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Undergrad Admissions FAQs

Q: Do I need to know how to sketch/sew/use Computer-Aided Design/etc. to be admitted to DAAP?

A: No. At DAAP, we firmly believe we can teach students what they need to know to be successful in their fields. We will teach you necessary skills in the program through our sequential curriculum. Each course builds on the last and necessary skills are imparted as you advance in your major. That said, students with prior artistic or design experience often have less of a learning curve in certain courses. We are accustomed to working with students at a wide variety of skill levels.

Q: Is there a special application for DAAP?

A: No. The DAAP application and the UC application are one-in-the-same. Simply rank a DAAP major (like architecture or urban planning) as your number one choice of major on the application available at

Q: Why won’t you accept my portfolio as a component of my admission application?

A:  Through the admissions process, we are looking for academically motivated students with a passion for art or design. We focus primarily on academic qualifications for this reason; we are looking for students who know how to work hard and succeed in an academic setting. Our curriculum is structured in a way that allows us to teach our students what they need to know once they are enrolled; artistic/design skills are not required for admission. In addition, the UC admissions process attempts to keep a level playing field for all applicants. High schools across the country (and the world) have art programs that range widely in depth, breadth, and support. Students without access to strong art programs would be at a marked disadvantage if portfolios were reviewed. Though GPAs and standardized tests are not perfect measures of academic potential, they are currently the most objective measures we have. By limiting the admissions process to academic credentials, a personal statement, and a list of extra-curricular activities, we are attempting to be as objective as possible through the admissions process in our search for academically motivated students with a passion for art or design.

Q: I heard that getting into DAAP is really hard. Should I bother to apply?

A: Yes! It is true that a number of our programs are very competitive. But, the typical academic credentials of each major vary widely. For example, the typical academic credentials for a student in fine arts are different than a student in architecture. You can learn more about the typical range of scores by visiting the webpage for your major of interest and clicking on the link for “admission requirements.” In addition, some of our majors (architecture, fashion design, communication design, and industrial design) use a competitive admissions process where applicants are compared to one another. The academic credentials of accepted students will vary from year-to-year for this reason. If you are interested in DAAP, we encourage you to apply.

Q: Do you have a “secondary” application process?

A: No. If you choose to join us at DAAP, there is no secondary screening or application process after the first year. If you are accepted to a DAAP major, we believe in your ability to be successful in that program. Last year, our retention rate was 92 percent from year one to year two.

Q: When are your admissions deadlines for high school students?

A: Architecture, fashion design, communication design, and industrial design have a early action deadline of December 1 for the following fall. Applications completed after this date will be reviewed only if we still have space in the major. Art history, fine arts, horticulture, interior design, urban planning, and urban studies operate on a first-come, first-served system, where qualified students are accepted as they apply until the program is full. We recommend that students interested in these programs apply by December 1 to be considered for the Honors program and UC scholarships like the Cincinnatus and Turner Scholarships, but there is not a set deadline.

Q: When are your admissions deadlines for transfer students?

A: Transfer students from other higher education institutions and from other majors at UC have a priority deadline of March 1 for the following fall. Those who apply after March 1 will be considered if space is available.

Q: I am a transfer student with a lot of college credits. Can I shorten the length of time it takes to graduate?

A: For studio based programs (like architecture, fashion design, fine arts, communication design, industrial design, interior design, and urban planning) courses are taught in a specific and often sequential manner. Since many courses are only offered once a year, it is not possible to shorten the program. In addition, programs with a co-op requirement also contribute to the difficulty of shortening the time to degree. If you are accepted, you can submit a portfolio for faculty to review and determine whether or not you have the skills necessary for advanced placement. However, faculty members rarely give transfer students advanced placement for studio coursework at other institutions. We recommend that you plan on being at UC for the full length of the program. Students with existing general elective credits can choose to take fewer courses per semester or to earn a certificate or minor.