Your portfolio is an extremely important part of your application, so scroll down to get specific information. No portfolio? No problem! Click on "Building Your Portfolio" above for some tips to get started, or try the drawing exercises listed below. Remember, we're here to help you.

How to Apply:


Ringling College is currently accepting applications for the following majors for the Fall of 2015. (Admission to the Computer Animation major is now closed for the 2015-16 academic year.)


  • Advertising Design
  • Business of Art & Design
  • Film
  • Fine Arts
  • Game Art
  • Graphic Design
  • Illustration
  • Interior Design
  • Motion Design
  • Photography & Imaging


Applying for the Fall of 2015: 

Ringling College of Art and Design is a member of the Common Application. Visit the Common Application website at, and find Ringling under "Search for Colleges" to get started. Please follow the directions below. We operate on a rolling admissions system, but you must complete your application by February 15 to be considered for merit-based scholarships. 

Here are our requirements:

First-year (freshman) applicants:

  1. Submit a completed Common Application Form*, along with a nonrefundable $70 application fee. 
  2. Ask your high school counselor to submit the Secondary School Report*, OR ask one of your high school teachers to complete a Teacher Evaluation Form*, OR submit a letter of recommendation.
  3. Ask your high school to send an official copy of your transcript. We also accept GED certificates. If you took any college courses, whether or not you received credit, request that the college send us the transcript as well. A minimum 2.0 academic grade-point average is required to be considered for admission.
  4. Submission of a visual art portfolio is required for all majors except Business of Art & Design. Advertising Design, Film and Interior Design applicants may substitute a written portfolio for an art portfolio by following the recommendations below. All portfolios, both visual and written, must be submitted digitally through the Arts Supplement* portion of the Common Application.
  5. SAT and ACT scores are not required for admission. If you take either the SAT or ACT, we encourage you to submit your scores since they can be helpful in academic counseling.

*Available at


Transfer applicants:

  1. Submit a completed Common Application Form*, along with a nonrefundable $70 application fee. 
  2. Ask one of your instructors to complete a College Instructor Evaluation Form*, OR submit a letter of recommendation.
  3. Ask your high school and each college you have attended for credit to send an official copy of your transcript. You must achieve a minimum 2.0 academic grade-point average at your last college attended to be considered for admission. A high school transcript is not required if you have earned 24 or more semester hours credit at a regionally-accredited college.
  4. Submission of a visual art portfolio to is required for all majors except Business of Art & Design. Advertising Design, Film and Interior Design applicants may substitute a written portfolio for an art portfolio by following the recommendations below, but an art portfolio will be required to receive credit for studio art coursework.  All portfolios, both visual and written, must be submitted digitally through the Arts Supplement* portion of the Common Application.

*Available at


Transfer Credits and Placement

Ringling College will consider for transfer any liberal arts or studio art credit that meets our academic requirements and where a grade of C or better was earned from a regionally-accredited college or university. Studio art credit will be awarded based upon the criteria above and a portfolio review. All of Ringling College's studio courses are sequential and have pre-requisites.  Students have to complete the 1st-year studio courses before taking 2nd-year studio courses; 2nd 'year studio courses before taking 3rd-year studio courses; and 3rd-year studio courses before taking the 4th-year capstone/thesis courses.  

If you have taken Liberal Arts courses at another college/university, those courses will be evaluated by the Academic Advisers in the Office of Advising, Records, and Registration Services to determine if they meet the degree requirements for the Bachelor of Fine Arts or Bachelor of Arts Degree. The number of Liberal Arts classes completed has no bearing on your class level. Only studio classes determine your class level.  Students enrolling with an Associate of Arts or a Bachelor of Arts degree from a regionally accredited college or university will be considered to have met the Liberal Arts requirements for the BFA degree. 

Please make sure you have requested a final transcript from all colleges/universities that you have attended so that you can receive the appropriate transfer credit.

Please note that admission to upper-level studies is contingent on space availability.

Articulation Agreement
Florida transfer students who complete the AA Degree in studio art or photography from select Florida community colleges are eligible to apply to the 2 + 2 BFA in Fine Arts or the BFA in Photography & Imaging.  Once accepted to the program, students are enrolled at the junior level and complete an additional two years in residency at Ringling College to complete the B.F.A. degree.

Participating Community Colleges:

State College of Florida: AA with an emphasis in Studio Art or AA with an emphasis in Photography
St. Petersburg College:  AA with an emphasis in Studio Art
Valencia College: AA in Fine Art/Studio Art  


International Students

Ringling College students come from 70 countries! We welcome applications from international students. Students who are citizens of countries where English is not the common language must demonstrate proof of English proficiency by achieving one of the following. International students who have not achieved these minimum scores but meet academic and portfolio requirements will be considered for admission, but will be required to enroll in English as a Second Language (ESL) courses at the College if admitted.
•    Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 80 or higher
•    International English Language Testing System  (IELTS) score of 6.5 or higher
•    Pearson Test of English (PTE) score of 53 or higher
•    Minimum score of 450 on the Critical Reading section of the SAT

International students who have earned university-level credit outside the U.S. and seek transfer credit are required to have their transcripts evaluated by a foreign credentials evaluation service. See information for transfer students.

Homeschool Students

Homeschoolers must achieve a standard high school diploma, recognized by their local school district, or a GED.

International Baccalaureate Credit 

Ringling College recognizes the International Baccalaureate (IB) program.  Students with IB coursework may be given credit for individual liberal arts courses if they score 5 through 7 on the IB Higher-Level Examinations.  No credit is given for Subsidiary-Level or Standard-Level work. 

