Graduate Admissions Requirements

sidebar students

Master of Fine Arts in Visual Studies Applicants
Master of Arts in Sustainable Design Applicants

MCAD is highly selective in admitting graduate students and accepts candidates beginning only in fall semester. To enhance your chances, please apply early and follow the guidelines listed below. Completed applications by the posted deadlines will advance to committee review.

Program Requirements
Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree before applying.

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Visual Studies

Application Form and Fee
Complete the online application form, which includes a nonrefundable $50 application fee.

Personal Statement
Please provide the following information online at mcad.slideroom.com.

  • What goals will you pursue in the graduate program? Please be specific. (300-word limit)
  • How has your previous experience prepared you to pursue those goals? (300-word limit)
  • Provide a detailed analysis of one of the works in your portfolio. (400-word limit)

Letters of Recommendation
Submit three letters of recommendation that attest to your creative ability, self-discipline, academic record, and commitment to visual arts. These letters should be from academic mentors, instructors, or advisors, or from professional supervisors, clients, or employers. Letters of recommendation requests should be submitted to the three authors via mcad.slideroom.com.

Résumé
Submit as a pdf document to mcad.slideroom.com a current copy of your résumé that highlights your past and present professional and volunteer work experience, appointments, awards, grants, scholarships, accolades, etc., as relevant. (4-page limit)

Portfolio
Submit twenty pieces of your work, demonstrating your strongest work in your chosen discipline. Note: All film and video work in excess of fifteen minutes should include a three-minute sample video and the full-length work. Applicants with an emphasis in interactive media should submit a selection of no more than twenty screenshots. In adition, interactive applicants may submit a video, no more than three-minutes, demonstrating the piece. All MFA applicants may also link to media on YouTube, Vimeo and SoundCloud via SlideRoom. The quality of presentation is taken into consideration by the graduate committee.

Do not ship or mail portfolios to MCAD. Portfolios may be uploaded at mcad.slideroom.com. This digital platform allows you to create an inventory of your best work and to include titles, dates, media, dimesions, 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. There is no charge to submit portfolios online.

Applicants are required to label each work by title, date, media, and dimensions. If the work is a collaborative effort, you must include your role in its creation and development.

Official College Transcripts
Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate study must be sent directly from the college(s) attended to: admissions@mcad.edu or MCAD Admissions Office, 2501 Stevens Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404. Transcripts marked "Issued to Student" are not official and will not be accepted.

Application Deadline - Master of Fine Arts, Visual Studies

Fall Semester Regular Decision: January 15

This is when all required materials need to be received. Transcript requests may take up to a month to be received, and letters of recommendation often take three weeks before they reach us. Please plan accordingly.

Additional Requirements for International MFA Applicants
Applicants are encouraged to apply early. Once you have been admitted to the program and have submitted your tuition deposit, the I-20 form needed to obtain a student visa will be issued. International MFA students are admitted as full-time students only.

In addition to the general admission application requirements, international students must provide the following information to the MFA graduate program.

  • 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:
    • Paper: 550
    • Computer: 213
    • IBT: 79
    • IELTS: 6
  • Official English translations of all transcripts
  • Student Visa
    Once you are accepted to the graduate program, you must then provide the following information to receive a student visa.
  • Proof of citizenship
    A photocopy of your passport is suitable.
  • Financial certification
    You must 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 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. MCAD is authorized under federal law to enroll nonimmigrant students in accordance with the requirements specified in 8 CRF 214.3.

Master of Arts (MA) in Sustainable Design

Application Form and Fee
Complete the online application form, which includes a nonrefundable $50 application fee.

Supporting Materials
The following supporting materials should be sent to admissions@mcad.edu or MCAD Admissions, 2501 Stevens Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404.

Personal Statement
Submit as a pdf document to admissions@mcad.edu your personal statement. Please provide the following information (2-page limit):

  • List your top three career goals. How do you expect MCAD’s MA in sustainable design to help you achieve your professional goals?

  • What has been your experience with the process of design?

  • Present an example of your past engagement in the field of sustainable design. How did this experience influence your perspective on your role as a sustainable designer?

Letters of Recommendation
Submit three letters of recommendation that attest to your creative ability, self-discipline, academic record, and commitment to visual arts to admissions@mcad.edu. These letters should be from academic mentors, instructors, or advisors, or from professional supervisors, clients, or employers. They can be submitted with your application materials or sent directly to MCAD from the respective authors. It is recommended these letters are submitted in pdf format.

Résumé
Submit as a pdf document to admissions@mcad.edu a current copy of your résumé that highlights your past and present professional and volunteer work experience, appointments, awards, grants, scholarships, accolades, etc., as relevant (4-page limit).

Official College Transcripts
Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate study must be sent directly from the college(s) attended to: admissions@mcad.edu or MCAD Admissions Office, 2501 Stevens Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404. Transcripts marked "Issued to Student" are not official and will not be accepted.


Application Deadline - Master of Arts in Sustainable Design

Fall Semester Early Action*: January 15
Fall Semester Priority Decision*: April 1
Fall Semester Regular Decision: June 1

This is when all required materials need to be received. Transcript requests may take up to a month to be received, and letters of recommendation often take three weeks before they reach us. Please plan accordingly.

Additional Requirements for International Applicants
In addition to the general admission application requirements, international students must provide the following information to the MA graduate program.

  • 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:
    • Paper: 550
    • Computer: 213
    • IBT: 79
    • IELTS: 6
  • Official English translations of all transcripts

* Students who complete the MA application by the January 15th Early Action or April 1st Priority Deadline will be notified of Fall admission within one month.