APPLICATION Requirements


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Because of the small size of SSA’s student body and the lock-step nature of the BFA curriculum, most students accepted as degree-seeking students to the program will be considered first-time freshman.  While we will be able to accept credit earned at other institutions on a case by case basis, new transfer students will not be able to enter the program as a third-year student, for example, until the program is in its third year of operation.  Some advanced placement credit may be awarded based on the criteria outlined further below.



  • Online application forms are available HERE.  A nonrefundable $40 application fee must accompany your application.  Paper application forms are also available. 
  • Results from ACT or SAT examinations; if a student has been out of high school for more than two years, these test scores will not be required.  It is required that SAT or ACT scores include the Writing component.
    To have these scores sent directly to SSA, applicants should use SAT code 7260 or ACT code 6916 on the test forms.

  • Official high school and college transcripts (if applicable);
    • If home schooled, verification that the home school has been recognized by the state of residence of the applicant, detailed outline of the home-school curriculum, including subject areas studied, time spent on each discipline, and, if applicable, grades awarded.  A home-school academic portfolio may fulfill this requirement.
    • A certificate of General Educational Development (GED) from the American Council of Education is considered equivalent to a diploma from a U.S. high school.
    • For applicants from countries other than the United States, SSA generally uses:
    • The standards established by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers to determine the equivalent academic achievement.

  • An original essay response to one of the questions found on the application form (essay topics can also be found HERE).

  • Letter of recommendation (form (not required) can be found HERE). A minimum of one letter of recommendation is required but students may submit up to three.  The form or letter can be returned to the applicant in a sealed envelope or form can be scanned directly from the recommender and emailed to

  • Digital portfolio (requirements can be found HERE)


  • Resume (if available)

  • Students seeking scholarships should submit a short essay outlining reasons that SSA should consider them for a scholarship. They should also include a copy of their (or their family's) most recent tax returns or a FAFSA.   Federal financial aid will not be available for at least two years after the program starts. Recommendations for scholarships will be made by the Admission Review Committee and will be based on need and merit.  Students should prepare their all application materials with care, paying special attention to possible typographical errors and the formatting and labeling of digital images.

  • The language of instruction in SSA's BFA program is English.  Evidence of English proficiency  may be requested at any point during the application process if an applicant's English proficiency is in question.  Evidence can be submitted in any of the following ways:
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) minimum scores:
      • 550 on the paper-based test
      • 85 on the Internet-based test with minimum score of 20 on each section.
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) composite score of at least 6.5 with a score of at least 6.5 in both speaking and writing.
    • Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) score of at least 500 on the critical reading portion, or 22 on both the reading and writing sections of the ACT.

  • Additionally, if applicable, any other documents or materials required to obtain a student visa

  • Interview (optional; may be required by the Admission Review Committee)


International Application Requirements

International students should adhere to the same admission requirements and portfolio guidelines as outlined above.

In addition, international students must submit officially translated international transcripts and proof of English proficiency to be considered for admission. Please see English proficiency requirements above.

In addition, SAT/ACT scores are required for international students who have graduated from high school within the past two years if one of the following situations applies:

  • Student graduated from a U.S. high school
  • Student  is a citizen of an English-speaking country
  • Student graduated from a high school in a country in which English is the national language.


Credit Awarded at Acceptance

The BFA program at SSA will also offer Credit through Advanced Placement, CLEP, DANTES/DSST, and the International Baccalaureate.  For more information, please click HERE.


If you have questions, please contact Christine Quattro, Interim Director of Admission and Recruitment, at (210) 224-1848 or


The Southwest School of Art admits students of any race, color, national origin, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic other school-administered programs.