Transfer Admissions

PAFA accepts undergraduate transfer students in both the Fall and Spring semesters from 2-year or 4-year institutions who wish to continue their fine arts education.

With 30% of the student body comprised of transfer students, PAFA is committed to making its application process extremely transfer-friendly. We accept undergraduate transfers from accredited 2 and 4-year institutions, who wish to continue their fine arts education.

Students who wish to transfer to PAFA's undergraduate programs should refer to the application instructions for incoming first-year students on the Undergraduate Admissions page, including portfolio requirements and other supplemental information.  

On this page:

Transfer of Credit

PAFA accepts up to 63 credits earned in a variety of coursework at other accredited colleges or universities in the US.

  • A grade of C or better is required in order to transfer credits from other institutions. A C- grade will not be accepted by PAFA.
  • The course must be equivalent to a course offered by PAFA; refer to the chart below for credit limits and areas of study.
  • Credits awarded at a previous institution through internal placement tests are not eligible for transfer credit.
  • Coursework must have been completed in the past 10 years to be eligible for transfer credit.

Transfer students can bring in a maximum of 42 credits in liberal arts courses. If a student brings in less than the maximum, the remaining credits must be taken while enrolled at PAFA. Transfer students may not take liberal arts classes outside of PAFA once enrolled.

PAFA recommends fulfilling as many of the liberal arts requirements before enrolling so that your schedule is open to as many studio art classes as possible.

Course TypeCredit Limit
Art History & Criticism15 credits
Language & Literature12 credits
History, Culture & Social Science9 credits
Science & Quantitative Thinking6 credits
Total42 credits

Transfer Credit Worksheet

Use the Transfer Credit Worksheet to determine how to fulfill PAFA's requirements for first-year students.

More often than not, transfer students will have taken a course which partially fulfills the requirements of a PAFA course. Refer to the Course Catalog for information on classes and credits.

Figuring out transfer credits can be done with assistance from the current institution if it has a partnership agreement with PAFA (see below), or with your PAFA Admissions Counselor.

Second SemesterRequired CourseCreditsCourse CodeCourseCredits
FY 104

Structure & Form II


-Sculpture (shop-based)

(3-D form-focused)




Drawing II

No equivalent to transfer: student must take this part of the course


All accepted students will receive an evaluation detailing the courses approved for transfer credit into the undergraduate degree program selected on their application.

Studio Arts Assessment

In addition, the transfer of credits from liberal arts courses, PAFA faculty will review your portfolio to assess technical skills for placement into our studio art courses. During this assessment, you may be asked to submit work from specific studio art courses.

Foundation Year Curriculum

The Foundation Year curriculum at PAFA is unique in that it exposes students to working in the PAFA's six fine arts disciplines. Some of these courses will not be available to you at your current institution, so you will have to take them at PAFA so that your foundation is complete and comprehensive.


Transferring to the PAFA-Penn BFA Program

Transfer students are also welcome to apply for the PAFA-Penn BFA. Students interested in this program should be aware that studio credits are only transferable—liberal arts credits cannot be applied.

Institutional Partnership Agreements

PAFA has formal partnership agreements with a number of institutions. These partnership agreements allow PAFA to streamline the transfer process and clarify which courses can be transferred. Contact the Admissions Office to learn about existing agreements with your current institution.

Stories from Transfer Students

Daniel Flinchbaugh shows work

Flinchbaugh initially came to PAFA after transferring from Bucknell University. He originally expected to focus on figurative sculpture, but a field trip during a landscape painting class changed him.

“We went out to the Wissahickon Creek and I painted the waterfall. I just remember painting and the feeling was awesome."

Ash-Bob (BFA '19) in the studio

“I found a lot of programs that were focused on ideas and conceptual work, which is actually what I’ve been doing lately. But I do believe in having a variety of tools and skills because then all of the decisions in your work are made purposely. Every omission is important and isn’t made out of lack of ability.”

Her art teacher and PAFA alumnus Andrew Walker Patterson (MFA '07) encouraged her to look east and leave home again.

“I came to PAFA because I knew they would train me how to do things that other schools didn’t care about.”

Picture Yourself at PAFA

The Admissions and Financial Aid staff at PAFA help you during all stages of the application and enrollment process.

Telephone: (215) 972-7625
Fax: (215) 569-0153
Financial Aid: