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School of the Arts (College of Liberal Arts & Sciences)

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Undergraduate Admission to the School of the Arts

Admission to the School of the Arts varies based on the program in which the student plans to study. All applicants must satisfactorily answer 3 essay questions during the application process. Students planning to study visual art or dance may be admitted directly to the School of the Arts in the first year, after auditions and portfolio reviews. Students planning to study film and media or theatre are admitted directly to the School of the Arts upon application. Students may transfer to the school from other institutions or from other KU schools if they have B averages or higher and are eligible to return to the college or university last attended. Other students can be admitted only with the permission of the dean.

Send applications to the Office of Admissions. Visit the Office of International Student and Scholar Services for information about international admissions.

All Dance Majors

The Bachelor of Arts in Dance (B.A.) requires an audition for entry. Students who wish to pursue the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance (B.F.A.) are admitted after being evaluated by the dance faculty at the end of their first year at KU.

All Film and Media Studies Majors

Students who wish to major in film and media studies are admitted initially to the School of the Arts but must meet admission requirements to declare the FMS major. A 2.5 grade-point average is required in selected course work, but no portfolio is necessary. See the department's website for details. Students are expected to gain admission and declare a major field upon completion of admission courses.

All Theatre Majors

Students who wish to major in theatre are admitted initially to the School of the Arts. Theatre students are expected to declare the major with a departmental adviser by the completion of 60 hours.

All Visual Art Majors

Students who wish to major in an area in Visual Art must submit a successful portfolio of their work.

Restrictions on Admission

By permission of the Kansas Board of Regents, application for admission or transfer to the departments in the School of the Arts may be refused if the available instructional space does not allow the addition of more students. Apply as early as possible.

Transfer Students

Only grades of C or higher are accepted in transfer credit toward degrees offered by the School of the Arts.

Advanced Standing in Dance

Students who wish to transfer performance credit from another institution toward any dance degree at KU must validate this credit by audition. Contact the dance department to arrange an audition.

Advanced Standing in Art and Design Foundations

Transfer students with fewer than 12 hours in studio courses equivalent to Art and Design Foundations enroll in the Foundations program. Students who wish to transfer 12 or more credit hours in studio courses may be requested to submit examples of their work to the department for evaluation before enrollment. Portfolios should represent all college-level studio experience and must contain original examples of drawings and designs. Paintings, sculpture, and other three-dimensional work should be submitted as slides or on a CD. Applicants with a lapse of four or more years since their last full-time enrollment may not be able to apply studio credits toward advanced standing.

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Graduate Admission to the School of the Arts

Visit the websites of the departments of Film and Media Studies, Theatre, and Visual Art for program-specific admission requirements.

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Admission to Graduate Studies

Persons whose records indicate the ability to succeed with advanced work may be admitted for graduate study to the University of Kansas in one of the professional schools or the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Applicants can either apply as degreeseeking or nondegree-seeking. Applicants applying to an identifiable degree program are degree-seeking; applicants who do not have an identified degree program should be admitted under the nondegree-seeking category. No student may work toward a graduate degree without being accepted as a degree-seeking student in a specific graduate program.

Note: Current Lawrence and Edwards Campus Graduate Studies admission policies are listed in the KU Policy Library.

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Degree-Seeking Admission

The student is subject to the regulations in force at the time of admission as a degree-seeking student. If degree requirements change, the student may opt to follow the new requirements or to continue under the regulations in force at the time of admission. Any student readmitted 10 years or more after his or her initial term as a degree-seeking student must fulfill the requirements in effect upon the date of readmission to the graduate program.

Students who wish to work toward graduate degrees should be considered for admission under the degree-seeking category in either the regular or provisional category.

Regular Admission

Regular admission requires a bachelor’s degree and a grade-point average of at least a B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale), from KU or from another regionally accredited institution or foreign university with substantially equivalent bachelor’s degree requirements. The bachelor’s degree is not acceptable if it contains credit awarded for work experience (life experience) that was not directly supervised by faculty members of an accredited university or not evaluated in units that identify the academic content (e.g., P/F, S/U). In exceptional cases, persons not holding bachelor’s degrees may be admitted if they are academically well prepared. In these cases, the dean of Graduate Studies on the respective campus reviews the student’s academic background before the student is admitted.

