Application Materials

Our review committee will consider each application on its merits with a holistic perspective of the applicant's academics and creative work submitted. When you apply, it should be able to tell us who you are as a person and illuminate why academic and fine art pursuit at PAFA is for you.

Please prepare the following to apply:

  • Portfolio of 12-15 images
  • Statement of Purpose
  • References with Contact Information (2)
  • Academic Transcript

International Applicants Must Include:

  • English proficiency (for international applicants)


  • A resumé (optional)
  • Standardized Test scores (optional)
  • Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate (optional)


Admission to PAFA is contingent on the submission of your creative work through a portfolio. Portfolios consisting of 12 to 15 images must be submitted through SlideRoom. It is up to each applicant to choose works that best exemplify their talent and ambition. 

  • Refer to PAFA’s Portfolio Guidelines document for guidance on selecting, preparing, and submitting your work.  
  • Before submitting your application meet with an Admission Counselor to receive an optional informal Portfolio Review.

Statement of Purpose

Applicants should pick one of the following writing prompts and write a 1–2-page, double-spaced response.  

  • How do you see a PAFA education influencing your artistic development and ambitions?  
  • If you could be any work of art in PAFA's collection, which one would you be and why? 

Upload this to the Admissions Portal before or after submitting the application PAFA or Common App. Your Statement of Purpose must be saved as Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx) or Portable Document File (.pdf) documents. PAFA does not accept any other file formats for the Statement of Purpose.


Applicants must provide two (2) references and their contact information on the application. Your references should be able to speak to your character, achievements, and or artistic endeavors.

Academic Transcript

Official transcripts are required for each applicant. Transcripts must be sent directly from the applicant’s school to be considered official. We can accept unofficial transcripts temporarily until an official transcript is obtained.  

  • BFA applicants must provide proof of graduation, such as a final official high school transcript showing the graduation date, or a high school equivalency diploma (GED).  
  • If your academic credentials are not written in English, they must be translated into English by an approved translator prior to submission.  

Electronic Transcripts  

PAFA accepts electronic transcripts via eSCRIP-SAFE, Liaison, Naviance, Parchment, Student Clearing House, and other verified transcript services. Electronic transcripts may also be emailed to from the institution you attended.

Physical / Hardcopy Transcripts

Physical copies of transcripts may be mailed to the following address:

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
Office of Admissions
128 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Transcript Exceptions

The following candidates are not required to submit high school transcripts:  

  • BFA applicants who have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher.  
  • Transfer students who have, or will have, earned 30-semester credits before enrolling at PAFA.

English Language Proficiency Scores

Students are required to submit official language proficiency scores if their primary language is not English. PAFA accepts the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) tests.

Degree ProgramTest TypeMinimum ScoreTest Code

Other Supplemental Materials


Applicants may include an optional resume as a way to list life experiences and accomplishments that may not be reflected in an application otherwise.

SAT & ACT Scores

SAT and ACT tests are optional; applicants do not have to submit standardized test scores as part of the application.

We will review SAT and ACT scores for applicants that have chosen to send them. Applicants must use the following institution codes for submitting SAT and ACT test scores:


Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Fullfillment

Entering students may receive credit for honors-level scores on Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) exams. AP and IB scores must be forwarded directly to the Office of Admissions. Credits may count towards fulfilling PAFA’s liberal arts requirements and general studio electives, but will not replace any studio foundations courses. Please refer to the tables below for credits awarded and curricular equivalents.

Each accepted exam will award six (6) credits fulfilling distribution requirements within the liberal arts curriculum listed below. The maximum number of credits transferrable is as follows:

Distribution RequirementCredit Limit
Language & Literature Course12
Art History & Criticism Course9
History, Culture & Social Science Course9
Science & Quantitative Thinking Course6

Advanced Placement Tests

AP ExamMinimum ScoreDistribution Requirement Fulfilled
Art History4Art History & Criticism Course
Biology4Science & Quantitative Thinking Course
Calculus, AB5Science & Quantitative Thinking Course
Calculus, BC4Science & Quantitative Thinking Course
Chemistry4Science & Quantitative Thinking Course
Chinese Language & Culture4Language & Literature Course
Computer Science4Science & Quantitative Thinking Course
Drawing4Studio Elective
English: Literature & Composition4Language & Literature Course
Environmental Science5Science & Quantitative Thinking Course
French Language & Culture4Language & Literature Course
German Language & Culture4Language & Literature Course
Government & Politics: Comparative4History, Culture & Social Science Course
Government & Politics: U.S4History, Culture & Social Science Course
History: European4History, Culture & Social Science Course
History: U.S.4History, Culture & Social Science Course
History: World4History, Culture & Social Science Course
Human Geography5History, Culture & Social Science Course
Japanese Language & Culture4Language & Literature Course
Latin4Language & Literature Course
Music Theory5Not Accepted
Physics 15Science & Quantitative Thinking Course
Physics 25Science & Quantitative Thinking Course
Physics B4Science & Quantitative Thinking Course
Physics C4Science & Quantitative Thinking Course
Psychology4History, Culture & Social Science Course
Spanish: Language & Culture4Language & Literature Course
Statistics4Science & Quantitative Thinking Course
Studio Art4Studio Elective
2-D Art & Design4Studio Elective

International Baccalaureate Exams

Only Higher Level (HL) courses will be considered for credit.

IB Exam GroupMinimum ScoreDistribution Requirement Fulfilled
Arts (visual only)6Studio Elective
Individuals & Societies6History, Culture & Social Science Course
Language & Literature6Language & Literature Course
Language Acquisition6Language & Literature Course
Mathematics5Science & Quantitative Thinking Course
Sciences5Science & Quantitative Thinking Course

Finished Preparing Your Materials?

Picture Yourself at PAFA

The Admissions and Financial Aid staff at PAFA help you during all stages of the application and enrollment process.

Telephone: (215) 972-7625
Fax: (215) 569-0153
Financial Aid: