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The ESL Studio Program allows artistic development through BFA studio courses while improving English language skills through ESL courses.

  • Majors available for the ESL Studio Program: Advertising, Cartooning, Computer Art, Fine Arts, Design, Illustration, Interior Design, Photography and Video
  • Transfer students may qualify for upper level placement based on accredited studio courses from other institutions. Sophomore (2nd) year is the highest placement possible.
  • This program is open to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and international students

Applicants who meet the academic and creative requirements for admission to School of Visual Arts (SVA) and have a good grasp of English, but do not yet meet the English proficiency requirements for undergraduate study may qualify for the ESL/Studio Program (ESP). 

The score requirements for the ESL/Studio Program are a score of 65-79 on the internet version of Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), a score of 46-52 on the Pearson PTE Academic or a 6.0 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

The ESP is a three semesters special program that begins in summer. The program offers intensive English as a Second Language (ESL) study during the summer and combines ESL and BFA studio coursework for the fall and spring semesters. The program allows artistic development through required BFA studio courses while improving English skills through ESL courses.

Transfer students with college level coursework may be eligible to receive credit for liberal arts or studio coursework at another educational institution. The highest level placement is sophomore (2nd year) due to English language skills. The program is also open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents whose primary language is not English or whose English proficiency does not meet the requirements for undergraduate study at SVA.

Students who begin the program may also test out of the ESP in between the Summer/Fall or Fall/Spring semesters by submitting a new TOEFL or IELTS test with the requisite score for BFA consideration. 

Students that are not able to test out of the ESP are required to successfully complete the three semester program and are invited to submit an internal application for admissions consideration to the BFA program of their choice.

ESL Studio Program 2017 Summer Program

Housing Check-in: June 15th  

Orientation: June 15th and 16th

Program Start Date: June 19th

Program End Date: August 11 

How to Apply

To apply for admission to the ESL/Studio Program (ESP) for the summer 2016 semester, applicants must submit the following materials:

    Application for Undergraduate Admission
  • Statement of Intent
  • Transcripts all high schools/colleges attended
  • Portfolio (15-20 images) 
  • Demonstration of English proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS, Pearson PTE test results)

Accepted students who enroll will be required to submit a Declaration and Verification of Finances. For more information about the DOF and VOF, click here.

Recommended Deadline: April 1st

Applicants who apply directly to the undergraduate program, but do not meet the English proficiency requirements for degree study will automatically be reviewed for admission to the ESL/Studio Program. 

SVA Housing for the ESL/Studio Program

International students participating in the ESL/Studio Program (ESP) are eligible for summer housing.  After the students submit the housing deposit and placement fee and are enrolled in the ESP, they will receive an email from the Residence Life Office explaining how to apply for summer and fall semester housing.

For more information on the available accommodations, please visit the Residence Life page for the ESL/Studio Program.

Testing out of ESP and Internal Application

Testing out of the ESL/Studio Program:

Students that begin the ESP in the summer may test out of the program between the summer/fall and fall/spring semesters with a new TOEFL or IELTS test with the requisite BFA score. Students are required to report the new test score to the Assistant Director of Special Programs via email in order to have their application reevaluated for consideration and placement into the BFA program. Students are required to submit new scores for consideration before the beginning of the next semester. 

Internal Application:

Upon successful completion of the three semester ESL/Studio Program, applicants may apply for transfer admission to the undergraduate BFA program at SVA. Grades in SVA coursework, English proficiency test results, attendance and teacher evaluations will be taken into consideration when reviewing students for BFA admission. 

To pursue transfer admission from the ESL/Studio Program to the undergraduate BFA program for the fall semester, students must submit the following updated materials by March 15th:

  • Internal Application for Undergraduate Admission
  • Statement of Intent
  • Transcripts from other colleges not previously received by the Office of Admissions
  • Two new English Proficiency test results (tests must be taken during the ESP)
  • Declaration of Finances (download available on this page)
  • Verification of Finances letter from bank official

School of Visual Arts | 209 East 23 Street, NY, NY 10010-3994 | Tel: 212.592.2000 | Fax: 212.725.3587