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Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)

I had the pleasure of visiting the Savannah College of Art and Design, aka SCAD, in beautiful Savannah, Georgia, after I attended a conference for college counselors.


SCAD Campus


The Savannah campus consists of 80 buildings that are in a 1-mile by 2-mile area in Savannah.  The buildings are typically not contiguous, meaning that the campus is integrated in Savannah. 


Students can travel between buildings using SCAD shuttles, which are only available to students, or by walking in a gorgeous town.  The SCAD shuttles have different colors or routes, and students can track them online.  SCAD typically has 30-minute breaks between classes to ensure there is sufficient time to travel between classes. 


SCAD in Savannah has a fairly “horizontal” campus.  The SCAD campus in Atlanta, in contrast, consists of a few tall buildings and is a “vertical” campus.  In addition, SCAD has a campus in Lacoste, France, for students who want to study abroad.  There is also a SCAD online campus, but be aware that fashion design is not available online.

SCAD Admissions Office Art Display
SCAD Admissions Office Art Display


SCAD Admissions


SCAD admits students to the school rather than to the major.  Consequently, applicants do not need to navigate the selectivity of majors, which is the case at some other art schools.


Students can apply directly to SCAD at  Alternatively, students can apply using the Common Application.  SCAD admissions staff indicate that applying directly to SCAD results in a faster response to students.  SCAD is not only test-optional in admissions, it is also portfolio-optional in admissions.


SCAD offers rolling admission.  SCAD encourages students to apply at least six months prior to the term they want to begin and requires students to apply no later than 30 days before the start of the term.

Jim Houser and SCAD Tour Guide
Me With My SCAD Tour Guide


SCAD Academics


Popular majors in recent years include:


·      Animation, Video Graphics and Special Effects and

·      Digital Communication and Media/Multimedia.


SCAD bills itself as the university for creative careers.  SCAD offers over 40 undergraduate majors, so if it is creative in nature, SCAD will likely offer it.  SCAD offers a mixture of bachelor’s and master’s degrees, but students typically enroll in Bachelor of Fine Arts or BFA programs.  In a BFA program, typically one-third of the classes are outside of the student’s major, and two-thirds of the classes are in the student’s major.


This mix of creative majors allows students to work across disciplines with one another. For instance, a film major might rely on a fine arts major to help prepare a set, an acting major to appear in a film, and a fashion major to help with costumes.

Textile Arts Lab At SCAD
Textile Arts At SCAD


SCAD caps lecture classes at no more than 30 students per class.  To ensure sufficient support, SCAD caps studio classes at 20.


SCAD students give professors high marks for putting in effort to teach classes, they are split on the ability to enroll in classes, and a minority of students indicate that the workload is manageable.  The last finding is not surprising since fine arts students frequently talk about spending long hours in studios.


SCAD Students


As you might expect, SCAD students often describe themselves as creative.  They are also diverse.  About one-quarter of the students are international. 

Sketch By SCAD Student
Sketch By SCAD Student


SCAD students typically prioritize arts over sports and partying.  There are no social fraternities or sororities.  The town of Savannah, however, offers social opportunities for those who seek it, including one of the largest St. Patrick’s day celebrations in the US.


SCAD Schedule


SCAD's schedule is designed to enhance its majors. It operates on a “quarter” system, or what some might call trimesters. Under this system, students typically take classes that last around 10 weeks since design operates on a similar schedule.


SCAD classes typically last for 2.5 hours to ensure that students have sufficient time to make progress on a lesson or task.  Architecture and interior design courses, however, are five hours long to provide sufficient time for tasks tied to those majors.


Students do not have classes on Fridays, but they are likely busy those days.  Professors hold office hours on Fridays, and students often collaborate those days.


SCAD Safety


SCAD has some unique safety concerns that it addresses.  For instance, studio art students often spend long hours creating art in a studio and might be traveling back to their dorm rooms late at night.  The layout of the campus also presents some unique issues. 


SCAD responds to these concerns in multiple ways:


  • SCAD cards.  Students use SCAD identity cards to enter both buildings and shuttles.

  • Safe ride.  Students can order a safe ride to take them back to their residence in the evening.

  • Safe walk.  Students can use an app to notify SCAD that they are traveling by foot.  The app provides a route and tracks the students as they walk from one point to the next. 

  • Cameras.  In addition, SCAD uses cameras to monitor the SCAD campus.



SCAD Housing And Cars


SCAD has a residency requirement for freshmen only.  Students can either identify roommates using Instagram or by completing a survey designed to find compatible roommates.  While the SCAD Savannah campus is spread out, there is a “hub” of new dorms in one area that provides a sense of community.

SCAD Dorm Buildings
SCAD Residential "Hub"

SCAD Dorm Room
SCAD Dorm Room


Upperclassmen can typically get housing on campus when they seek it.  SCAD offers some apartment-style housing to upperclassmen.


Students have roommates of the same gender expression, but floors are co-ed.  There are no communal bathrooms.


Students may have cars on campus, but freshmen must keep their cars in the freshmen garage.  Students who live in one “downtown” Savannah dorm do not have parking.



SCAD Careers


Like most colleges, SCAD offers a career center, and the vast majority of graduates are employed 10 months after graduation.  SCAD’s career center offers a job portal for students, alumni, and employers.


SCAD integrates technology in its classes, and SCAD teaches students on both Windows and Apple computers.  Consequently, SCAD graduates are often in the position to be the “technology helper” when they start their first job.

SCAD Computers
SCAD Computers


SCAD students do not typically attend classes between Thanksgiving and early January.  This break gives SCAD students an opportunity to work as interns when many other students are in school.


Architecture students often have to work for 14 years to obtain building certification, but SCAD cuts that time period down to seven years.


Students who maintain a 3.25 GPA at SCAD are eligible to participate in “SCAD pro” experiences.  Firms periodically contact SCAD and ask SCAD’s students for help using its SCAD pro students.


SCAD Affordability


The cost of attendance at SCAD is around $62 K, but the price depends on housing and meal plans.  About 80 percent of SCAD students receive some form of a scholarship.  SCAD offers different types of merit scholarships.


·      SCAD offers academic scholarships to students based on their GPA, which must be at least 3.0.


·      SCAD offers achievement scholarships based on the types of achievements one would find on a resume.


·      SCAD also offers merit scholarships based on portfolios students submit through slideroom.


In addition, SCAD allows students to “stack” scholarships. For information about state-based scholarships for Georgia residents, please see:


Educ8Fit Consulting


I work with students and families on the college and graduate school admission process. I help them navigate such complexities as merit aid and international admissions.  Please contact Educ8Fit Consulting at either or College Admission Counseling | Educ8fit Consulting | United States, contact for a free 30-minute consultation.

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Contact me, follow me on LinkedIn, and join my new Facebook group!

Phone: (703) 850-9319

Personal LinkedIn: Jim Houser | LinkedIn




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