The Art Institutes are located in numerous cities in the United States and in international locations. Admissions requirements depend on the school you would like to attend. State laws require different college admission policies or modes of instruction. Local employment options also govern the rules of each school’s admissions policy. All Art Institutes require an application to apply.

New Students - High School

New students entering the Art Institutes must have completed high school or received a General Education Diploma (GED). Students still in high school must submit a current high school transcript stating the future graduation date, as well as the student’s grades to date. Enrollment in the case of high school students still in school must be approved by the President of the specific Art Institute.

While all schools have different requirements, most schools, such as the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, require the applicant to have a grade point average (GPA), of at least 2.0. New students enrolling in the Associates program must have a GPA of at least 1.5.

New Students - Associate’s Degree or Less

New students who have not yet achieved a bachelor’s degree, but have attended an institute of higher learning, must submit an official high school transcript and an official transcript from all colleges or universities attended.

New Students - Bachelor's Degree and Higher

New students who have obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher must submit a transcript from an accredited college or university. High school transcripts are not necessary if you have received a post-secondary degree.

Transfer and Returning Students

Transfer and returning students must contact the Readmission Office of the Art Institute of preference. Other students who have had a time lapse in education may be required to contact the Admissions Office of their school of choice. Some course credits may not transfer, so visiting the specific school is beneficial.


Educational transcripts are available through the high school or college that you attended. Send transcripts at least a month or two before classes begin to avoid admissions difficulties during enrollment.

Other Requirements

New students may be required to submit an essay 48 hours after submitting an application for enrollment. According to the Art Institutes website, “Essays must be one to two pages in length, double-spaced in 12-point Times New Roman.” Margins must be one and a half inches on all sides. Out of four topics, two must be selected as the content of the essay. Other Art Institutes, such as the Art Institute of Houston, require new students to take evaluation tests for English and Math skills. Those who earn low test scores must take additional courses in the subjects to improve skills.

Students wishing to attend the Art Institutes in Sacramento must submit a 150-word essay and be interviewed either in person or over the phone by an admissions director before enrollment.

Canadian students must also be interviewed by an admissions director, and some career fields, such as culinary arts, require personal insurance proof.


Students may submit portfolios, but they are not required, unless otherwise stated in the specific Art Institute's admissions rules. Students seeking degrees in Media and Animation in Houston, for example, must submit a portfolio.

Test Scores

Students should submit their Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or American College Test (ACT) scores, but like portfolios, they are not necessary for admission.

Related Articles