Admission to the undergraduate program is selective. SCI-Arc admits approximately sixty students per year from all over the globe. High school students may apply with a diploma, GED, or equivalent.
Applications for first-year placement are accepted for the fall term only. Successful applicants generally have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, competitive SAT/ACT test scores, and a distinct portfolio of creative work. Drawing, sketching, painting, graphic design, photography, video, web design, sculpture, ceramics, and furniture design are examples of the types of work that may be included in the admissions portfolio. Work may be produced digitally and/or by hand for school courses, extracurricular activities, or independently. Architectural design work is not required but may be submitted.
Students are encouraged to participate in art, design and/or architecture courses at their high school. These courses can prove helpful to students looking to build a portfolio of creative work. Another way of developing work for a portfolio is to participate in after school courses, weekend workshops or summer programs offered in the community oriented toward design or architecture.
SCI-Arc offers an immersive four-week summer program, Design Immersion Days (DID), that introduces high school students of different backgrounds to the academic and professional world of design and architecture. This program is intended to inspire curiosity about design, help students gain basic design knowledge and critical thinking skills, and familiarize them with the expansive architectural and design culture of Los Angeles.