Please note Cranbrook Academy of Art is a graduate school and offers Master of Architecture and Master of Fine Art degrees only. We do not offer undergraduate or continuing education programs nor do we offer Bachelor or Associate degrees.
Admissions - Offering Online Application and Portfolio Submission
The application deadline has passed. Please contact the admissions office directly if you would like to inquire about a late application. While priority is given to applications submitted before February 1, we do occasionally accept late applications.
Applicants to the Master of Fine Arts program are required to hold the degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Arts, or Bachelor of Science from an accredited educational institution. Applicants to the Master of Architecture program must hold the degree of Bachelor of Architecture or its equivalent from an accredited educational institution.
Applicants holding a Bachelor’s degree in a field other than the arts may be considered on an individual basis, if their experience and portfolio so warrant. The Academy reserves the right to determine the validity of any degree submitted as a requirement of admission. The applicant must bear the cost if it is necessary to secure the services of an outside credentials evaluator. The Academy accepts only full-time students; part-time, evening, and off-campus programs are not offered.
Online Application Procedure
Slideroom is the secure online portal through which Cranbrook Academy of Art will accept all application materials, including your portfolio.
Please be advised, that you may apply for admission to only one department of the Academy within Slideroom. Please select the appropriate department from the programs list to begin your online application. If the Admissions Committee feels that your work is better suited for another department then the one you selected, your application will be referred on and you will be contacted directly. If you require information regarding the various departments, please visit the Academy Programs pages of this website or contact the Admissions Office at 248-645-3300.
In addition to the online application forms, you will be required to submit the following materials through Slideroom:
A Statement of Purpose is required and must be written in the section of the online application labeled Statements. In this section, please describe your goals and objectives for graduate investigation and study. *The text must be formatted as plain text and copied/pasted into the online form. *Please see the instruction section below for further details.
An Autobiographical Statement is required and must be written in the section of the online application labeled Statements. Please describe what has influenced you to develop as an artist. * This text must be formatted as plain text and copied/pasted into the online form. *Please see the instruction section below for further details.
You must attach a CV / Resume as a PDF in the section of the online application labeled Documents.
Three letters of recommendation are required and collected through the online application section labeled Letters of Recommendation.*Please see the instruction section below for further details.
Up to two unofficial transcripts must be attached to the online application in the Documents section. The transcript(s) should represent your academic record from the most recent institutions of higher learning that you have attended, including the school from which you will or have earned your most recent degree. International students must provide officially certified translations of transcripts in English. If you are offered admission, you will be required to submit official transcripts BEFORE you are eligible to enroll. *Please see the instruction section below for further details.
A portfolio of 20 examples of your recent work. Applicants will be required to provide title, date, materials, and dimension for each image/file uploaded to the section of the online application labeled Media. Instructions on acceptable file types will be provided during the upload process in Slideroom. For tips on putting together a great portfolio, click here.
An application fee of $85 is collected directly through Slideroom via credit card.
If you experience technical difficulties while completing the online application process, please contact email@example.com for technical support.
Instructions for Electronic Submission of Statements, Letters of Reference, and Transcripts using Slideroom
Statement of Purpose and Autobiographical Statement
Both statements MUST be inserted as unformatted text during the Slideroom application process where they are collected through an essay box. Please follow the guidelines listed below.
When you save a document in most word processing programs, it will default to the format used by that particular program. Under the list of formats that pop up when you try to save a file, you must select the option to save the document as a plain text formatted file (.txt). After you have closed the document and reopened it, formatting will then be removed from the file. Select all of this text, and copy and paste it into the corresponding essay box within Slideroom. You may also work in a text editor, such as TextEdit (Mac), NotePad (Microsoft), or Note Tab, which is available in freeware and commercial versions. This unformatted text may then be selected, copied, and pasted into Slideroom.
Statements should be between 1 and 2 pages in length (or 1200 words or less).
Please note the differences in what is requested for statements. The Statement of Purpose should describe your goals and objectives for graduate investigation and study. The Autobiographical Statement should describe what has influenced your development as an artist.
Letters of Recommendation
You will be given the opportunity to list the name, position, and email address for three referees when you complete the online application for admission. After you fill out this section on Slideroom, an email will be sent automatically to your referees directing them to a section of Slideroom where they may upload their letter of recommendation on your behalf.
