Admissions FAQ

What degree programs does Laguna College of Art + Design (LCAD) offer?

Laguna College of Art + Design (LCAD) is a nationally and regionally accredited, non-profit, private, visual arts college with seven undergraduate programs and a graduate department.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degrees:


Drawing + Painting(with emphases in Illustrationand Sculpture)

Entertainment Design

Experimental Animation

Game Art

Graphic Design + Digital Media(with emphases in Action Sportsand Illustration)


Master of Fine Arts degrees:


Game Design


LCAD also offers minors in Animation, Art History, Creative Writing, Drawing + Painting

Entertainment Design, Experimental Animation, Game Art, Graphic Design + Digital Media, Illustrationand Sculpture.

Students in LCAD’s Graphic Design + Digital Media Bachelor of Fine Arts programs can take specialized minors in AR/VR, Motion Graphic, Packaging, Photography/Exhibition Design and UI/UX.

Does LCAD offer community education classes?

When are LCAD’s application deadlines?

LCAD does not have set deposit deadline for accepted students. Instead, we offer rolling admissions which allows Fall students to deposit through August 1stand January 15thfor Spring students. 

To receive an early admissions decision we recommend completing fall applications by December 1st Early Action date. 

Applications received after a priority date will be considered on a space-available basis. For more information please visit: APPLICATION DATES

How long does it take to earn a BFA from LCAD?

LCAD’s BFA programs are all designed to be 4-year programs. LCAD recognizes two types of transfer credits: Studio and Liberal Arts. A transfer student’s length of time at LCAD will be determined by the number of studio and/or liberal arts units granted in the transfer process.

What is the cost of tuition?

BFA and Post-Baccalaureate Tuition

Tuition for 2020/21 is $32,600/year or $16,300/semester with part-time enrollment calculated at $1,358/unit.

Tuition for 2021/22 will be $33,600/year or $16,800/semester with part-time enrollment calculated at $1,400/unit.

MFA Drawing + Painting Tuition

Tuition for 2020/21 is $34,600/year, $17,300/semester or $1,153/unit.

Tuition for 2021/22 will be $35,650/year, $17,825/semester or $1,188/unit.

MFA Art of Game Design Tuition

Tuition for 2020/21 is $37,700/year, $18,850/semester or $1,257/unit.

Tuition for 2021/22 will be $38,900/year, $19,450/semester or $1,297/unit.

Out-of-State and International Students pay the same tuition as California Residents.

Tuition at LCAD is established annually by the Board of Trustees and is subject to change each year.

For more information please visit: PAYING FOR TUITION

Do LCAD students receive financial aid?

In Fall 2019, approximately 99% of LCAD’s incoming students received federal, state or institutional funding.

Does LCAD offer scholarships?

All new applicants are automatically considered for an institutional scholarship as part of their application review process. These merit-based scholarships range from $5,000-$12,000/year or more, though the average award is approximately $8,500. These scholarships automatically renew annually provided the recipient maintains a minimum 2.0 grade point average and maintains enrollment in at least 9 units per semester.

LCAD also offers an opportunity for all students, current and incoming, to apply for our annual Competitive Scholarship. This will require an application and additional materials to submit to the Scholarship Committee. Only accepted and continuing students are eligible to apply for these scholarships. The deadline to apply is in late Spring. Email updates will be sent to students accordingly.

For more information please visit: FINANCIAL AID

Does LCAD accept international students?

Yes, we believe that our International Students offer a unique perspective and we encourage students from abroad to apply. International students pay the same tuition and are offered the same scholarship opportunities as our domestic students.

For more information please visit: INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS

Can I take LCAD classes without being admitted to the College? 

Students who are interested in taking classes at LCAD must be admitted to one of our degree programs. However, we do offer limited Community Education, Portfolio Development and Pre-College courses.

Can I transfer from another college to LCAD? Is there a minimum number of units needed to transfer to LCAD?

Many LCAD students have transferred here from other colleges. LCAD will grant credit for liberal arts classes that meet transfer requirements. Studio credits are granted based on an evaluation of a Transfer Portfolio after acceptance. For more information regarding Transfer Portfolios please visit: PORTFOLIO INFORMATION

There is no minimum number of units to transfer. LCAD accepts up to 66 units (39 liberal arts and 27 studio).

Please refer to LCAD’s “Transfer Eligibility” document for further information on our Transfer Student page. 

Does LCAD accept AP credit?

LCAD accepts AP Credit for liberal arts courses, but because of the specialized nature of the studio programs, advanced placement of studio credit is not accepted. The Registrar's office accepts 3's for English and Art History. For all AP Subjects other than AP Studio courses a "3" or better is acceptable. 

Concerning LCAD admission, which is more important, academic record or portfolio? What is LCAD’s minimum GPA requirement?

Recognizing academics play an important role in an LCAD education, the Admissions Committee is equally concerned with an applicant’s academic record and portfolio. The minimum GPA for consideration is 2.5. However, the average entering GPA is a 3.3.

How do I know what to put in my LCAD Admissions Portfolio?

