Beginning in Fall 2020, Watkins College of Art will merge with Belmont University to become Watkins College of Art at Belmont University. As of March 16, 2020, Watkins is no longer accepting applications for Watkins College of Art at Belmont University; however, those who applied prior to March 15, 2020 will still be processed for admissions decisions. For students contemplating matriculation beyond Fall 2020, we invite you to visit Belmont’s Admissions hub, speak to one of the university’s many admissions counselors, learn about their spectrum of arts facilities and career services for creative professionals, as well as discover all the Belmont community has to offer via these links:

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).