Application Process for First-Year Students
We provide an intensive yet flexible studio arts training, paired with a rigorous liberal arts education.
With the assistance of faculty and staff advisors, you are encouraged to select courses and seek out resources that will best support your artistic development. Throughout your time at SMFA, you will work closely with faculty across mediums and disciplines to develop your ideas. This approach challenges you to take charge of the process, to push your own limits, and to grow through critique.
Students interested in either the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) or the Combined Degree (BFA + BA/BS) apply directly through Tufts University.
SMFA at Tufts uses the Common Application and the Coalition Application. Everything you need to apply, including the the Tufts Short Answer Questions is hosted on the Common Application website or the Coalition Application website. We provide a simple checklist of all the required application materials below. We are not able to accept supplemental materials that don't appear on this checklist.
For those applying through QuestBridge, you can find information about the application here.
Application Requirements for the BFA or Combined Degree:
Applicants must indicate to which program (BFA or Combined Degree) they are applying.
- Completed Application. Common Application, Coalition Application, or QuestBridge Application.
- Letters of Recommendation. BFA applicants must submit two letters of recommendation: one from a school counselor and one from an art teacher. Combined Degree applicants must submit three letters of recommendation: one from a school counselor, one from an art teacher, and one from a core subject teacher such as math, language, science, etc.
- Extracurricular Activities. In addition to extracurricular involvement, SMFA at Tufts seeks students who are especially engaged in art-making. Use the Extracurricular section of the application to tell us about the ways in which you share your work with the world and/or pursue opportunities to work in new mediums. If you have shown your work in your high school or at a local gallery, taken classes outside of school, or participated in a pre-college program, tell us about it.
- Application fee or waiver.
- High School Transcript including senior grades.
- Visual Art Portfolio. You must submit 15-20 images and/or up to 10 minutes of time-based work. Visit Portfolio Requirements.
Additional details on application requirements and deadlines, including information on optional application materials such as standardized testing and alumni interviews, for first-year students are available on the Tufts Undergraduate Admissions site.
Please also note that applying for financial aid is a separate process, with its own required documents.
Undergraduate Acceptance Rate
As part of the School of Arts and Sciences, SMFA reports its acceptance rate as part of Tufts University undergraduate admissions. In 2020, the acceptance rate for the Class of 2024 was 16.3%. For details, visit Tufts Undergraduate Admissions.
Application and Portfolio Deadlines
Early Decision I
- Application Deadline: November 1
- Portfolio Deadline: November 7
Early Decision II and Regular Decision
- Application Deadline: January 4
- Portfolio Deadline: January 9
Early Decision I: Mid-December
Early Decision II: Mid-February
Regular Decision: April 1
Visit the Tufts Undergraduate Admissions site for more information on Early Decision.