To be eligible for entrance to KCAI, you must have successfully completed a recognized secondary school program (high school) or its equivalent with a good academic record. While there is no specific high school program of study required, you are advised to follow a college preparatory curriculum similar to the following: four years of English, three years of social sciences, and as many art courses as is practical.

Considerable emphasis is placed on abilities in the areas of drawing, color and design.

You will be evaluated for admission on the basis of the quality of work in your portfolio and your academic profile, determined by high school grades or previous college transcripts. The most important criteria for admission is your potential for success.

What we look for in a student

The Admissions Committee looks for serious and motivated students, those who are willing to work hard and take creative risks. Furthermore, the Committee evaluates each application with a great deal of sensitivity and open-mindedness before reaching an admission decision because the Committee knows each student's level of imagination, innovation, and academic achievement is highly individual.

Notification of admission

Applicants are notified of the decision as soon as action is taken.  Accepted students who plan to enroll at KCAI for the fall or spring semesters are required to pay a $250 tuition deposit to hold their seats. This deposit is applied to tuition when a student enrolls and is refundable until May 1 for fall enrollment or January 15 for spring enrollment. 

Application priority deadlines

Fall admission

Feb. 1: Freshmen 
March 1: Transfers 

Spring admission

Nov. 1: Freshmen and transfers 

Students must complete their application for admission before these priority deadlines to ensure fullest consideration for scholarships. Applications received after the priority deadlines will be considered for admissions and scholarships on a space-available basis.

Ready to apply? Apply online.

Download the letter of recommendation form

This is the form you will need to give to the people you have selected to recommend you for admission to KCAI. It is highly recommended that students request one or two letters of recommendation from teachers, a high school counselor or professional artist or employer. Additional instructions are included on the form. Letter of recommendation form.

Explore the KCAI Viewbook

The Kansas City Art Institute's viewbook provides an overview of KCAI's academic programs,  students, faculty, alumni and campus. Download the viewbook here  (PDF)

Financing options

Ninety-five percent of students at KCAI receive some type of financial aid. Find out more about how to make attending KCAI a reality.

Virtual Advisor

Have questions about KCAI? Find the answers here.

Visit KCAI

The best way to know if the Kansas City Art Institute is right for you is to experience it. Schedule a tour today.