Undergraduate Degree Admissions Requirements

To begin the application process, you must first complete an online application form. The application requires a valid credit card number for the application fee of $50. All prospective undergraduate students should follow the posted Undergraduate Applicant Dates and Deadlines. In addition, the following application materials must be submitted for you to be considered for admission to MCAD:

Application Form and Fee

Complete the online application form, which includes a nonrefundable application fee of $50. 


Submit official high school transcripts and transcripts from any colleges or universities that you've attended. Transcripts need to be sent directly from the institution issuing them to be considered official. 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.

Official transcripts should be submitted to:
MCAD Admissions Office
2501 Stevens Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55404

Test Scores

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 twelve college credits.

Official test scores should be submitted to:
MCAD Admissions Office
2501 Stevens Ave
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. The letter may be sent directly to the MCAD Admissions Office, or you may 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. Please submit your statement online at mcad.slideroom.com.

Bachelor of Science (BSc) Degree 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 (BFA) Degree 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.
  • 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, 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.

There is no charge to submit portfolios online.
For technical support, email help@slideroom.com

Bachelor of Science (BSc) Degree 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 (BFA) 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.

The following 4 subjects are required:

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

One of the 4 subjects must be an observational drawing. Do not work from 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:

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 here.

High School Students with Transfer Credit

  • We may accept transfer credits from advanced placement courses (AP), international baccalaureate programs (IB), post-secondary enrollment option (PSEO), and other pre-college programs. Please contact an admission counselor for guidance in the transfer process. Once admitted to MCAD, high school students with transfer credit will receive an official transfer credit evaluation.
  • You may apply to transfer up to 3 studio arts and 9 liberal arts credits of AP or IB (the total may not exceed 9 credits). You may apply to transfer up to 6 studio arts and 9 liberal arts credits of PSEO or pre-college credit. AP, IB, PSEO, and pre-college credit combined may not exceed 21 total transfer credits. Students must complete all necessary steps by posted deadlines in order to transfer credits.

Transfer Credit PDFs