Application Process

The application process is in two steps; in the first step applicants fill out the application form, pay the application fee and submit the application.

In the second step, applicants receive confirmation that  IAA has received the application.
It is necessary to include a passport photo with the application. The application fee is 5000 ISK. Please note: It is possible to save the application while working on it.

A portfolio should be handed in to the relevant department office or sent by mail. If sent by mail, the date should be no later than the final day of the application period.


The Application

An application is not valid until the applicant has submitted the application and paid the application fee. Applicants must submit the following documents:        

  1.  Certified copy of degree certificate(s) and programme / course transcript(s) (PDF)
    Applicants should submit a detailed record of previous education (final examination or university entrance examination) from secondary education, including programmes of study taken and grades achieved. This may be submitted in Icelandic or English. Attached in the application
  2. Portfolio: 
    The portfolio is a collection of the applicant’s work to date, presented (on physical format) with the formal application papers. There are no rules regarding format sizes but electronic portfolios (CD’s, USB keys, references to websites etc.) cannot be submitted, and will not be looked at. Should the applicant want to present a moving image a printed reference must be submitted supported by a “storyboard” with still-images from the project.
    The works should give insight into the student’s personality and shed light upon his/her main areas of interest. The collection of works should illustrate the student’s potential for creativity and expression of ideas.
    It is not a requirement that all the works be fully developed or completed. On the contrary, it is important that the portfolio be diverse, including sketches and drawings at various stages of development, photographs, texts, and/or audio-works.  In fact, any piece of work or representation of an idea or concept, which the applicant him/herself feels portrays his/her artistic talent and expressive capabilities should be a part of the portfolio.
When applying for different programmes within the Department of Design and Architecture a separate portfolio must be submitted with each application. Please note that the portfolio is reviewed anonymously, and it is therefore essential that it does not include identifying information (name or social security number), only the number of the application.
Note that applicants are responsible for tagging their portfolio with the correct application number. Applicants can view this number on the online application and in the confirmation email.


Admission Process

Admission to the Department of Design and Architecture is determined by a special admissions committee, comprised of three practicing professionals, who select students from the body of applicants. Admittance is based on an evaluation of submitted portfolios of works and interviews. Furthermore applicants may be asked to complete an examination. 
The admissions process is in the following steps:
  1. After the applications have been evaluated, each admissions committee reviews the submitted portfolios. The assessment criteria are professional knowledge and artistic value. Special emphasis is placed on evaluating the applicants’ work in which they have worked independently and on their own terms. Applicants who meet the admissions committee’s requirements move on to a selected group.
  2. Those who move on to the selected group are invited for an interview. The purpose of the interview is to evaluate the applicants’ interest in the potential study, their views and position towards design and architecture, their understanding of the world of design and the ideas that lie behind their works. The applicant should expect to have to express himself/herself about his/her submitted works during the interview.  
  3. The admissions committee may ask candidates to complete an examination if necessary. 
  4. All applicants receive written notification of the admissions results in May. Applicants who are offered admission must confirm to the Department office before the end of May and pay the confirmation fee. The fee is non-refundable.
  5. The decision of the admission committee is final and no justification is required. The decision of the admission committee is an assessment of the applicant’s ability to benefit from the programme of study offered by the department, and not a judgement of the applicant’s capability of working in a chosen field of design.


Admission Requirements

To qualify for admission into the department, applicants must have completed a secondary final examination (in Iceland “studentsprof”). It is recommended that applicants in the field of design and architecture should have completed a foundation programme in design or visual arts at the secondary level, but this is not a requirement.


Exemptions from requirements

IAA may grant an exemption to individuals who do not fulfil the requirements of secondary school exam if they can prove unique and extraordinary artistic abilities that may be recognized in place of the academic preparation. A detailed explanation must be enclosed with the application form. By the assessment of the admissions committee the Dean will suggest which applicants are to be granted opportunity to study at the IAA under these conditions. 


Language of Instruction

Please, notice that the instruction on the Bachelor level at the Iceland Academy of the Arts takes place in ICELANDIC, with the exception of classes taught by foreign guest teachers.


Practical information

Application deadline: April 9th 2018

Admission results: May 2018

Autumn semester begins: 21 August 2018

Application fee: 5000 ISK




Fashion Design

Visual Communication

Product Design



Hafdís Harðardóttir, department coordinator.




Moving to Iceland