Advanced Placement Credit 

Ringling College will award up to six semester hours credit for advanced placement examinations in art history with a score of 3, 4, or 5.  Advanced placement examinations in liberal arts courses with a score of 3, 4, or 5 will be considered for credit toward the BFA degree.  Advanced placement examinations in English Language and Composition and English Literature and Composition require a score of 4 or 5 to be considered for credit toward the BFA degree.  Advanced placement examination/portfolios in studio art with scores of 4 or 5 will be evaluated by Ringling College for credit and/or placement. 

Applying for the Spring Semester

In order to be eligible to enroll in the Spring Semester, you must have previously completed specific college-level studio art courses unless you are applying for Business of Art & Design. These course requirements vary by major. Please note that spring semester admission is NOT available for the Department of Computer Animation. For information about spring semester admission, please contact the Admissions Office at 941-309-0195 or

Admissions Office

Ringling College of Art and Design

2700 N. Tamiami Trail

Sarasota, Fla.  34234-5895


Non-Discrimination Policy

Ringling College of Art and Design does not discriminate the basis of age, gender, color, race, national or ethnic origin, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, veteran's status or any other basis prohibited by law, in its programs or activities. 



The purpose of the portfolio is to allow you to demonstrate your creative thinking abilities and potential to succeed in one of the College’s degree programs. Submitting an art portfolio is optional for applicants to the Business of Art & Design major and the Interior Design major. Please review the departmental recommendations for each major before submitting a portfolio. Please submit all portfolio materials, both images and written documents, to Slideroom via the Common Application.

Portfolio recommendations for the following majors: 
COMPUTER ANIMATION (admission now closed for Fall 2015)

Be sure to show lots of examples of drawing from life and direct observation, such as:

  • Hands, feet, human figures and animals

  • Representational drawing

  • Interior and/or exterior environments

You can also include:

  • Class assignments, design projects

  • Animation, multimedia

  • Paintings, photographs, and/or sculptures

Important to remember: 

Do not copy from another artist. 

Avoid cliches like anime, tattoo designs, dragons, or unicorns 

At least half of your portfolio should consist of drawing from direct observation. 

Note: The COMPUTER ANIMATION application deadline is January 15.

Portfolio recommendations for 

Applicants should include a resume that emphasizes leadership, community service, work experience and/or entrepreneurship.  We are especially interested in work and written communication that demonstrate individual originality and creative approaches to problem solving. 

You may incorporate any or all of the following in your portfolio:

  • Design projects or class projects

  • Photography, film, multimedia projects

  • Paintings, drawings, sketches

  • Samples of your writing

Portfolio recommendations for: 

Your portfolio is reviewed with your chosen major in mind.  You may incorporate any or all of the following in your portfolio:

  • Design projects or class projects

  • Logo designs, posters

  • Website or mobile site designs

  • Photography, film, multimedia projects

  • Paintings, drawings, sculptures

  • Concept sketches for your cool ideas

  • Samples of your writing

Work may be created by hand or digitally and should demonstrate diversity of style and strong sense of overall composition, regardless of medium.  Make sure all of your work is original! 

Portfolio recommendations for 

Interior Design applicants may fulfill the portfolio requirement by submitting a visual art portfolio, or by completing the written exercises below. You may submit both if you wish.

Success as an Interior Designer can be independent of the natural ability to draw; however, the ability to think critically and collaborate is essential.  These written exercises are designed to assess your critical thinking and collaboration abilities.  

  1. Describe a collaborative project that you have worked on

  2. Critique a space that you experienced (school, worship or community center, library, shopping mall, etc.)

Good to know: 

Photos or sketches may be submitted as well as links to social media accounts.

Portfolio recommendations for 

Film brings together all of the arts - visual, performing, music, literature, and writing/storytelling.   

Tell us your story:

  • Who you are, and what you love to do

  • Performing arts experience, if any

  • If you're a writer, give examples (screenplay, stage play, short story, essay, poetry, or article)

You can also include:

  • Samples of visual work, like drawing, painting, or photos

  • Movies and other multimedia work


Show what best represents who you are.

Portfolio recommendations for 

Art portfolios are NOT required for Business of Art and Design majors.  However, applicants are encouraged to submit a creative project portfolio documenting interests and creative activities that are an outlet for personal expression.  Personal creativity reflective of innovation, collaboration, and imagination should be the thread of the portfolio. 

Demonstrate evidence of excellence in the arts and sciences by showing:

  • Leadership in business, entrepreneurship, and creative media clubs

  • Creation of after school enterprises which have led to the development of a new product or server

  • A personal history of creativity and accomplishment as evidenced through letters of recommendation and a personal essay. 


After You're Accepted

Congratulations!  Your acceptance letter functions as an invitation to join Ringling College of Art and Design. It is your responsibility to respond if you plan to enroll. We will not hold a space for you until you follow the steps below:

1. Create a Ringling Network Account. Your acceptance letter will contain instructions for setting up an account.

2. Submit your $500 confirmation fee. This holds your space in the incoming class. Acceptance alone does not guarantee that a space will be available to you.

3. Once we receive your  confirmation fee, we will send you information on how to request on-campus housing. We guarantee housing to all new students who request it by May 1 for the following fall semester.

4. If you are still enrolled in high school at the time of your acceptance, you must graduate with a standard high school diploma or GED. Home-schooled students must also achieve a standard high school diploma (recognized by their local school district) or GED. 

5. Whether you are enrolled in high school or another college at the time of your acceptance, you must complete any coursework with a minimum grade-point-average of 2.0 or higher.


We're here to help if you have questions, and we hope to see you here!