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 (MArch) programs. Students in each of the ten 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.
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.
The road to admissions begins with the Academy’s online application (link available on left-hand side of this page). Applications are accepted beginning October 1st, with a deadline of February 1st. 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; official transcripts from all colleges or universities from which a student received credit must be sent by the school to the Academy’s Admissions Office as part of the application process. International Students: Please click on the Information for International Students link on the left-hand side of this page.
Beginning in mid-February, submitted applications are reviewed by the Department Heads. 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, Assistant Registrar and Student Services Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org; 248-645-3306) to discuss potential visits to the Academy.
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.
Accreditation and Licensure
Cranbrook Academy of Art is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission North Central Association (HLC-NCA) and 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; averages cited in this section include the academic years 2007-08 through 2014-15. The retention rate is the percentage of students who begin in a given year and return in subsequent semesters. Cranbrook’s retention rate after first semester is 99.06%; after second semester, 98.32%, and after third semester, 98.14%. The graduation rate indicates the percentage of students who began the program who ultimately receive their degree. Cranbrook Academy of Art’s graduation rate is 98.72%. 97.43% complete their degree requirements in 4 semesters.