Provisional Admission

An applicant who has one or more deficiencies in grade-point average (or English proficiency scores; see Minimum English Proficiency Requirements below) or prerequisite course work (or other deficiencies as determined by the department) but meets other admission standards may be admitted on a provisional basis. It is expected that a student who is admitted provisionally for a lack of prerequisite course work or low English proficiency scores will be reviewed within the academic year to see if the requirements for regular admission have been met. A student who meets the requirements will be moved from provisional to regular status when the department submits a Progress-to-Degree form. A student who has not met the requirements for provisional admission at the time of review may be dismissed immediately.

A student admitted provisionally who fails to earn a B average in the first semester may be dismissed immediately. If provisionary continuation is recommended by the department or program and approved by the Graduate Division, the student may remain on provisional status for one additional semester. Students who have been dismissed from a graduate program may be readmitted for further graduate study at KU only by petition of a Graduate Division that will accept the student. The petition must be approved by the dean of Graduate Studies.

Note: Current Lawrence and Edwards Campus Graduate Studies admission policies are listed in the KU Policy Library.

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Nondegree-Seeking Admission

Regular Nondegree Admission

Nondegree-seeking applicants must meet the admission standards for regular admission status. A nondegree-seeking applicant does not intend to work for an advanced degree or is working toward a graduate certificate. If a nondegree-seeking student later applies for admission as a regular degree-seeking student and is accepted by a department, the total of transfer credit may not exceed 6 hours, or 8 hours if the student holds a baccalaureate degree from KU (this total includes credit from other accredited graduate schools as well as nondegree credit earned at KU).

Provisional Nondegree Admission

Nondegree-seeking applicants who do not meet regular admission standards must be admitted under provisional status.

Easy Admit

Applicants who wish to attend institutes or workshops may be admitted through the Easy Admit process on the Lawrence and Edwards campuses only. This allows any person with a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution to take one course a semester, without meeting the additional requirements for regular nondegree-seeking admission.

Note: Current degree-seeking graduate students who wish to pursue a graduate certificate are not required to apply for nondegree-seeking status. See Graduate Certificate Programs for more information.

Note: Current Lawrence and Edwards Campus Graduate Studies admission policies are listed in the KU Policy Library.

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Admission Procedure

Apply for admission online. To ensure adequate time for review, the applicant should check with each individual degree program for its application deadline date.

Applications must be accompanied by one copy of official transcripts from the institution where the applicant earned the bachelor’s degree (or equivalent). This official transcript is used to verify the completion (or intended completion) of a baccalaureate degree (or equivalent). If the applicant has completed any graduate work, official transcripts from the institution(s) must be included as well. Letters of recommendation and test scores also may be required. Applicants should check with the program to which they are applying for more information.

Note: transcripts and test scores that have been faxed by someone other than a university staff member are not accepted as official copies.

International applicants also must provide English proficiency test scores. The university is unable to issue immigration documents until the international applicant furnishes a financial resources statement. Degree programs may choose not to consider international applications if they are not accompanied by a financial statement. (See Minimum English Proficiency Requirements, below.)

Nonrefundable application fees payable to the University of Kansas are required. Rates are subject to change. Some departments and programs require deposits from admitted students, to be fully credited against required fees upon enrollment.

Application Fees

View current Lawrence and Edwards Campus application fees.

Degree-seeking domestic application $55
Degree-seeking domestic application, Business $65
Degree-seeking international application $65
Nondegree-seeking application (domestic and international)
$30
Readmission application
$30
Easy Admit
$10

*Please check with your department or the Graduate Application Processing Center to see if you qualify for the Easy Admit category.

After an absence of 5 years from KU, students must apply for readmission to their graduate programs and to the appropriate Graduate Division.

Admission Notification

Each applicant is notified of the admission decision in writing; this notice clearly explains the admission classification (regular, provisional, nondegree). For all admission categories, enrollment in specific courses may be subject to fulfillment of departmental course prerequisites and consent of the instructor.

Admission to graduate studies does not imply admission to candidacy for a higher degree. A student becomes a candidate for an advanced degree only by demonstrating through resident study at KU the requisite preparation and ability. Requirements for an advanced degree must be regarded as minimum requirements. Additional requirements depend on the student’s undergraduate preparation and the particular field of graduate work chosen.

