Admissions FAQ


What programs are offered at Laguna College of Art and Design?


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. LCAD offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Animation, Drawing and Painting, Illustration in Entertainment Design, Game Art, Graphic Design + Digital Media, and Illustration.


Within Illustration and Graphic Design + Digital Media, LCAD offers several tracks of specialized study, including Illustration with a Drawing and Painting emphasis, Illustration with an Entertainment emphasis, Design + Digital Media with an Illustration emphasis and Design + Digital Media with an Action Sports emphasis. LCAD also offers minors in Art History, Creative Writing and Sculpture.


The graduate program awards a Master of Fine Arts in Game Design, a Master of Fine Arts in Drawing, and a Master of Fine Arts in Painting. LCAD also offers a Post-Baccalaureate Program.


LCAD’s Portfolio Development Program and Pre-College Summer Program are open to high school students and to the community at large.


Non-degree seeking students may also enroll in our Certificate Program, but must submit to the same application process.


When are LCAD’s application deadlines?

LCAD does not have hard deadlines for applications. Instead, we offer a rolling admissions policy through August 1st of each Fall year. For special consideration of merit-based scholarships LCAD recommends completing the application by the following priority dates:



High School Students: February 2

Transfer Students: March 2



December 1


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 bachelors degree from LCAD?

LCAD’s Bachelors of Fine Arts 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 Tuition cost?


BFA and Post-Baccalaureate Tuition

Tuition for 2019/20 is $31,600 or $15,800/semester with part-time enrollment calculated at $1,317/unit.

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


MFA Drawing + Painting Tuition

$34,600/year, $17,300/semester or $1,153/unit


MFA Art of Game Design Tuition

$37,700/year, $18,850/semester or $1,257/unit


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


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


For more information please visit: PAYING FOR TUITION


Do LCAD students receive financial aid?

In Fall 2015 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 $3,000-$10,00/year or more, though the average award is approximately $6,500. These scholarships automatically renew annually provided the recipient maintains a minimum 2.0 grade point average and stay enrolled in at least 9 units per semester.


LCAD also offers an opportunity for all students, current and incoming, to apply to our Competitive Scholarship Pool. This will require an application and additional materials to submit to the Scholarship Committee. Only Accepted Students qualify for these scholarships. The deadline to apply is in late Spring. Email updates will be sent 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 an LCAD class online? Can I take an à la carte LCAD class?

At this time, LCAD does not offer online courses. Students who are interested in taking courses à la carte are accepted through LCAD standard application process.


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.


Please refer to LCAD’s “Transfer Course Eligibility” document for further information: TRANSFER COURSE ELIGIBILITY PDF


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. A score of “4” or better is required for all English and Art History. For all other AP subjects, a score of "3" or better is acceptable.


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

Because 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. The average entering GPA is a 3.2.


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

Portfolio Guidelines are sent once an application has been processed. 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


Where should I send my LCAD Application Materials?

All LCAD application materials should be sent to:

Laguna College of Art + Design
Office of Admissions
2222 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach, CA 92651


Applicants may also submit essays and portfolios via email. Please contact an LCAD Admissions Counselor for more information regarding email submissions.


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 2013 was 42%.


What is the average age of a student entering LCAD?

81% of LCAD’s student population is under 24 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, 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 (Fall 2013 - Spring 2014) 56 students. Space is limited.


Additionally, LCAD’s Student Housing Coordinator assists students in their searches for off-campus housing. The coordinator 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 Graduation Rate = 23%

6 Year Graduation Rate = 63%


The above graduation rates are based on the Fall 2007 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 Center 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 LCAD 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?


A survey of the 2012 class, one year after graduation, showed 94% of respondents are employed, 80% are employed in a creative field.


To view a breakdown of employment data collected since 2007, 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

Capri Laguna 

La Casa Del Camino

Pacific Edge Hotel

Casa Laguna

Dana Point Marina Inn (ask for sales office)

Comfort Suites (San Clemente & Huntington Beach locations only)


Ready to visit our beautiful campus?

Schedule a campus tour now!