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Los Angeles, CaliforniaLOCATION
Estd 1918Established Year

Otis College of Art and Design 2020-2021 Admissions: Acceptance Rate, Requirements, Deadlines, Application Process

Hitaishi Bhatia Hitaishi Bhatia
Study Abroad Expert

In the fall of 2019 admissions for Otis College of Art and Design, 2442 students applied for undergraduate admissions and 78% of the applicants found a place and 14% enrolled. Currently, this reputed college of the US Education System has 1144 enrolled students of which 1086 are undergraduates. Thus if the prospective student meets the requirements laid down by the college, getting admission here is definitely possible.

Otis College of Art and Design offers various undergraduate and graduateprograms in Fashion Design, Graphic Design, Fine Arts, Photography, and Product Design etc. International applicants account 26% of the total student population, representing 24 countries.

Some important points to be considered before applying for admission to Otis College of Art and Design are as follows:

  • Otis College accepts applications for the fall and spring semesters for undergraduate and graduate courses. Applications for some graduate courses are accepted for the summer semesters also.
  • The College has an early admission policy in which if the applicants send all the required documents before the specified date for the same, they will get an early decision regarding their applications. 
  • Admissions are rolling after the priority deadlines and dependent solely on seat availability.
  • International applicants are required to submit translated official transcripts evaluated by World Education Services. 
  • If the primary language of instruction in schools for applicants who are Indian citizens is English, English proficiency scores may not be required for them. 
  • SAT/ACT scores are not mandatory, however it is recommended that the applicants submit them.

COVID-19 Admission Updates

Due to the current pandemic situation, the college has made some changes to the application process to tackle the problems arising out of the same: 

  • The priority deadline is extended and now rolling for the fall semester due to COVID-19 crisis.
  • The College has introduced an additional hardship programto provide additional aid to applicants suffering from financial problems due to COVID-19.
  • The College is now acceptingDuo lingo test scores for demonstrating English proficiency.
  • The deadline to defer an applicant’s acceptance from fall 2020 to spring 2021 or fall 2021 is August 31.
  • MFA Graphic Design has been moved from summer to fall start. 
  • International applicants are recommended to complete the visa process as soon as possible. If the applicants do not receive the visa in time, they can defer their acceptance. 


Application PortalFor Undergraduateapplications: Commonapplication
For Graduate applications:Online application portal
Application Fee(non-refundable)50 USD
Acceptance rate94%
Academic CalendarSemester-based
Intake SeasonFall/ Spring/ Summer
Financial AidLoans, Grants, and Scholarships
Mode of paymentCash, Check/E-Check, Wire transfer orfly wiretransfer and Credit card
English proficiency scoresTOEFL, IELTS, or the Pearson Test of English

Admission Deadlines

Students are requested to submit all the required documents before the deadline. If theapplicantswant an early decision regarding their applications, they are required to complete the process before theearly action deadline.The early action decisions will be declared by mid- January.The applicants can apply forFine Arts, Art, and Social Practice & Writing courses for the Fall semester; Graphic design for Summer semester and Fine Arts, Art & Social Practice, and Writing for Spring semester. After the priority deadline, the college accepts admissions on a rolling basis. Below are thedeadlinesfor the undergraduate and graduate programs:

Undergraduate applicants
FallEarly Action Deadline:December 1
Priority Deadline:February 15
SpringPriority Deadline:November 1
Graduate applicants
FallPriority Deadline:January 15
SpringPriority Deadline:November 1
SummerPriority Deadline:November 1

International Student Admissions

26% of the total population at the Otis College consists of students of international origin. Application process for the admission is similar for both international and domestic applicants. However the international applicants have to meet some specific requirements. 

Application Portal: Common Application Portal

Application Fee: 50 USD 

Admission Requirements: Following documents must be submitted at the time of admission:

  • A complete application form 
  • Official high school/ college transcripts, translated and evaluated
  • TOEFL, IELTS, the PTE or Duo lingo test score for demonstrating English proficiency
  • Portfolio to be submitted to SlideRoom on Common App.
  • Personal Statement
  • Standardized exam scores to study in the USA (SAT/ ACT)
  • I-20 request form 
  • Financial guarantee form 
  • Proof of financial support 
  • Copy of passport

Applicants can mail the transcripts to: 

Attn: Admissions, 9045 Lincoln Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045. 
Or Email: 

English Proficiency Test Scores

International applicants are required to submit either one of the TOEFL, IELTS, the Pearson Test of English or Duo lingo test scores for demonstrating English proficiency. Below are the minimum required scores: 

TestMinimum required score
Duo lingo105

Visa Process for International Students

International students require an F-1 student visa for studying in the U.S. The process to apply for an F-1 visa to study in the USA can be initiated only once the Otis College confirms acceptance and issues a form I-20.