Limitations on Admission

Because of limitations of space, faculty, or general resources for research and instruction, some programs must restrict the number of applicants they admit. Questions should be directed to the program to which the prospective student wishes to apply.

Note: Current Lawrence and Edwards Campus Graduate Studies admission procedures are listed in the KU Policy Library.

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Minimum English Proficiency Requirements for Admission to a Graduate Program

Departments must confirm that all applicants who are not native speakers of English, whether international or U.S. citizens or permanent residents, meet the minimum English proficiency requirements to be admitted to graduate studies with regular or provisional status. Confirmation can come in any one of the following forms:

  • Official transcript showing the applicant graduated with a baccalaureate degree (or higher) earned in residence from an accredited U.S. institution of higher education.
  • Official transcript showing that the applicant graduated with a baccalaureate degree (or higher) from an institution whose medium of instruction is English. This does not apply to degrees earned online. Verification of English instruction from the university is required as part of the application and must be included in the application package. Verification can be from a catalog or program description brochure or an official letter from a department chair, dean, or other university official stipulating English as the language of instruction. The program considering admission should also conduct a phone interview with the prospective student. Individual programs can opt for a more restrictive policy.
  • Receipt of official copy (not student’s copy) of applicant’s proficiency scores achieved not more than 2 years before the semester of admission.

Note: These guidelines are subject to change by official action of the appropriate governance bodies.

Regular Admission      
TOEFL (paper) TOEFL (CBT) TOEFL (iBT) IELTS
All part scores at least 53 All part scores at least 20 Reading, Listening, and Writing part scores at least 20* Minimum overall score 6.0 with no part score below 5.5
Provisional Admission      
TOEFL (paper) TOEFL (CBT) TOEFL (iBT) IELTS
All part scores 51-52
All part scores 18-19
Reading, Listening, and Writing part scores 18-19*
Minimum overall score 5.5 with no part score below 5.0
Deny Admission      
TOEFL (paper) TOEFL (CBT) TOEFL (iBT) IELTS
One or more part scores below 51 One or more part scores below 18
One of these part scores below 18: Reading, Listening, or Writing* Overall score below 5.5 or one or more part scores below 5.0

*See Additional Spoken English Proficiency Requirements for Graduate Teaching Assistants, below.

Any non-native English-speaking student who is sponsored may be admitted provisionally without submitting language proficiency scores. In this case, the sponsored student must provide official English proficiency test results (not more than two years old) to the department or must pass a proficiency examination administered by the Applied English Center upon arrival at KU. After the sponsored student’s English proficiency has been verified to meet requirements, the status of the sponsored international graduate student may be changed from provisional to regular.

The Applied English Center certifies the English proficiency of non-native speakers of English admitted to the University of Kansas for graduate study. All non-native speakers of English must check in with the AEC upon arrival for verification of English language proficiency.

Note: Students will have an AEC hold on their student accounts until this check-in is completed and will be unable to enroll in courses until the hold is removed.

Admission to a graduate program does not guarantee that a non-native speaker of English will be able to begin course work immediately. A student will be required to enroll in one or more English language courses at the AEC when evaluation at the AEC determines it necessary. It is also required if

  • Any part of the Internet-based TOEFL is below 23,
  • Any part of the computer-based TOEFL is below 23 or an essay score is below 5,
  • Any part of the paper-based TOEFL is below 57 or an essay score is below 5,
  • An IELTS overall score is below 6.5 or any score is below 6.0.

To receive a waiver from the Applied English Center, higher proficiency test results are required than those described here for admission; contact the AEC for more information.

Additional Spoken English Proficiency Requirements for Graduate Teaching Assistants

The Kansas Board of Regents requires a spoken language proficiency assessment for employment positions requiring classroom or laboratory instructional responsibility and/or direct tutorial responsibilities. Therefore, GTAs must achieve a minimum TSE or SPEAK score of 50, iBT speaking score of 24; or IELTS score of 8. If this is not achieved,

  • The student must provide a personal financial document as required by the U.S. government to issue the DS-2019 or I-20,
  • The department may retract the GTA offer,
  • The department may still honor the GTA offer, but the student must take the SPEAK test offered by the Applied English Center and achieve a score of at least 50.

Note: The current Lawrence and Edwards Campus English proficiency policy is listed in the KU Policy Library.

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The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University’s programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access, IOA@ku.edu, 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS, 66045, (785)864-6414, 711 TTY.