Pre-College Summer Session FAQs

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Should I apply to this program?

Students of all artistic/creative levels are accepted into the Pre-College Summer Session. To be successful and gain the most from this program, it is important to be interested in art and design and willing to commit to the program’s culture, requirements, and workload.

Please note: While the program is open to sophomores, most participants are in their junior or senior year of high school. It is recommended that sophomores have already taken advanced or honors classes.

Can international students apply?

Yes! Equal entrance consideration is given to international applicants.

Keep in mind that travel and visa plans and expenses are your responsibility.

How difficult is the program?

The Pre-College Summer Session provides you with three college credits for successful completion of the program. Therefore, please come prepared to be an engaged participant in classes, complete homework assignments on time, and spend dedicated time in your studio working on projects. The eye-opening work done in class is balanced with exciting activities and excursions as well as downtime.

Students who commit to this program reap great rewards artistically, academically, and personally. Students are often amazed by their accomplishments and leave the program with deep and lasting connections with fellow students and instructors.

Is there any free time during the program?

Yes. Evenings and weekends are a mixture of free time, scheduled off-campus outings and activities, and time spent working in the studio.

Can I change my major?

You are able to change their major up until the priority application deadline.

What are the backgrounds of your instructors?

Staff and faculty are drawn from a pool of talented, enthusiastic, and dedicated professional artists and designers immersed in the Twin Cities arts community. Some are faculty at MCAD or other local colleges and universities, while others are professional working artists.

What types of assignments will I have?

You may find yourself spending mornings discussing how to develop ideas, learning about art history, and fine-tuning basic artistic/design skills. During afternoons, you will work intensely on individual projects. You will be asked to delve into your own creative process, to ask questions about their work and that of others, and to develop the art of making and taking critique.

Will I walk away with pieces suitable for a portfolio?

Absolutely. The work you will create in this program will no doubt be some of your best. You will receive a portfolio review during this program, and you will learn about MCAD admissions standards and how your work compares.

How do I get my work home at the end of the program?

You are responsible for getting your work home at the end of the program. Those who need to ship work are taken to a local FedEx, but MCAD does not package or pay to ship work.

What should I bring with me to the program?

You will receive a list of what to bring upon acceptance into the program.

Can I see friends and family throughout the program?

Yes! You may either leave campus (with parent/guardian authorization), or have friends or family members visit you on campus. Campus visits or outside activities should take place on weekends or after 6:00 p.m. on weekdays. We recommend waiting until the start of the program before solidifying plans with family and friends. The second week is often the best time to visit.

What are the on-campus apartments like?

You will be housed in one- and two-bedroom apartments with common amenities such as kitchens, baths, closets, and air conditioning units. Males and females live in separate buildings. Apartments are located directly across the lawn from classroom buildings.

How many students live in a dorm?

Generally, three to four. Due to space limitations, single rooms cannot be accommodated.

Is it safe?

Safety is the number one priority of this program. Apartments are across the lawn from MCAD’s public safety office, which is accessible twenty-four hours a day. Apartment buildings are secured, both at the main entrance and at individual apartment doors, by keyed entry. These dorms are staffed with trained resident advisors who live in the dorms with you throughout the program. You are not allowed to leave campus without supervision at any point and there is a program staff person with them at all times. All staff and faculty also undergo thorough background checks.

What food options are available?

Tuition includes the cost of three meals per day—breakfast, lunch, and dinner—at the MCAD cafeteria. The cafeteria offers basic vegetarian and non-vegetarian dining options and can accommodate special dining considerations based on requests. You are welcome and encouraged to bring your own snacks as well. Shopping runs take place every week.

How much money should I bring?

This varies widely for each student. Most often, money may be spent on snacks and everyday items during shopping runs, miscellaneous personal purchases, and extra art supplies at the on-campus store. The cost of basic required art supplies for the program and outside excursions are included in the cost of tuition.

Do I have to live on campus throughout the entire program?

You do. Living the complete Pre-College Summer Session experience is an important component of your overall success in the program.

Can I bring my car?

Sorry, no cars. Monitored, overnight parking is not available in the MCAD parking lot.

What is the most important part of the application? Any tips?

  • Document your portfolio images well. Make sure the image is not blurry, is cropped appropriately, and is well-lit.
  • Put time and effort into your personal statement. Be real. Be honest.
  • Request official high school transcripts early as they can often be delayed.
  • Request letters of recommendation from teachers or counselors who have known you the longest and who are invested in your success.
  • If your grades are poor and not a good indicator of your commitment to your art, explain the reason why in your personal statement.

Pre-College Summer Session students receive three college credits for successful completion of the program. What do these credits mean?

After successful completion of the program, you receive three credits in the form of an A–F letter grade on an MCAD transcript reported as “Pre-College Summer Session.”

You are encouraged to speak with your high school counselor to see if this program will satisfy any high school or college requirements. If you go on to attend MCAD, these credits function as elective credits.​ If you go to another college, the three credits might transfer into an undergraduate program, but this is a highly individualized process based on the accepting institution.

When do I know if I have been accepted? Received a scholarship?

Scholarships are reviewed shortly after the scholarship application deadline, and acceptance/denial letters are mailed within two weeks thereafter.

More questions? Find more program information below or contact or 612.874.3765.

Learn More about Pre-College Summer Session