MCAD has received numerous art and design education awards and accolades:
- The Princeton Review has included MCAD on its annual Best Midwestern Colleges List for more than ten years—a rarity for a visual arts college.
- The highly respected design publication I.D. has recognized MCAD as one of the top ten design schools in the world.
- U.S. News & World Report has listed MCAD's master of fine arts program as one of the top fifty in the nation.
- Dwell magazine has credited MCAD as a key player in supporting Minneapolis’s renowned arts infrastructure.
- Animation Career Review has listed MCAD's animation program as the best in the Midwest, and our graphic design program as second best.
MCAD is accredited by associations that review higher education institutions to ensure they meet critical standards:
- The National Association of Schools of Art and Design is an organization of schools, colleges, and universities with 248 accredited institutional members. It establishes national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees and other credentials.
- The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools reviews the colleges and universities of a nineteen-state region. It is one of six accrediting organizations in the country.
- MCAD is registered as a private institution with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education pursuant to sections 136A.61 to 136.71. Registration is not an endorsement of the institution. Credits earned at the institution may not transfer to all other institutions.
MCAD also belongs to two organizations that are noteworthy for their members’ academic excellence:
- The Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design is a consortium of the thirty-six leading art and design colleges in the nation, including such schools as the Rhode Island School of Design, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the California Institute of the Arts.
- The Minnesota Private College Council is a group of the top seventeen colleges in Minnesota, including such schools as Carleton College, Macalester College, and the University of St. Thomas.