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How to Apply

Apply to this BFA program as a first-year freshman international student.

Application Deadlines

Application Deadlines

Complete your online application form and send us your materials by these deadlines.

You’ll find out if you’ve been accepted 2–3 weeks after you send us your completed application and materials.

  • Early Action Deadline

    December 1 (Fall/September start)

    If you want to find out early if you’ve been accepted, apply by December 1 and we’ll let you know if you’re in by January 1.

  • Regular Admission

    Preferred Deadlines

    • Fall/September Start: We have moved to a “rolling admissions” process. We will continue to accept applications through July.

    • Spring/January Start: December 1



High School Curriculum and GPA Requirements for International Students

We’re looking for students with a strong academic background. Students who’ve been accepted here have a 3.1 average grade point average (GPA), and have taken this required high school coursework:

  • 4 years of English
  • 3 years of math, including Algebra II
  • 3 years of science, including 2 or more lab courses
  • 3 years of social sciences

We strongly recommend that you take a fourth year of math, science, and social science, and at least 2 years of a foreign language.

Application Form

Application Form

Create a profile, write your college essay, and list your education and activities in the Common Application. Use the Common Application to send us your letters of recommendation and transcripts.

Spring 2024

Apply using the online Common Application to start in Spring 2024.

Fall 2024

Apply using the online Common Application to start in Fall 2024. You can also use our own online form to apply for Fall 2024.

Submit Documents

Submit Documents

In addition to your online application, you'll need to submit the following supporting materials.

Official Transcripts

Have your guidance counselor or principal send us your official high-school transcript. We’ll need original documents. If your transcript is not in English, provide a notarized translation of it.

If you did not complete high school, but took the GED or HiSET instead, submit an official copy of your test results to show you passed.

If you earned any college credits during high school, send us official transcripts for that coursework as well.

Your official, final transcript needs to arrive at our Undergraduate Admissions Office unopened and have:

  • Your date of graduation
  • School official’s signature
  • Seal affixed to the envelope

We also accept electronic transcripts through secure sites such as:

Common Application Final Report

Have your high-school guidance counselor fill out and send us the Common Application Final Report (PDF) when your final grades are available. The guidance counselor will attach your final transcript to the form and mail it to our Undergraduate Admissions Office.

Letter of Recommendation

You’ll need 1 letter of recommendation from a teacher to support your application.

Standardized Test Scores

We are now SAT Blind.

We know that a standardized test can't sum up your accomplishments and abilities. That's why we don't require SAT or ACT scores when you apply. The SAT or ACT tests are not required and will not impact your application.

Instead, we'll focus on the strength of your application, including your essay and activities, and portfolio for students applying to the College of Art and Design.

But if you wish to try to waive out of the Accuplacer placement test in English and math that new Lesley students complete prior to enrollment, you can submit your SAT or ACT scores if you choose. Have your official SAT and ACT score reports sent to our undergraduate admissions office. The College Board can submit your SAT scores electronically, using code 3483. ACT can submit an official paper report, using code 1850.

Advanced Placement (AP) scores or International Baccalaureate

Learn how to submit your AP scores or International Baccalaureate.

Advanced Placement (AP) Test Scores

If you’ve taken any Advanced Placement (AP) tests, have your score reports sent to our Undergraduate Admissions Office.

You’ll get college-level credit if you got a score of 4 or higher in the College Entrance Examination Board’s (CEEB) AP program examination, for most subject tests. You’ll get credit for AP Studio Art or AP Drawing with a score of 3 or higher.

International Baccalaureate

The International Baccalaureate curriculum is a challenging program of study. We take this rigor into account when reviewing your application for admission.

Have your official IB results sent to our Undergraduate Admissions Office.

If you complete the full IB Diploma with scores of 24–29, you will receive 18 college-level credits, which is equivalent to one semester of coursework. You'll be eligible for sophomore standing (30 credits) for Diploma scores of 30–45.

If you’re not pursuing the full Diploma, but you’re taking IB courses, you may receive 3 college-level credits for each Higher Level IB examination with a score of 4 or better. If you get a score of 5 or higher, you may receive 6 college-level credits.

English Language Proficiency

We want you to be successful in your program. If your native language is not English, we require that you provide proof of your English proficiency.

