CUPA Art & Design at PCA

Application Procedure

CUPA Art & Design at PCA

Applications are considered for acceptance as they are received. Applying early is highly recommended. Late applications will be considered if space allows.

March 15: deadline for fall semester and full-year applicants

October 15: deadline for spring semester applicants

Via our online application form, you will provide us with the information we need in order to review your candidacy. Fill in this form carefully and completely. Please note that you can save your application while in progress, and return to finish it later.

As part of the online application, you will be asked to submit a variety of additional materials (personal statement, ID photos, etc.). Before starting your application, read through the list below to be aware of what documents you will be asked to upload.

Once you have completed your application you will be asked to send a $35 application fee
to the following address:

P.O. Box 9611
North Amherst, MA 01059

Application Materials


Required for all applicants


In addition to filling out information about your secondary and college education, you will be asked to upload a transcript from your current university. We do accept unofficial transcripts as long as they include the following information:

  • Name and address of the school
  • Student’s name
  • Dates of attendance
  • Names of individual courses completed
  • Number of contact hours per week for each course
  • Length of the term
  • Grade or evaluation received for each course
  • Grading scale (i.e.: A = Excellent, F = Failure) or a description of the grading system.

If your school will be sending your transcript directly to our Admissions Office, you can leave the transcript field blank.

Official transcripts should be sent to the following address:
P.O. Box 9611
North Amherst, MA 01059

Official e-transcripts should be sent to :


Required for all applicants


Submit a portfolio of 10 to 20 pieces that demonstrates your creative ability through design or art work, photography, video/film, software programs, writings, experiments, music, etc. as appropriate to the program you are applying for. Your working process must also be shown through sketchbooks, notebooks, working documents, sitemaps, blogs, etc.

You will be instructed how to submit your portfolio once you have started your online application.


Required for all applicants


You will be asked to fill out the contact information for two references:

  • Major/Advisor
  • Study Abroad Office approval

Upon submission of your application, an email will be sent to these two individuals with an attached recommendation form that they will fill out and return to us.

Study Proposal

Required for all applicants


An important part of your study abroad experience will be choosing your courses.

Although the final course selection takes place in Paris, this initial study proposal will let us know which requirements you will need to fulfill.

To complete this section of the applicaiton, students may use the Paris College of Art Course Offerings. NB: Course offerings are modified from semester to semester, and some courses many have pre-requisites. For this reason, and because scheduling conflicts may arise, students must consider alternate course selections.

Design Analysis Essay

Required for applicants wishing to take Design Management courses


Write a 500-word essay analyzing a well-designed everyday object, product, building, publication, advertisement or software. Explain why you think your chosen subject is well designed. You may consider its purpose and effectiveness, sustainability and environmental impact, as well as the social implications. Additionally, submit a visual reference of your chosen subject by either including a web link at the end of your essay or emailing a file to

Merit Award Essay and Reference

Required for applicants applying for a Merit Award


CUPA offers a limited number of awards each semester to exceptionally motivated students participating in the CUPA program.

The award will be considered based on an academic project directly related to research or work pursued in the student’s area of study and which demonstrates a significant potential for increased cultural immersion.

In order to be considered for a merit award :
Following the guidelines above, write an essay (minimum 750 words) describing a specific academic or cultural project you would like to pursue during your semester in Paris, and explain why funding is important to this project. Provide as much information as possible about your project.

Ask a professor or other person knowledgeable of your qualifications to complete the Merit Award Letter of Recommendation, stating why they believe you should be considered for a CUPA merit award.

At the end of the semester, students are required to write an overview of how they used their award money and how it enhanced their artistic experience.