Application Process

The application process consists of completing an electronic application, paying an application fee and finally submitting the application. It is possible to save the application and return to working on it later. Please note that it is necessary to attach a photo of the applicant to the electronic application. In the electronic application form, applicants have the option of writing a short statement outlining reasons for applying, educational goals and future aspirations.
A portfolio of works should be handed in either by mail or digitally, to the relevant department office or sent by mail.
Portfolios sent by mail should be sent to Listaháskóli Íslands, Laugarnesvegi 91, 105 Reykjavík marked APPLICATION, FINE ART. If sent by mail, the date on the postmark should be no later than the final day of the application period. Applicants are encouraged to mail portfolios sooner than later since there can be delays in post delivery service.
Digital portfolios should be attached to the online application. The portfolio has to be in .pdf format and the whole portfolio should be sent as one .pdf document and should not exceed 80mb in size. Soundwork, videos and similar documents must be included as active links / URL‘s within the portfolio and hosted online on Vimeo, Dropbox, Google Drive or similar platforms. We can not accept files via wetransfer or equivalent websites.
After verifying that the applicant has submitted all necessary supporting documents, IUA will notify the applicant that the application is valid. The application is complete when the portfolio has been submitted.

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 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
An electronic or printed portfolio (approximately in size A4 or A3 or a maximum file size of 80mb) must be enclosed with the application. It should contain up to 30 images or other form of documentation of the applicant´s artwork, accompanied by detailed descriptions such as title, dimension, medium, year of execution etc. The portfolio has to be in .pdf format and the whole portfolio should be sent as one .pdf document and should not exceed 80mb in size. Soundwork, videos and similar documents must be included as active links/URL‘s within the portfolio and hosted online on Vimeo, Dropbox, Google Drive or similar platforms and the files must be made accessible (public). We do not accept files via wetransfer or equivalent websites.
The portfolio shall be two-fold:
a) Basic subjects:
Works that show general artistic abilities of drawing, composition and use of colors as well as three-dimensional works demonstrating composition, form and use of material.
b) Individual work:
Examples of visual works, audio-works, written text, design, etc. executed in free choice of material. The works must show individual creativity of the applicant and be composed on the applicant’s own terms. The portfolio does not only have to contain fully completed works. On the contrary, it is important also to include sketches and drawings at various stages of development, photographs, texts, and even drafts of projects. In fact, any piece of work or representation of an idea or concept, which the applicant feels portrays his/her artistic talent and expressive capability should be a part of the portfolio. If desirable the individual work may be accompanied by a short description.
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.

Admission Process

The admissions committee includes department professors and one artist or academic who is unassociated with the department as well as the department Dean who chairs the committee. The admissions committee evaluates applicants on basis of whether they are likely to be able to take advantage of the education offered by the department. The committee’s results should therefore not be interpreted as an ultimate judgment of the applicant’s artistic talent in general. The conclusions of the committee are final.
The admission process is in the following steps:
  • The admission committee evaluates the application and the portfolio and chooses individuals for the interviews.
  • In the interview, applicants must bring 1 or 2 examples of their completed work as well as a sketchbook.
  • Letters with the results of the committee will be e-mailed to the applicants in May. Applicants who are offered admission must confirm this to the Department Office in the end of May 2024 by paying a confirmation fee (non refundable). If it is not paid on time, the IUA will assume the student has decided not to study at the IUA.
If the applicant wishes to have the portfolio returned, this request must be made in the application and the applicant will have to pay mailing costs. The Iceland University of the Arts does not insure the application material and assumes no responsibility for submitted works. Submitted artwork not retrieved by September 1st, will be discarded unless the IUA agrees upon other arrangements in writing.


Based on the application and the portfolio, a decision is made whether or not the applicant will be invited to an interview. In the interview, applicants must bring 1 or 2 examples of their work as well as a sketchbook. The works may be completed or in progress and executed in a medium of the applicant’s choice. Applicants who are not in Iceland or for some reasons and do not have the opportunity to attend an interview may expect to have a Skype interview with the admissions committee.

Admission Requirements

To qualify for consideration of admission into the IUA the applicant must have completed a secondary school exam or an equivalent program recognized by the admissions committee. It is also preferable but not a requirement that the applicant has completed a preparatory study program in art or design.

Exemptions from requirements

IUA 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 IUA under these conditions.

Language of Instruction

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


Opening of Applications: January 8th 2024

Application deadline: April 12th 2024

Interviews: May 2024

Admission results: May/June 2024

Autumn semester begins: August 2024

Application fee: 5.000 ISK


gudrunl [at]



Electronic Application