You can show your proficiency in one of these ways:

Option 1

Duolingo English Test

  • We require a minimum score of 105 on this test.

Option 2

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

  • Minimum score of 80 on the Internet test.
  • Submit your score. Use Lesley University’s CEEB code: 3483.

Option 3

IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

  • A score of 6.5 or higher
  • Contact the center where you took the test. Request that they send your official Test Report Form to Lesley University.

Option 4

Official Cambridge English Exam

  • C1 Advanced (Certificate in Advanced English)
  • C2 Proficiency (Certificate of Proficiency in English)

Option 5

English as a Second Language (ESL) Program Partnerships

We have partnered with several language schools to help you meet the English requirement. Complete the curriculum at one of the schools, at the specified level.

Then, get a letter from the program coordinator or teacher. The letter should explain that your English is proficient for college-level study.

Here are our partner schools and levels we require:

Option 6

English Language Requirement Waiver

If English is not your native language, but you’ve graduated from a school or program that was taught in English, you may qualify to have the language requirement waived.

If it’s not noted on your transcript, request a letter from your high school, college, or university stating your language of instruction was English.

Portfolio Requirements & Artist Statement

Portfolio Requirements & Artist Statement


As a student applying to a BFA program, or a campus-based undergraduate certificate program in art and design, you'll submit a digital portfolio of your strongest and most recent work as part of your application.

Exception: If you are applying for the BA in Art, you do not need to submit a portfolio.

  • Submit your portfolio.

    What to include:

    • 12–20 images in drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, collage, photography, or other media (traditional or digital).
    • Or, 12 minutes of video clips for a digital filmmaking portfolio.
    • Review our portfolio tips to see what we're looking for.

    First-Year BFA Program Applicants

    Create your Common Application account before you upload your portfolio to Slideroom.

    Transfer and Advanced Professional Certificate Applicants

    You won’t use the Common Application, so you can upload your work to Slideroom at any time.

    Upload Your Portfolio

    1. Create a Slideroom account.
    2. Select the type of applicant you are:
      1. Common Application First-Year
      2. Transfer Undergrad Application
      3. Advanced Professional Certificate (2-year program)
    3. Upload your work.

      Slideroom requires you to upload a minimum of 12 submissions. For example, if you submit 2 films to be considered for our Digital Film BFA program, you’ll need to submit 10 other forms of work (such as still frames) to complete your portfolio.


Artist Statement

This 1-2 page statement is required for transfer BFA students and certificate students, but optional for first-year BFA students.

  • Submit your Artist Statement.
    1. Write a 1-2 page essay that describes your progress as a visual artist. The format may follow a chronological account of your progress through high school (and college if applicable) and how that progress relates to Lesley University's College of Art and Design as your next destination.
    2. Upload the essay to Slideroom when you submit your portfolio.

Application Status

Application Status

Activate your online account and review your status.

We’re so happy you’ve chosen to apply to Lesley University.

Soon, we'll assign you a Self-Service account where you'll be able to review the receipt of your admission application materials and financial aid documents.

  • Activate Account

    You must do these steps to be able to log in to your Lesley accounts.

    1. Go to the Password Management page.
    2. Click "Activate/Change Password" to change your temporary password.
    3. Enter your Lesley credentials, as communicated to you in your application acknowledgment letter.
    4. You'll be prompted to create a Password Profile.
    5. After creating your Password Profile, you'll be able to change your temporary password to one that you choose, or you can let the system generate a password for you.

    Account Issues

    If you have password problems, visit the Password Management page and choose "Reset my Password."

    If you have any difficulty using your Self-Service account, contact Information Technology at 617.349.8770 or

  • Review Status

    To view the receipt of your application and financial aid documents and materials:

    1. Log in to Self-Service.
    2. Enter your Lesley credentials in the form of and the password you chose when you activated your account.
    3. In the Notifications section, select "View required documents." To see more than outstanding items, click on "View All". If you do not have a Notifications section, go to the User Options area, and select "Required Documents."

      View the status of your application materials. "Received" or "Waived" indicates the completion of an individual requirement.
    4. For Financial Aid-related information, select Financial Information > Financial Aid from the navigation bar or go back to the Home page and click on the Financial Aid tile.

Contact Admissions

Contact Admissions

If you have any questions or concerns about any of the application requirements, please contact us and we'll be in touch.