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How to Apply

Fall 2023 UPDATE:

Applications are closed for the following programs, and we are unable to accept late applications at this time to:

Bachelor of Science, Architecture; Bachelor of Arts, Architectural Studies; Bachelor of Fine Arts, Art; Bachelor of Fine Arts, Art Education

We appreciate your interest in our programs and look forward to reviewing your application. Whether you’re applying as a freshman, transfer, international or inter-college student, the information listed below will assist your application to our college. Should you have specific questions, please feel free to contact the college recruitment and admissions team at

Admission to the college is selective and competitive. All students must apply to the UIC College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts via the Common Application (for first year students) or the UIC Transfer Application

Test-Optional Choice for First Year Applicants 
Applicants who have SAT or ACT scores may still submit them if they choose. More information about our application process is available on our First Year admissions requirements and Test Optional FAQ pages.

Please visit UIC Admissions Updates for the latest details regarding application deadlines and information. 

For Counselors, please visit this 2022-2023 Updates Booklet. 

UIC Admissions is offering additional resource support for applicants who have been displaced by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. 

For first year students the average GPA for admitted students ranges from 3.1–3.7; the average ACT composite score ranges from 20–27.  

For transfer students the minimum GPA is 2.75 for the School of Architecture and School of Design, 2.5 for the School of Art and Art History and School of Theatre and Music; the average GPA for admitted students ranges from 2.8–3.5. 

Applications are evaluated by holistic review based on the following factors: Application, GPA, SAT/ACT Score, Transcript (must be official), Personal statement(s), recommendation letters and other materials.*

*Recommendation letters may not be required. Individual programs may require additional essays, auditions, interviews, or portfolios.

Due to the high demand for limited spaces in the college’s programs, it is recommended that applicants submit their application as early as possible. All admissions decisions are final.

A portfolio is not required for program acceptance in the School of Art & Art History, the School of Architecture, or the School of Design.

An audition is required in any area of study in the School of Theatre & Music (including Music Business). 

An interview and portfolio presentation is required for any student seeking to study Theatre Design, Production, and Technology. 

Learn more about Theatre Audition Requirements.

Learn more about Music Audition Requirements. 

Degree Completion Information for Transfer and Intercollege Transfer Students:

Please note that the timeline toward degree completion varies depending on degree. Transfer Guides are available for all UIC programs, which refer to admissions requirements only. We advise students who are transferring into programs in CADA expect the following timelines for years to degree completion. Please note these are estimates and expectations, and all transferrable credit will be applied upon admission.

Bachelor of Science in Architecture – 4 years to degree regardless of transferrable credit.

Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies – 2 years to degree regardless of transferrable credit (and with a minimum of 60 incoming credits)

BFA Art – minimum of 3 years to degree regardless of transferrable credit: Foundation Year and Portfolio Review are required and may not be completed outside of UIC.

BFA Art Education – minimum of 3 years to degree regardless of transferrable credit: Foundation Year and Portfolio Review, 24 hours of advanced art credit, and 2 years of professional core and classroom teaching are required.

BA Art History – minimum of 2 years to degree, may increase if student pursues minor course of study

BA IDEAS – designed to be 2 years with 60 hours of incoming credit, may increase if student pursues minor course of study

Bachelor of Design – 4 years to degree completion regardless of transferrable credit

Bachelor of Arts in Design Studies – 3 years to degree completion regardless of transferrable credit

All degrees in School of Theatre and Music – minimum of 3 years regardless of transferrable credit

Intercollege Transfer Applicants:

UIC students wishing to transfer from one degree to another either within CADA or to CADA from another college may submit the Intercollege Transfer Application. 

This application is for undergraduate students only. Eligibility for the School of Architecture, the School of Art and Art History, and the School of Design requires a UIC cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.75. The School of Theatre and Music requires a 2.50 UIC cumulative GPA for admission to its music and theatre programs, as well as an audition. Complete this form at least one semester in advance of the next eligible term.

For a full list of undergraduate admissions requirements, please visit UIC Admissions

Spring term enrollment is only open to applicants in Art, Art History, Theatre, and Music.

Information about your declared academic program of study is available at

The Office of Student Financial Aid provides a wide range of financial services designed to help students and their families meet the cost of attending UIC. Other scholarships and assistance opportunities can be found at the Office of Special Scholarship.

CADA Arts Talent Tuition Awards are available to students in the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts. Contact your school or department for application information.

Nondiscrimination Policy

At UIC, we’re proud of our tradition of welcoming students from every ethnic and racial group, religion, gender, sexual orientation, physical condition, and age. We’ve been recognized as one of the most diverse colleges in the U.S. But what really matters is the way diversity supports and enriches our students’ lives.

The commitment of the University of Illinois to the most fundamental principles of academic freedom, equality of opportunity, and human dignity requires that decisions involving students and employees be based on individual merit and be free from invidious discrimination in all its forms. The University of Illinois will not engage in discrimination or harassment against any person because of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, disability, sexual orientation including gender identity, unfavorable discharge from the military or status as a protected veteran and will comply with all federal and state nondiscrimination, equal opportunity and affirmative action laws, orders and regulations. This nondiscrimination policy applies to admissions, employment, access to and treatment in the University programs and activities.

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