied, and pasted into Slideroom.
Alternative to Online Applications
Filing an online application is required. If you are unable to complete our online application, please call the Admissions Office ( 248-645-3300 or email@example.com) to discuss your situation.