You do not have to wait for your letters of reference to arrive before submitting your online application for admission to the Academy.
You may return to your submitted application in Slideroom to view the status of your letters of recommendation. "Complete" means the referee has successfully submitted their letter through the electronic system. If the status is labeled as "Requested," this means the referee has not yet completed the submission process or perhaps they have sent it via traditional mail service. You can choose to resend the request or supply an alternate email in case your referee's spam filter blocks the original request or has removed the link.
If your referee is unable to submit an electronic letter of recommendation, a copy can be mailed though you must receive permission first from the Admissions Office. If the letter is sent via traditional mail, the referee MUST sign the back of the envelope and write "Letter of Reference for [Name of Applicant]" on lower left hand corner.
The Admission Office address is below:
Cranbrook Academy of Art
Office of Admissions
39221 Woodward Avenue
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303-0801
Any uploaded (PDF) transcripts are considered unofficial but are sufficient to process your application for admission. Please do not mail official transcripts or paper copies of your transcripts before you are offered admission. If your transcript documents are written in a language other than English, official English translations must be uploaded together with the original records. Each transcript should contain a complete record of studies at the institution from which it is issued (i.e., the subjects taken and grades [marks] earned in each subject.
Before uploading a transcript, please read and follow these instructions.
1. Only PDF documents may be uploaded.
2. Please keep your transcript pages in order.
3. Please do not upload your syllabus or any extraneous documents with your transcript PDF.
4. If you receive an offer of admission, you will be required to submit an official copy of your transcript. If it does not match the transcript that you uploaded with your online application (except of course for information that records your studies after the admission deadline), your admission will be invalidated.
5. Preview your PDF for image quality to ensure that the document is complete and readable prior to uploading.
6. You are offered the opportunity to upload transcripts from the two most recent institutions you have attended.
NOTE: If you are offered admission, you will be required to submit official transcripts BEFORE you are eligible to enroll. Official transcripts are those that bear the facsimile signature of the registrar and the seal of the issuing institution.
Tips for Putting Together a Great Portfolio
• When putting together your portfolio, remember to include only GREAT images of your work.
• If you need help photographing your work, get some. Powerful photos showcase powerful work.
• When sequencing your images, start with strong work and end with strong work.
• It's a good idea to group pieces in a series together.
• It always helps to get a second-opinion; a friend or mentor can "see" your work in ways you might not.
When writing your essays, think of them as two complementary pieces. The Statement of Purpose should address your plans for graduate study - why do you want to go to graduate school and what are the things you want to focus on at Cranbrook? In the Autobiographical Statement, tell us about you and what has shaped you as an artist so far. We're interested in the whole picture of who you are, so you might include information about your life history, travel experiences, family story, professional life, odd jobs and idiosyncratic details. We're a small community, so we are always interested to know about the people who may join us!
In addition to meeting the admission requirements, international students must demonstrate proficiency in the English language through the TOEFL. They also must provide proof of adequate financial support by completing the Certification of Finances. The Admissions Manager will notify accepted students of appropriate documents needed. For admission to the Academy, the minimum TOEFL score accepted is 90 on the Internet-based format. The ETS code of Cranbrook for TOEFL reporting is 1156.
Re-application for Admission
Students who left the Academy before completing their degree and who now wish to return, or those who wish to re-apply for admission, must begin a new application via Slideroom. Any re-admission is at the discretion of the Academy.
Submitted applications are reviewed simultaneously and competitively after the application deadline of February 1. Admissions decisions are mailed approximately 60 days after the review phase has concluded, but in some cases, sooner. At times, International Applicants will receive results as an email attachment if mail service is anticipated to be unpredictable or delayed. Customarily, Applicants hear from us by the end of April.
Interviews and Visits
Students are encouraged to visit the Academy to familiarize themselves with the program and facilities. Interviews, however, are done at the discretion of the department heads and are not necessarily part of the application process. The admissions staff assists students with pre-application campus visits. Contact the Admissions Office at 248-645-3300 to schedule a visit.
Alternative to Online Applications
Filing an online application is required. However, if you are unable to complete our online application, please call the Admissions Office to discuss, 248-645-3300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.