How to Apply

Define yourself

Before you start to work on your Watkins application materials, figure out which type of applicant you are:

After you read this overview, go to the page for your applicant category and get started. You may also wish to attend Watkins’s annual National Portfolio Day, a highly beneficial and popular event for students who wish to attend art school. At National Portfolio Day, you can share your work, receive feedback from artist-professors, and better understand how your path as a creative can proceed.

Do it now—make rolling admissions work for you

We start reviewing your application as soon as we receive all the materials listed in your requirements, and we use the same deadlines for all applicant types. Here’s why it matters when you apply.

To start fall term (recommended for freshmen):

  • If we receive your complete application package by February 1, we’ll give you priority consideration for acceptance and scholarship awards.
  • If we receive your complete application package between February 2 and June 30, we’ll consider your application in the order we receive it—scholarship awards may or may not be available.
  • We will not consider your application package if we receive it after June 30.

To start spring term (not recommended for freshmen):

  • If we receive your complete application package by October 1, we’ll give you priority consideration for acceptance and scholarship awards.
  • If we receive your complete application package between October 2 and November 5, we’ll consider your application in the order we receive it.
  • We will consider applications received after November 5 on a case-by-case basis.

Automatic scholarship consideration

We automatically consider you for a scholarship award when we review your complete application package. You do not have to apply separately for a scholarship award.

To give you priority consideration for a scholarship, however, we must receive your complete application package by

  • February 1 for fall term start
  • October 15 for spring term start

After those deadlines, we will consider you for a scholarship award on a case-by-case basis. Get scholarship details.

Applying for financial aid

We offer non-scholarship financial assistance through a variety of aid programs supported by federal, state, and institutional funds. Start the financial aid application process now.

Enrollment deposit

When we accept you for admission, you must pay a nonrefundable enrollment deposit to hold your place in the incoming class. We will apply your deposit to your first semester’s tuition when you register for classes.

  • For U.S. students—$300 deposit (nonrefundable if you cancel your enrollment).
  • For international students—$2,000 deposit ($1,900 is refundable if you cancel your enrollment).

One semester hold

You can defer your enrollment for one semester after you have been accepted if you first pay the $300 enrollment deposit. Note that you can delay entry for one semester only. If you do not enroll for the following semester, you must reapply for admission.

If you receive a scholarship award, we will provide that award when you register for the following semester. If you do not enroll for the following semester, you will lose your enrollment deposit and forfeit your scholarship.

Meet our Artists in Admissions

Our team in Admissions does not only consist of professionals in higher education enrollment, but practicing artists. That single quality alone can make the difference in reliable guidance for you as you contemplate your creative future. To reach out to Ashley or Jerrica and begin a conversation about your path, write admissions@watkins.edu.

Ashley Obel, Watkins College of ArtAshley Obel
Originally from Loxahatchee, Florida, Ashley graduated summa cum laude from Watkins in 2018 with a BFA in fine art. In her own artistic practice, Ashley explores her interests in science and science fiction, in particular chaos theory and time travel, through a variety of media. “My favorite part about working in Admissions is getting to see that moment — either on a tour, during a presentation, or at a portfolio review — when students realize there is so much opportunity for them to succeed as artists. ” Obel’s spare time is taken up serving as a board member and All-Star team member of Nashville Roller Derby, Nashville’s premier women’s flat track roller derby team.

Jerrica Mayo, Watkins College of ArtJerrica Mayo
Born and raised in Knoxville, Jerrica received her BA degree from Austin Peay State University and her MBA from Argosy University. She now calls Nashville home, along with her husband and three kids. She has worked in higher education enrollment and admissions for nine years, and most loves to review the artwork of the talented people she meets across the United States. “I’m inspired to help young people pursue their academic goals, while finding the institution that best fits their educational and artistic talents.” Jerrica is a portrait photographer, and — fun fact — she has a three-legged dog.

Contact us if you have questions.