Admissions Information

Self-motivated, self-disciplined, creative, and inquisitive applicants from all over the world are drawn to Cranbrook Academy of Art’s intensive, studio-based Master of Fine Arts (MFA) and Master of Architecture (M.Arch) programs. Students in each of the eleven departments are mentored by a faculty member (also referred to as the Department Head or as the department’s Artist-, Designer-, or Architect-in-Residence) who lives on campus and works alongside his or her students in the studio. The Department Head selects students for the department, evaluating them not only on the strength of their applications, but also in terms of how they and their work will fit within the departmental philosophy. This approach to admissions results in a true community of artists, designers, and architects that comes together to learn from each other and from their Department Heads.

Program Information

Please read detailed information about our unique studio-based program here: Program and Curriculum. Academic requirements for our students are detailed here: Academic Requirements and Course Descriptions.

Because the Academy offers only MFA and M.Arch programs, applicants must possess the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree (or be on track to earn a bachelor’s degree prior to matriculation).  Official transcripts listing degree information and grades for the bachelor’s degree program are a condition of matriculation.

Application Information

Our 2019-2020 application for admission is now open!  Visit this page for a link to the application.

Click here to view specific, detailed information regarding the application and the application procedure.  Don’t miss the Tips for Putting Together a Great Portfolio section.

The road to admissions begins with the Academy’s online application (please click on the How to Apply link on the left-hand side of this page). The online application process consists of answering general questions and writing responses to specific questions, providing letters of reference, and uploading a portfolio and a resume/CV. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university ; undergraduate transcripts are required as part of the application process. Students currently enrolled in a bachelor’s program must complete degree requirements prior to matriculation.  International Students: Please click on the  International Students link on the left-hand side of this page.

Application Review

Beginning in early to mid-February, submitted applications are reviewed by the Department Heads; applications are not formally reviewed until after the application deadline has passed. Some departments schedule interviews for top candidates, asking them to come to campus to meet with the Department Head and students in the department; some candidates may be contacted for a Skype interview. Not all departments hold formal interview sessions, but those that do will contact selected students directly. Some departments do not have a formal interview process but encourage serious candidates to arrange a visit to the Academy; students are asked to contact Vanessa Lucero Mazei, Student Services Manager, Admissions Coordinator + Assistant Registrar (; 248-645-3306) to discuss potential visits to the Academy.

Admissions Decisions

All admissions decisions are communicated via email. Please be patient during the admissions process and understand that the admissions staff is unable to provide any insight into your chances for admission

Accepted Applicant Information

Once accepted, applicants are emailed an admission packet that includes the information they will need to make their decision to accept the offer of admission. Admitted applicants will be asked to make their decision and submit a $1,000 studio deposit to hold their space in the class within two weeks of the offer. Leslie Tobakos, Registrar, Financial Aid & Admissions Manager (248-645-3360;, is available to answer any questions or concerns admitted applicants may have as they make their decision.

Financial Aid

Information about Cranbrook Academy of Art’s financial aid program is found here.

If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, file a 2019-2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be evaluated for federal loans and work study, as well as for institutional need based grants.  You can file the FAFSA now; our priority filing deadline is February 1st in order to allow us to include a financial aid award letter in your admissions packet if you are offered admission.  Information about Need Based Aid is found here.

For information about Non-Need Based Aid, click here.  Prospective students often ask about resources for outside scholarships.  We recommend CareerOne Stop’s Scholarship Finder,  sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor.  A few additional outside scholarship opportunities are posted to our web page.

International Students

Please click on the International Students link on the left side of this page for information specific to international students.

Accreditation and Licensure

Cranbrook Academy of Art is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).  The Academy’s MFA programs are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. The Architecture program is not professionally accredited. Any person may review documents describing the Academy’s accreditation and licensing by contacting Judy Dyki, Library Director (248-645-3364), or Leslie Tobakos, Registrar, Financial Aid & Admissions Manager (248-645-3360).

Transfer Credit Policy

Cranbrook Academy of Art does not accept transfer credit from any other institution. All students are required to complete their entire 2-year program of study at the Academy.

Retention and Graduation Rates

The average retention rate and average graduation rate are data points that may assist prospective students in evaluating student achievement. The retention rate is the percentage of students who begin in a given year and return in subsequent semesters.  For student cohorts beginning school Fall 2009 through Fall 2017, Cranbrook’s retention rate after one year is 96.88%; after two (student cohorts beginning Fall 2009 – Fall 2016), 96.18%. The graduation rate indicates the percentage of students who began the program who ultimately receive their degree; the averages cited here for for student cohorts beginning school Fall 2009 through Fall 2015: Cranbrook Academy of Art’s graduation rate is 97.17% after three years; 95.87% completed their degree requirements in 2 years.

Statement of Non-Discrimination.

Cranbrook Academy of Art 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: Director, Cranbrook Academy of Art, 39221 Woodward Avenue, P.O. Box 801, Bloomfield Hills, MI  48303-0801.