Applying as a freshman

Here’s how to apply if you are a first-time college student (regardless of whether you earned college credit-hours during your high school years).

Complete and submit these items using the online application service Slideroom:

  • Online application.
  • Portfolio of your work (required for the BFA Program).
  • Statement of Intent essay of approximately 500 words that describes who you are as an artist. Tell us why art school and why Watkins. Include your personal views as an artist and how your portfolio reflects those views. Discuss your interests, influences, and goals. Treat this as a formal essay that demonstrates your written communication skills, critical thinking, and command of proper grammar and punctuation.

Have these items sent directly to us:

  • One to three letters of reference (recommended but not required). The letters should be completed by individuals who can speak to your potential to succeed at Watkins—someone you know through school, work, or professional activity (not a relative or friend).
  • Official high school transcripts.
  • Official college transcripts if you hold college credit-hours through a dual-enrollment or pre-college program.
  • Home-school transcript (one of the following):
    • Official transcript showing your credits and date of graduation issued by an affiliated organization (as defined by state law C.A. 49-50-801).
    • Official verification sent from the issuing organization with an accepted score on the GED examination. We also accept the HiSET (High School Equivalency Test)—use Watkins code TN1001007 when submitting.


  • Official ACT or SAT scores completed within the last five years. Use Watkins ACT code 4027 and SAT code 4927 to have your scores sent directly to Watkins. Contact our Admissions Office if you did not take either test or if your scores are more than five years old.
  • Official AP, CLEP, or IB scores (if you are seeking college credit).