• Undergraduate
    • Application Requirements and Deadlines for the Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Science Degree Programs
  • Graduate
    • Application Requirements and Deadlines for the Master of Fine Arts and Master of Arts Degree Programs
  • Post-Baccalaureate
    • Application Requirements and Deadlines for the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Programs
  • Pre-College
    • Application Requirements and Deadlines for PSEO and the Pre-College Summer Session

Application Deadlines for Undergraduate Students

MCAD is currently accepting BFA and BSc admissions applications for fall semester (August–December) and spring semester (January–May).

Accepted applicants who meet the following deadlines will receive an admission and Merit Scholarship decision within two weeks, on a rolling basis.




Early Action  a

December 1

October 1

Priority Decision

February 15

November 1

Regular Decision  b

April 1

December 1

Application Checklist for Undergraduate Students
Online Application Form

To begin the application process, you must first complete an online application form. The form requires a valid credit card number for the application fee of $50.

Official Transcripts

Submit official high school transcripts and transcripts from any colleges or universities that you've attended. Transcripts must be sent directly from the issuing institution. Transcripts marked "Issued to Student" are not considered official transcripts.

If you did not complete high school, submit your general equivalency diploma (GED) scores along with your official high school transcript. A final transcript with a date of graduation is required for all applicants.

High school transcripts are required for all transfer students except those who have previously earned a bachelor's degree. Home-school transcripts are welcome—please include classes, curricula, and grades.

Send to:

MCAD Admissions Office
2501 Stevens Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55404

See additional application requirements for applicants with college transfer credits or high school transfer credits from PSEO, AP, and IB courses.

Official Test Scores

Official ACT or SAT test scores are required for applicants unless waived by the MCAD Admissions Office for special circumstances. Standardized test scores are not required for international applicants or transfer students who have successfully completed at least 12 college credits.

Send to:

MCAD Admissions Office
2501 Stevens Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55404

Letter of Recommendation

One letter of recommendation is required from an art instructor, guidance counselor, advisor, or employer in support of your application.

Send to:

MCAD Admissions Office
2501 Stevens Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55404




Send a request to your letter writer
via mcad.slideroom.com
for submission directly to MCAD

Personal Statement

Write a carefully edited one- or two-page statement, 400–600 words in length, specific to your program below.

Submit your statement online at mcad.slideroom.com

Bachelor of Science Applicants
Describe a team project in which you were involved. What was the goal of the project? What was your role in the project? What did you learn from the process? In your opinion, was the project successful?

Bachelor of Fine Arts Applicants
Choose one of the following:

  • Describe an artist who has influenced your work. Be sure to discuss both the artist's work and your own work.
  • Describe a project that you completed as a group member. Be sure to describe the project and your role.
  • Describe how a critique of your work influenced it or made it better.

Submit your portfolio online at mcad.slideroom.com, specific to your program below.

The digital platform allows you to create an inventory of your best work and to include titles, dates, media, dimensions, and notes. Both still images and time-based works may be uploaded. Images may be viewed and rearranged until the application process is complete. Detailed instructions are found on the site. For technical support, email help@slideroom.com.

Do not ship or mail portfolios to MCAD. There is no charge to submit portfolios online.

Bachelor of Science Applicants
A portfolio of artwork is not required for BSc applicants. However, if available, visual documentation of the project described in your personal statement may be uploaded as a portfolio.

Bachelor of Fine Arts Applicants
The portfolio is the most important part of the BFA application. It is evaluated on artistic and conceptual content, design and composition, technical skill, and creative potential.

Include the following 4 subjects:

  • Landscape
  • Still life
  • Interior space
  • Self-portrait

A minimum of one of these pieces must be an observational drawing. Do not work form photographs or another artist's work. Include a full value scale (from light to dark) and background. Be aware of your composition. And use your eyes, imagination, and creativity. The remaining three subjects may be composed in the media of your choice.

Additionally, include 8 to 16 pieces of your finished artwork that show your technical skills and idea development. It helps to submit work from a variety of media to best demonstrate your abilities; any medium is acceptable. Sketches may also be submitted, but only to show the idea development of your completed pieces.

Tips for developing your portfolio:

  • Start early! The more time you have, the better pieces you will be able to select. The goal is to make your best work, so focus on quality not quantity.
  • Enroll in high school art classes (especially AP or IB art classes if they are offered). Choose a variety of media so you can experiment and develop as a visual artist.
  • Summer or pre-college programs are designed for high school students to develop their portfolios, and they are a great way to produce work for college admission. Scholarships are available.
  • Attend portfolio preparation classes to create a college-ready portfolio.

There are several ways to receive feedback on your portfolio:

  • Schedule a personal portfolio review on campus. This is the best way to receive a complete evaluation. Admissions counselors are available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., to review your work and to provide constructive feedback.
  • Attend a National Portfolio Day event. MCAD attends National Portfolio Days across the country. If you don't see an event listed, please call the admissions office to confirm if there is an event in your area and if a representative plans to attend.
  • Request a critique. The admissions office will provide an online critique of up to three pieces of artwork if you simply fill out a form and attach your artwork.
Additional Requirements for International Students
  • Proof of English proficiency
    Students whose native language is not English must successfully complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum scores required for admittance include:
    • PBT TOEFL: 550
    • IBT TOEFL: 79
    • IELTS: 6.5
    The TOEFL or IELTS must be taken within twelve months of MCAD's application deadline (e.g. if MCAD's deadline is January 1, 2016, the test must be taken after January 1, 2015).
  • Official English translations of all transcripts
  • Proof of citizenship (A photocopy of your passport is suitable.)
  • Financial certification
    In order for international applicants to obtain a student visa, they must first show proof of the availability of funds to cover tuition, housing, and expenses for at least one year of attendance at MCAD. Once accepted, MCAD will send a financial certification form that is due with the $300 tuition deposit by the posted deadline. This form should be signed and sent to the Admissions Office and must include an official letter from a manager or officer of a major financial institution citing the balance of funds for the student or student's sponsor. This school is authorized under federal law to enroll nonimmigrant students in accordance with the requirements specified in 8 CRF 214.3.

aEarly Action application has many benefits, including eligibility for the MCAD Laptop Scholarship.

bApplications will be accepted regular decision on a space-available basis. If space is available and if the applicant admitted, an Admission and Merit Scholarship decision will be made within two weeks, on a rolling basis.