Archive for the ‘Admissions Content’ Category

Important Visual Arts MFA Dates

Posted on: July 12th, 2017 by Steve Wilkison

Fall Applications

December 1 – Priority Application Deadline
March 1 – Visual Arts MFA Application Deadline
June 30 – Final Application Deadline

Important MFA Dates

Posted on: February 24th, 2017 by Steve Wilkison

Fall Applications

MFA applications are accepted on a rolling admissions basis.

Admissions Film MFA

Posted on: January 18th, 2016 by Steve Wilkison

For information on applying for the Film MFA visit the Film MFA Application Process page.

For information on applying for the Visual Arts MFA visit the Visual Arts MFA Application Process page.

Apply Online

For Teachers

Posted on: April 4th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison

Coming Soon

For Your Students

Posted on: April 4th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison

National Portfolio Day

Encourage your students to attend a National Portfolio Day event nearby.  This is a significant scholarship opportunity for seniors and a learning experience for underclassmen.  Watkins hosts the Nashville NPD event and attends numerous NPDs nationwide.  For more information check out our National Portfolio Day page and

Portfolio Development

Check out the Portfolio Prep & Development section of our website to get an idea of what we are looking for in student portfolios.  The Advanced Placement website also has excellent examples of student work for portfolio preparation.

Drawing & PaintingWatkins Pre-College

This 2-week intensive program offers high school students the chance to learn skills and build their portfolio in a college environment.  Students completing the program earn 3 credit-hours of college credit and a $4,000 scholarship to Watkins (based on acceptance).  On campus housing is not available at this time.  For more information check out the Pre-College page.

Scholarships Your Students May Qualify For:

Students applying to Watkins are automatically considered for merit scholarships based on their application materials including portfolio, essay, and academics.  Additionally, seniors who receive portfolio reviews at National Portfolio Day may be awarded preliminary scholarships, so please encourage your students to attend these events.

State Lottery:
Watkins accepts the Tennessee HOPE scholarship and matches other regional lottery scholarships, such as KEES in Kentucky and the Georgia HOPE, for up to $2,500 a year.

Sponsored Art and Film Competitions:
Watkins awards scholarships to winners of Scholastic Art Awards and other regional art competitions.  See this PDF for a list of sponsored competitions:

Members of the Tennessee Art Education Association (TAEA) may nominate one student a year for a one-time Watkins scholarship of $1,000.  A letter of recognition from the TAEA member should be submitted to the Director of Admissions on or before May 1 of each year. The award will only be granted to a high school senior planning to attend Watkins as a full-time student in the fall immediately following graduation.

Teacher Resources General Info

Posted on: April 4th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison

Request Information

Want to learn more about what Watkins has to offer your students? Request information and materials- such as catalogs, view books and posters for your classroom.

Click here to Request A Teacher Packet


Meet a Representative

Watkins representatives attend National Portfolio Days around the US and a number of college fairs in the Southeast region each year.  We also host Preview Days on our campus twice a year, and welcome you to schedule a tour with us at your convenience.  Additionally, we visit many advanced art and design classes around the country. Email us to check availability – 


Teacher WorkshopTeacher Workshops

The Community Education department at Watkins offers programs that provide professional development opportunities for K-12 art educators to engage in hands-on art making activities and develop strategies for incorporating thematic and contemporary art-driven ideas, projects, and techniques into curricula. These programs are a chance for educators to rejuvenate their creative juices in a community of peers while developing new art skills for themselves and ideas for the classroom. Check out the Community Education page for more information or email


Reference Form for student applications

Are you writing a reference for a student who is applying to Watkins?  Download the form here- Watkins Reference Form
Alternately, you can email a letter recommending the student to

Recommend a Student

Do you have a student that you think would be a good fit for Watkins? Share their information with us below so that we can keep them on our radar.





