Our application deadline has passed, however some departments may accept late applicants if studio space is available. Please contact the admissions office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 248-645-3300 to learn more.
Cranbrook Academy of Art is a graduate school offering Master of Architecture and Master of Fine Arts degrees only. We do not offer undergraduate or continuing education programs nor do we offer Bachelor or Associate degrees.
Completion of a bachelor’s 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. International applicants must have earned the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree in order to be considered for admission.
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. International applicants must have earned the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree in order to be considered for admission.
Students interested for the Master of Fine Arts degree program will apply to one of nine departments (2D Design, 3D Design, Ceramics, Fiber, Metalsmithing, Painting, Photography, Print Media, or Sculpture). Students interested in the Architecture department will apply for the Master of Architecture degree program.
Online Application Procedure
All application materials are to be submitted online through Slideroom.
- Statement of Purpose – Describe your goals and objectives for graduate investigation and study.
- Autobiographical Statement – Describe what has influenced you to develop as an artist.
- CV / Resume – Submit either a curriculum vitae (CV) or a resume.
- Three Letters of Recommendation – Provide email addresses for referees, who will be asked to submit letters through a confidential online link. Refer below for more information.
- Portfolio – Attach up to 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. See below for “tips for putting together a great portfolio.”
- Transcript(s) – Submit an unofficial transcript for your bachelor’s degree. You are also encouraged to submit transcripts that reflect additional coursework if you would like to have them considered in the application review process. Refer below for detailed information.
- 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.
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 References section early! This will allow your referees more time to complete the letters. Do this even if you are not ready to submit. You may want to let your referees know that an emailed request for a recommendation will be coming to them from email@example.com, so they can watch for it (the email request is sent as soon as you click the Send Request button).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org) for guidance.
You must submit an unofficial transcript for your bachelor’s degree. If your degree is still in progress, please provide a transcript that includes the courses you have completed to date (including grades) and the courses in which you are currently enrolled.
In addition, you are encouraged to provide unofficial transcripts for any other degree or program (master’s, post baccalaureate, certificate, classes) that you would like to have considered as part of the application review process. Information that assists in understanding your relevant background is important to include in your application.
International Students: Transcripts must be translated into English.
If admitted, you will be required to provide official transcripts from each college or university you have attended (even if you did not earn a degree). Official transcripts must be sent directly to the Academy from the school; transcripts issued to students are not considered official. Instructions will be provided to admitted students.
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.
Tips for Putting Together a Great Portfolio
- 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.
- It always helps to get a second-opinion; a friend or mentor can “see” your work in ways you might not.
- Think of your portfolio as a creative project of its own – consider sequence, pacing and how one image moves to the next.
- It’s a good idea to group pieces in a series together. In fact, working serially can help develop an idea or approach fully.
- When sequencing your images, start with strong work and end with strong work.
- 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; results from other tests cannot be accepted. For admission to the Academy, the minimum TOEFL score requirement for Fall 2017 is 90. Only test scores sent directly to the Academy by ETS will be accepted. The ETS code of Cranbrook for TOEFL reporting is 1156. We are unable to review applications without evidence of the minimum TOEFL requirement. Qualifying exam scores received before applications are reviewed in February allow the applicant to be reviewed. If a qualifying exam score is received after application review has begun, it is possible the application may be reviewed; however, there is no guarantee.
International applicants who have or will receive a bachelor’s or master’s 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. Students who have studied for two years or less in an English-speaking degree program may not be eligible for a TOEFL exam waiver; contact the Admissions Office with questions.
Please click here for additional information for international applicants.
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. Letters of recommendation can be re-used; contact the Admissions Office for assistance (248-645-3300 or email@example.com).
Submitted applications are reviewed simultaneously and competitively after the application deadline of February 1. All applicants will be notified of their admissions decision by 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.
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.
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.
Statement of Non-Discrimination.
Cranbrook Academy of Art is a true community. We value the contributions of all our members, so naturally, the Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, creed, sex, height, weight, marital status, disability, veteran status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, or any other basis prohibited by local, state or federal law in its programs and activities. Inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies may be addressed to: Amy Deines, Dean, Cranbrook Academy of Art, 39221 Woodward Avenue, P.O. Box 801, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303-0801.