Please contact your Admissions Counselor for assistance with your Admissions Portfolio. If you do not know who your counselor is please contact Portfolio Guidelines will be sent to you by your admissions counselor once an application has been received. Applicants may also download the guidelines here:

*Please note that the guidelines for Animation are requirements.

For more information please visit: PORTFOLIO INFORMATION

What is LCAD’s preliminary portfolio review?

Through a preliminary portfolio review, an LCAD Admissions Counselor can provide assistance to ensure that an applicant’s final portfolio submission incorporates the strongest work possible according to LCAD’s portfolio submission guidelines. This review is optional but strongly encouraged. Contact LCAD’s Office of Admissions to schedule your preliminary portfolio review now.   Phone: 949.376.6000 x248 Email:

Where should I send my LCAD application materials?

Upload all application materials online through the application portal. Official transcripts should be sent directly from your school(s) to LCAD:

Laguna College of Art + Design

Office of Admissions

2222 Laguna Canyon Road

Laguna Beach, CA 92651

We also accept transcripts electronically from Parchment, Naviance and escrip-safe. 

For more guidance on how to submit your application materials, contact your admissions counselor.

How difficult is it to get accepted to LCAD? What is LCAD’s acceptance rate?

LCAD recognizes and supports an admissions policy that encourages motivated and serious students to pursue a college education in the visual arts. We understand the diverse educational and personal backgrounds of students who apply. The Admissions committee reviews your qualifications so that they can evaluate, advise, and place you based on a balanced picture. An applicant’s academic achievements, creative abilities and artistic and professional goals are all taken into consideration. LCAD highly recommends that current high school students follow a college preparatory program that includes courses in studio art, art history, and supplemental drawing classes.

LCAD’s acceptance rate for Fall 2019 was 79%.

What is the average age of an LCAD student?

The average age of an LCAD student is 22 years of age.

Are supplies and books covered in the cost of an LCAD tuition?

No. The cost of tuition covers full-time attendance, tutoring, various student activities, access to library resources, most IT services, WiFi, ongoing workshops and parking.

Does LCAD have a residence hall or on-campus housing?

Located at 787 Laguna Canyon Road, the South Campus Residence Hall is 3/4 of a mile from Main Campus, and walking distance to downtown Laguna Beach's shopping, dining, and boardwalk. The Residence Hall accommodates 56 students. Space is limited and priority is given to newly entering, first-year students currently residing outside of a 100-mile radius of LCAD’s Main Campus.

Additionally, LCAD’s Student Life assists students in their searches for off-campus housing. The staff provides listings of houses, apartments, rooms in houses, guesthouses, and other rooms for rent in Laguna Beach and its surrounding communities. Written materials such as a housing survey and a student housing brochure are available only to students who have deposited through the Admissions Office.

For more information visit: HOUSING.

What is the average student-to-faculty ratio at LCAD?

12 to 1

Can I change my major after I’ve enrolled in classes at LCAD?

Students may change majors after being enrolled by speaking first to their current Chair and then with the prospective Chair. The student will be required to submit a petition (obtained from the Registrar’s Office) and submit a written essay and portfolio of current work.

Students should be aware that changing majors may result in extending the duration of studies and increase the expense of completing the BFA degree or certificate.

What are the graduation rates at LCAD?

4-year grad rate is 48% (based on 2015 cohort)

6-year grad rate is 56% (based on 2013 cohort)

A cohort is defined as first-time freshman entering college directly from high school. This rate does not include transfer students, which make up approximately 50% of our student population.

What kind of career assistance does LCAD offer? What kind of jobs do LCAD students get after graduating?

LCAD’s Career Services Office provides students with the education and the basic skills necessary to succeed in today's complex and changing job markets. LCAD makes every attempt to provide internships that enable students to obtain valuable hands-on experience in their areas of interest. The Career Services Staff actively seeks employment opportunities for students, graduates and alumni. Students and alumni also benefit from the strong contacts LCAD faculty have in their respective industries. To assist students while they are in school, part-time jobs, internships, competitions and other art- and design-related opportunities are posted in real-time on the homepage job board. Workshops, lectures and classes on professional topics of interest are offered to students and alumni on a regular basis to ensure appropriate preparation for transitions from academic into professional arenas. A part-time job and community fair is held in the fall. A summer job and community fair is held in the spring. Informational tables and volunteer opportunities at local non-profits provide a valuable community aspect to the fairs.

LCAD Alumni are employed in Animation and Entertainment Art Studios, advertising agencies, creative think tanks, fine art galleries, art education and more.

What are LCAD’s employment rates after graduation?

85% of our 2019 graduates surveyed are currently employed, with 80% working in their chosen fields. 

To view a breakdown of employment data collected since 2008, please visit: CONSUMER INFORMATION

What is the closest airport? What are the closest hotels?

Orange County’s John Wayne Airport (SNA) is located just 14 miles north of LCAD. There are many hotels located in the surrounding areas.


All of the hotels below offer a 15% discount to LCAD students and guests:

Ready to visit our beautiful campus?