Helpful Links

Important Fall Dates

Posted on: February 14th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison

Fall Applications
February 1- Priority Scholarship Deadline
March 1 – MFA Visual Arts Application Deadline
June 30 – Final Application Deadline

Spring Applications
October 1 – Priority Scholarship Deadline
November 1 – Final Application Deadline

Financial Aid
October 1- 2017-2018 FAFSA Filing Begins
April 1- Financial Aid Deadline


Posted on: January 24th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison

Nashville National Portfolio Day

Date: Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017

Location: Watkins College of Art, Design & Film


10:00 – 11:00  Registration & Campus Tours

10:45 – 11:45     Informational Presentation about Watkins, Portfolio Prep, Financial Aid, and Application Process

12:00 – 4:00     Portfolio Reviews

What is National Portfolio Day?

National Portfolio Days are educational events for young artists held at host colleges throughout the U.S. and Canada. Portfolio Days bring together students and experienced college representatives, who review artwork, offer critique, discuss college plans, and share information about their schools. These events are not an examination or a competition. The reviewers are interested in your development, look forward to seeing your work, and providing you with helpful information for this next important step in your education. So stop by our table and show us your stuff!

Who Should Attend?

Any student interested in studying art and / or design at the college level should attend a National Portfolio Day. Participating in a Portfolio Day will give you a taste of what it would be like to attend a professional art program. Keep in mind you may hear many different opinions about your work. This is your chance to explain your thought process and show us where you want to go with your work.

What Should You Bring?

We want to see your sketch books, works in progress and what you consider your best finished pieces. Always bring original artwork when possible (15 to 20 pieces is fine.) If your work is large, 3-dimensional or otherwise hard to carry, you can bring photographs of the work instead. You may bring your own laptop if you wish but Watkins will have a laptop available to look at work that needs to be viewed on a computer.  A portfolio review usually takes approximately 15 minutes.

Got questions? Email

For more information about National Portfolio Days and to view the 2015-2016 schedule, visit

How to Prepare and What to Bring Video


For more info about these events go to

Portfolio Review

Posted on: January 24th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison

Nashville-Portfolio-Day-ReviewIt’s important to get feedback on your portfolio. There are a few different ways to get a review from a Watkins representative.

  • Attend one of the many National Portfolio Day events that we attend
  • Schedule a portfolio review when you visit the Watkins campus
  • Get a review from the admissions representative that visits your high school

There are many benefits to getting a review before you apply.

  • You will get feedback on what’s working in your portfolio and what areas you can improve on.
  • Seniors and transfer students may qualify for scholarships just by getting a review.
  • Portfolio reviews, like campus visits, are a good way to learn more about the program that you are interested in.

Prepare for a review by bringing your original artwork. If your original work is unavailable of difficult to carry, bring images of the work. Most importantly, be ready to have a conversation about the art you bring. Bring enough work so that the reviewer can get a good sense of your artistic process and voice. 15-20 pieces seems to be a good amount. Show work that is no more than 2 years old. Bring your finished pieces as well as your current works in progress, and most importantly, your sketchbook!

Portfolio Submission

Posted on: January 24th, 2014 by Steve Wilkison

How To Submit Your Work


Your entire portfolio can be uploaded in the online application (slideroom) in the “Add Media” section.

File types accepted:

Images (jpg, gif, png) up to 5 MB each
Videos (flv, wmv, mov) up to 60 MB each
Audio (mp3) up to 10 MB each
Documents (pdf) up to 10 MB each

You can also link to websites like YouTube and Vimeo directly from Slideroom.

**Remember to add descriptions of your work in the descriptions field when uploading your pieces. This is the only information that we will have about your work and this is the only chance you will get to explain any special idea or process you used in your work.


Applicants seeking to transfer prior studio credits must submit a portfolio of original work from each course to be evaluated. Each work/project
should include: your name, title, a description, the course name, the official course description photocopied from the institution’s catalog the
year the class was taken and a copy of the cover of the pertinent catalog.  A copy of the syllabus, if available, is also helpful.