The following documents will be required when applying for a visa:

  • Form I-20
  • Financial Guarantee form
  • Proof of finances such as bank statements from parent/ sponsor’s bank account showing availability of sufficient funds to study at the College.
  • Copy of current and valid passport
  • SEVIS form

Once these documents are gathered, they must be submitted to the College for receiving I-20. Following this, students must carry these documents to the U.S. consulate or embassy to apply for a visa.

Otis College of Art and Design Undergraduate Admissions

Otis College offers 7 major and 19 minor undergraduate programs in different art and design related disciplines.

Where to apply: Common Application Portal

Application fee: 50 USD

Admission Requirements: Here are the specific requirements for the admissions: 

  • A portfolio of 10-20 pieces of best work through Slide Room on the common app. Additional fee for the same is 10 USD. Medium of artwork can be animation; drafting; drawing; illustration; mixed media; motion-based projects etc. 
  • A 500 words personal statement describing background and interest in studying art and design. 
  • Official high school transcripts and official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. 
  • SAT/ACT scores, however , are not mandatory. 
  • English Proficiency Test Scores.

Otis College of Art and Design Transfer Admissions

Transfer applicants can seek admission to Otis College for the fall and spring semesters. They can transfer either as sophomore or junior.

Admission Requirements: List of documents that transfer applicants must submit for admission is as follows:

  • Official transcripts from all previously attended institutions.
  • Transcripts of international transfer students must be submitted with course by course evaluation from WES.
  • Submission of standardized test scores is not required.
  • Portfolio (depending on the requirement of the program)
  • Personal statement
  • To receive credits, applicants must have at least grade ‘C’.

Otis College of Art and Design Graduate Admissions

Otis College of Art and Design offers 3 graduate courses in MFA Fine Arts, MFA Graphic Design and MFA Writing. To apply for one of the graduate programs, completion of BFA, BS or BA is required. However, applicants with other bachelor’s degrees will also be considered.

Where to apply: Online application 

Application fee: 50 USD

Documents required: The following documents must be submitted for applying to graduate programs offered by the University:

  • All official undergraduate translated and evaluated transcripts.
  • Resume 
  • Statement describing how the applicants will advance their work through graduate study at the college. 
  • Portfolio: For Graduate Fine Arts, Graphic Design or Art + Social Practice, 15-20 images and for Graduate Writing, a writing sample. 
  • 3 letters of recommendation (optional) 
  • English proficiency test scores. 
  • Interviews over video conferencing may be requested by separate departments. 

Most of the supporting documents can be submitted digitally. However, if required they should be mailed to the following address:

Otis College of Art and Design

Attn: Admissions, 9045 Lincoln Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045

The status of the application can be monitored through the status page. After the completion of the application process, the admission committee will notify its decision via mail and also update the same on the status page of the applicant.

Students seeking to study in the USA by enrolling at the institute must note that on being accepted to the College, they must pay enrollment deposit of 250 USD to confirm a seat in the incoming class. To confirm acceptance of the admission offer, students will also have to submit a Reply Form from the student portal. Following this other formalities related to applying for financial aid, on campus housing, acquiring form I-20 and applying for a visa. Students will also have to appear for a Writing Placement Test if they have not completed a bachelor's degree from an institution where language of instruction is English or have scores below 590 on SAT evidence based reading and writing or 24 on ACT English.


Ques. Is there an application fee to apply for Otis College of Art and Design?

Ans. Yes, applicants for all undergraduate and graduate programs at Otis College of Art and Design must pay an application fee of 50 USD. The payment can be made through Cash, Check/E-Check, Wire transfer or fly wire transfer and Credit card.

Ques. Do I need to submit SAT/ ACT scores to apply for Otis College of Art and Design?

Ans. No, submission of SAT/ ACT scores for applying to Otis College of Art and Design is not mandatory. However, the college encourages applicants to submit these scores if they have taken the examination.

Ques. Do I need to sit for a Writing Placement Test post admission to Otis College of Art and Design?

Ans. You may have to sit for a Writing Placement Test post admission to Otis College of Art and Design. This requirement is waived off if you have completed a bachelor's degree from an institution where language of instruction is English or have scores above 590 on SAT evidence based reading and writing or 24 on ACT English.

Ques. Is there an interview for admission to Otis College of Arts and Design?

Ans. Admission to undergraduate programs offered by the Otis College of Arts and Design do not require an interview. However, for graduate programs the department may request the applicant to appear for an interview through video conferencing.

Ques. How can I check the status of my application to Otis College of Arts and Design?

Ans. The status of your application at Otis College of Art and Design can be checked after submission of all necessary documentation has been made. The status will be available through the status page of the application portal.

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