The CCAD difference

Get to what matters, right away. At CCAD, you’ll start in your major from day one. You’ll bring your ideas to life through our rigorous, studio-based curriculum, which integrates practices to prepare you for a professional career. You’ll develop your skills in our state-of-the-art facilities, under close mentorships with world-class faculty. You’ll also be immersed in the liberal arts, shaping you to think critically and conceptually about the world around you.

Our graduates go on to become leaders in vital and growing creative industries, and you’ll follow their paths on your own distinctive journey. We’re building the next generation of creative thinkers, and your classes will challenge you to dive right in and reap the benefits of an early start.



Before you apply 

Have a question? Email [email protected].

How to apply

To apply as a first-time or transfer for the fall or spring term, please complete the Undergraduate Application form, pay the $50 application, and submit your portfolio, written essay and transcripts here.



What you need to apply

The CCAD application

All applicants are required to submit:

  • A completed online application with your $50 application fee, which is nonrefundable.
  • A written essay.  Choose one of the following prompts and write a 300-500 word essay.
    • If you could have unlimited access to JUST ONE material/medium/tool (for example paint, clay, film, laptop, camera, audio recorder, fabric, laser cutter, pencil, etc.) for the rest of your life what would you choose and why? What would you make with it?
    • Write a story that contains ALL of the following elements: A. Your favorite artist B. A long distance train ride C. Something to eat
    • At CCAD you’re prepared to go out and make the world a better place using your creativity. Describe how you would like to influence society or inspire people using your creativity after you graduate from CCAD.

*Successful essays are creative, completely answer the prompt, and are grammatically correct. (And, yes, typos count against you.)

  • A portfolio.  A portfolio is how you show your creative skills and ideas. It can include anything that you have created or made such as drawings, paintings, photos, inventions, robots, installations, films, animations, comics, sculptures, ceramics, furniture designs, things you’ve built, clothing designs, stories, scripts, poetry, etc. If it’s creative, you can include it! Not quite sure what to include? Talk to your Admissions Counselor. They are happy to help! Use your best work, show us how you think, what you’re passionate about and what defines you as a creative individual. 8-15 pieces are required.
  • Transcripts (official or unofficial) from every educational institution you’ve attended. CCAD requires a 2.3 GPA or higher. Please contact us if your GPA does not meet the minimum requirement and you’d still like to apply. Have a GED certificate? We’ll take that as well. In addition to the standard application materials, home-schooled students must submit any state-required documentation as proof of high school equivalency. For the state of Ohio home-school documentation information can be found here. If you are admitted to CCAD, you will need to submit official copies of all of your transcripts before you begin classes.

Optional items:

  • ACT or SAT test scores.
  • Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exam results. If you have results from either exam, we encourage you to send them in case your scores qualify you for academic credit.
  • A letter of recommendation. This should be from a high school teacher, counselor, or coach – someone who knows you well and is not a family member.

CCAD exam codes:

When taking exams and sending exam results, use these CCAD codes:

  • ACT: 3281
  • SAT and TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): 1085

All paper credentials must be sent to:

Admissions Office
Columbus College of Art & Design
60 Cleveland Ave.
Columbus, OH 43215



Have a question? Email [email protected].

Looking for information about financial aid? Click here or visit

CCAD's Title IX Coordinator and contact information can be found here.