Transfer Requirements

Be the agent of your own creativity.

Transfer students can begin at SFAI during both fall and spring terms.  We encourage all transfer students to apply regardless of the amount of coursework completed at other institutions.

Scholarship Opportunity

Direct transfer students from any California community college pursuing their first bachelor’s degree will be automatically eligible for a Transfer Scholarship in the amount of $20,000 provided that they are admissible to SFAI with a cumulative GPA of 3.0. There will be no limit to the number of scholarships available each semester and no additional application required to receive funds.

Application Requirements

Acceptance is based on thoughtful review of your application materials:

  • Completed online application, including the $75 non-refundable application fee
  • Portfolio and artist statement (BFA applicants only)
  • Critical essay (BA applicants only)
  • Official high school/secondary school transcript(s) or CHSPE/GED certificate
  • Letter of recommendation (strongly recommended)

Important Dates

Spring 2017 Priority Deadline for Undergraduate Applications

November 1, 2016

Fall 2017 Early Action Deadline for Undergraduate Applications

November 15, 2016

Fall 2017 Priority Deadline for Undergraduate Applications

February 15, 2017

Priority Deadline for FAFSA Cal Grant Deadline (CA residents only)

March 1, 2017

Tuition Deposit

May 1, 2017

Transfer credits from regionally accredited colleges and universities may be accepted on a course-by-course basis for up to a maximum of 60 credits.

Maximum of 60 units accepted in transfer

  • 36 units in Art History and Liberal Arts combined (strict cap)
  • 12 units in Major
  • 24 units in Elective Studio; max 9 General Elective units

Non-Transferable Credit

  • No courses graded C- or below
  • No physical education classes
  • No credit for professional or “life” experience
  • No remedial courses
  • No ESL credit
  • No conversational foreign language classes
  • No academic credits from U.S. colleges without regional accreditation

Advanced Placement Exam Credit

  • Minimum score of 3 for academic subjects
  • Minimum score of 4 for studio subjects

International Baccalaureate Credit

International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations are accepted for transfer credit in subjects relevant to the SFAI curriculum. Students who have taken IB exams may receive transfer credit for any Higher Level (HL) exams for which they scored a 5 or higher. To request IB exam score reports be sent directly to SFAI please visit:

*Please note the International Baccalaureate Organization ( provides the only acceptable documentation to verify an IB exam and result.


SFAI accepts up to six semester College-Level Examination Placement (CLEP) units in subjects relevant to the SFAI curriculum; on each such subject-matter test, candidates must score 50 or higher.   

Want to know how many of your college credits will transfer? 

Call your Admissions Counselor and ask for an unofficial evaluation of your transcripts.

Transfer Credit for Second-Degree Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate applicants with a previous undergraduate (baccalaureate) degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university are eligible to transfer up to 90 units of credit towards their degree. With the approval of the Registrar and the Dean of Academic Affairs, Admissions will accept up to 30 units of Liberal Arts credit, 12 units in Art History, 12 units in the Major, and 36 units in Elective Studio. Contemporary Art History and Critical Theory B are residency requirements and non-transferable.

The Off-Campus Study Requirement will also be waived for second-degree undergraduate students.


Converting Quarter Units

Quarter Units Semester Units
1 2/3
2 1 1/3
3 2
4 2 2/3
5 3 1/3
6 4
7 4 2/3
8 5 1/3

Most 4 quarter unit courses will be accepted as equal to 3 semester units.

Final/Official Transcripts and Documents

Students who have not submitted final official transcripts by the end of their first term at SFAI will not be considered officially admitted and will be unable to register for a subsequent term in their degree or certificate program until all outstanding documents have been received. SFAI will return any disbursed Title IV funding to the Department of Education and the student will be responsible for any charges due to SFAI as defined by the financial policies in the Student and Campus Handbook.   

Summer-start students have until the last day of the fall semester following their term of matriculation to submit final official documents.