Pre-College Summer Session

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Pre-College Summer Session
July 13–August 3, 2014

Are you:

  • A high school sophomore, junior, or senior this year?
  • An art student looking for a rigorous and challenging studio experience?
  • Ready to get involved in something bigger and better than high school?
  • Considering attending an art and design college?

You've come to the right place.

MCAD’s Pre-College Summer Session is a highly structured and challenging classroom- and studio-based experience developed to guide serious art students in the process of maturing as artists and individuals. 

“It was a valuable, eye-opening experience for me as a high school student planning on continuing in the arts.”

This three-week, three-credit, fully residential program is geared toward committed art and design students who are currently in their sophomore, junior, or senior years of high school.  

Through a combination of personal investigation and group collaboration, the program encourages the sharing of ideas, exploration of new concepts, and development of studio practice. Students learn what an art college education is like, allowing them to:

  • Explore individual creative abilities
  • Improve critical thinking skills
  • Try new techniques under the instruction of professional artists
  • Sharpen aesthetic senses through critiques from fellow students
  • Develop time-management skills and classroom participation

“My time turned out even better than I hoped. The honest critiques helped me to improve upon what I was doing wrong and continue with what I had right.”

Students spend weekdays—8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m., Mondays through Fridays—immersed in foundational courses and individualized studio work. In the evenings, students discover what artists, designers, and college students know all too well: hard work doesn’t stop when the sun goes down! Students have evening access to fully staffed studios that provide intense and valuable working experiences. Download a sample weekly program schedule.

Weekends provide a chance to build new friendships, explore Minneapolis, and spend time working in the studio. Trained staff and professional faculty will be with students every step of the journey. 

The program closes with a celebratory final student exhibition and graduation ceremony, during which four exemplary Pre-College students will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship to attend MCAD as an undergraduate. 

“What a life-changing opportunity. It increased my daughter’s self esteem and gave her a true college experience. I highly recommend it to others.”


Choose from one of these majors:

Comic Art

Students move through fundamental lessons of storytelling, character development, penciling, and inking to create short comic stories and learn the production skills necessary to produce their own edition of comic books.

Digital Photography

Students develop an eye for composition, light, and capturing images; learn how to manipulate photographs through software; and create a series of prints for a portfolio. Students must provide their own DSLR cameras, which are required.

Graphic Design

Students learn to meld text and graphics in support of a message, gaining the technical skills in Adobe InDesign and Photoshop used by professional designers. They may create logos, posters, branding, packaging, and more.


Students develop perception, conceptualization, and imagination, as well as knowledge of color, form, and composition. Working in both shared and personal studios, subjects may include still lifes, live models, self-portraits, and more.

Find more program information below or by contacting or 612.874.3765.

Brochure and Sample Schedule

Additional Pre-College Summer Session Information