Pre-College Summer Session Tuition & Scholarships

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Full program fee of $3,200 includes:

Tuition for three MCAD college credits

Students will receive an aggregate letter grade (A–F) for work completed in all classes during the course of the three weeks, reported on an MCAD transcript as “Pre-College Summer Session.” Students will receive a copy of their unofficial transcript upon completion of the program. Thereafter, official transcripts can be requested from MCAD Records.

For students seeking credit for this program at another institution, it is recommended that students keep each of their course syllabi and documentation of all work completed during the program. Please note that this is an individualized process and that MCAD Continuing Education will provide the letter grade to the student, but it is the student’s responsibility to apply these credits to their appropriate high school or college program (if applicable). Credits are not guaranteed to transfer and are at the sole discretion of the home institution. Speak with a high school teacher, guidance counselor, or college advisor to see if this is an option.

For students who plan on applying to an MCAD undergraduate program, these credits will function as “elective credits.”

The Pre-College Summer Session replicates the type of coursework a first-year student would experience in an art and design school. The first two weeks are equivalent to the first weeks of the college term—students learn skills, programs, and techniques. The last week is comparable to the final week of the college term—final projects are planned, critiqued, and completed for a final student exhibition. Students must choose one major when applying for the Pre-College Summer Session. Changes to majors are allowed only until the final payment deadline of June 30, 2014. 

Room and board

Each student shares a furnished room with up to three roommates in one of MCAD’s on campus single-gender apartment buildings. Trained residential advisors who are MCAD undergraduate students live in the buildings and are available to assist students. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided through MCAD’s cafeteria, and special consideration is given to students with specific dietary needs. Explore on-campus living at MCAD. Living on campus is integral to the Pre-College Summer Session and is required for this program. Students are supervised at all times and are not allowed off campus on their own.

Activities and excursions

Renowned for its art, music, and theater scenes as well as its lakes, shopping, and food, Minneapolis is a unique place to work and play. In addition to campus life, Pre-College Summer Session students experience the summer excitement and cultural opportunities of the Twin Cities with supervised, off-campus trips. While excursions change every summer, they typically include visits to studios for firsthand glimpses at the lives and work of local artists, Minneapolis cultural events, local sights, and fun study breaks.

Access to facilities, equipment, and supplies

Students learn what all good art students know: you must work at night to get the project done! Studios are open until midnight during the week, and nighttime studios are fully staffed with teachers and provide some of the most intense and valuable working experiences. Additionally, the majority of required supplies are provided, and students have access to MCAD facilities such as the computer labs and on-campus printing bureau. Access to these facilities and resources allow students to explore the variety of majors and areas of study that MCAD has to offer.

$1,000 MCAD Undergraduate Scholarships

Based on their adherence to high academic standards and student conduct, four of the most exemplary Pre-College students will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship to attend MCAD as an undergraduate. All students will be eligible.  

Waived undergraduate application fee

Participants in the Pre-College Summer Session program who decide to apply to MCAD as an undergraduate will have their $50 undergraduate application fee waived.


The scholarship deadine has passed. Scholarship applications are no longer being accepted.

A limited number of scholarships will be awarded to pre-existing applicants based on financial need and artistic merit. Students who apply and complete an application for a scholarship by the deadline will be considered for all potential scholarships listed below. Review the admission requirements to learn how to apply.

Full Tuition Scholarship Types

Economic-Need Based

Full tuition scholarships are available for students demonstrating economic need. For these scholarships, financial need is given the most weight in the decision (historically, a family/supporting guardian AGI of <60K), but students who also submit strong corresponding application pieces will have the best opportunity of receiving a scholarship. Priority will be given to students who have not received a previous scholarship to the Pre-College Summer Session program.

Partial Tuition Scholarship Types

$500 Academic or Portfolio Merit-Based

A limited number of partial scholarships are available for students who demonstrate outstanding portfolios or academic success, independent of financial need, are eligible to receive partial scholarships. Priority will be given to students who have not received a previous scholarship to the Pre-College Summer Session program.

$1000 Stipends for Minnesota Residents

(pending approval in March 2014)
Minnesota residents who are in their sophomore or junior year will automatically be considered for a $1000 stipend program offered by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education (pending organizational approval in March 2014). Students must demonstrate economic need by way of eligibility for free or reduced priced lunch, and also carry at least a C average as reported on their official high school or homeschool transcripts. Previous recipients of the $1000 stipend are eligible to receive another stipend for 2014.

Scholarships are generously funded by the Boss Foundation, Best Buy Foundation, and David Winton Bell Foundation.

Find more program information below or by contacting or 612.874.3765.

Brochure and Sample Schedule