Frequently Asked Questions
Get the Facts
Of MCAD's 800 students:
- 85% are undergraduate; 15% are graduate/post-baccalaureate
- 60% are female; 40% are male
- 65% are from the Midwest; 35% are from all over the country, including Texas, New York, Maryland, Colorado, Montana, California, and from around the world, including Great Britain, Chile, the Netherlands, China, Germany, Taiwan, Italy, and Korea
- 97% receive financial aid
- 29% of undergraduates are students of color
- 25% of undergraduates come from private, parochial, and homeschools
- 38% of undergraduates are transfer students
- 90% of first-year students live on campus
- 21 is the average age of our undergraduates
- All undergraduates complete at least one internship
- 76% of our graduates report working in their fields of study within five years of graduation
Yes, 76% of our alumni report work in their chosen fields after graduation. Our Core Four curriculum and career services help students develop professional skills, network, and find open positions. Many alumni start their own businesses, others work for advertising companies, design firms, interactive agencies, and a variety of other organizations. Plus, the Twin Cities is ranked the number one metro area for employment rates of people ages 21–30 (Georgetown University, Page 40).
The overall graduation rate for students at MCAD is about 70%.
The main difference is that, after learning, MCAD students apply knowledge to make or create objects (typically visual). The process of learning, making, and critiquing are at the heart of the MCAD learning experience. The MCAD learning experience is a combination of theoretical learning, applied learning, and professional skills development.
MCAD is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). This means that MCAD is accredited as both an academic institution and a visual arts college. We are the only private college in Minnesota with this level of accreditation and this ensures that students who attend MCAD receive the highest quality education possible.
Yes, there are a number of study abroad options for students studying different media areas. We also participate in AICAD’s mobility program. Learn more about study abroad and off-campus US study programs.
Yes, all of our studio instructors are working professional artists or designers as well as passionate and skilled teachers. Plus, with a 10:1 student to faculty ratio, students are easily able to receive personal attention. Learn more about our faculty.
The bachelor of fine arts (BFA) is an undergraduate studio degree. 2/3 of the classes are spent learning and creating things (fine art pieces, websites, designs, etc.). The remaining 1/3 of the classes are in traditional liberal arts (writing, research, humanities). The BFA curriculum is rooted by Core Four—fundamental courses that are structured to enrich each student's professional development over four years.
The bachelor of science (BSc) is an undergraduate degree that comprises 2/3 communications, liberal arts, and business courses, and 1/3 studio courses. Students’ interests, goals, and strengths dictate which program is a better fit. The BSc curriculum integrates three critical dimensions of creative communication: creative management courses, studio courses, and liberal studies courses.
No, we currently do not offer areas of study in fashion design, interior design, or ceramics. Please visit AICAD for information on similar art and design colleges that may offer these areas of study.
MCAD has a partnership with Macalester College for students interested in specific courses not offered by MCAD. Courses at Macalester may be limited based on schedule, availability, and prerequisites.
Yes, MCAD offers two online programs: the post-baccalaureate certificate in interactive design and marketing and the master of arts in sustainable design. We also offer a post-baccalaureate certificate in graphic design for working professionals—this course is taught in a part-time, evening and weekend format.
A portfolio is a documented body of artwork you have produced and is required for admission to many of the academic programs at MCAD. Requirements differ depending on the program to which you are applying, but, in general, 12–20 images of your work are required. Learn more about specific program requirements.
Yes, please contact email@example.com to see sample portfolio work.
MCAD doesn't require specific high school classes or a count of credits, but an applicant's transcript and GPA are important parts of the application. Students must successfully meet their high school and state requirements for graduation. For students wishing to enter our BFA program, the portfolio of artwork is the most important component of the application, while the written statement is the most important for a BSc applicant. Learn more about undergraduate admissions requirements.
We may accept up to 21 transfer credits from advanced placement courses (AP), international baccalaureate programs (IB), post-secondary enrollment option (PSEO), and other pre-college programs. Learn more about this credit acceptance policy.
MCAD welcomes and values transfer students, as they add experience, insight, and knowledge to our creative community. While we are selective with transfer credits, we will apply any credits that meet our criteria toward an eventual MCAD degree. Learn more about our transfer credit acceptance policy.
You should apply as a transfer student if you have graduated from a high school program (or an equivalent) and enrolled at a post-secondary institution. If you're thinking about switching from another college/university or are considering going back to college after a break, our admissions counselors are ready to help you transfer to MCAD.
Because MCAD looks at the complete application package, we do not have minimum GPA or standardized test score requirements. Nonetheless, we are a selective college. The median ACT composite score for enrolled students is 23 and the median high school GPA is 3.2.
MCAD's acceptance rate is about 60%.
International students have the same requirements and deadlines as non-international students, however, there are a few additional materials international students must submit with their applications.
Art degrees aren't limiting—just check out the variety of fields our alumni end up in. We'll give you what you need to succeed as a visual artist, but if you're not sure you want to eat, sleep, and breathe art, why not consider our bachelor of science degree?
Students and their parents should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) between January 1 and March 1 to receive priority for need-based financial aid. You do not need to be accepted to MCAD before completing the FAFSA.
Yes, MCAD has co-ed, on-campus apartments located within easy walking distance to classes. Housing is available for 275 students on average. About 90% of first-year students choose to live on campus, but our campus is in a residential neighborhood near many shops and restaurants, and many students choose to live in nearby houses or apartments.
MCAD has a club for everyone from classic movie buffs to recess lovers (and if you think of something new, you can always form your own). If you want to stay in shape, we have an on-campus fitness center as well.
Aside from coursework, you mean? We regularly offer on-campus events for students, plus MCAD sits in the heart of a thriving arts and cultural neighborhood—we share a block with the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and are a few steps away from the famed Eat Street. A short bike or bus ride will take you downtown for shopping, live music, or sports, and an even shorter ride will take you to uptown for the same. Learn more about Twin Cities living.
Yes! The cities are a vibrant hub of creativity and activity with a strong arts and cultural presence (we are the sixth most creative metropolitan area in the nation). From visual arts to music, theater to sporting events, we have it all. And the MCAD campus is in the heart of it.
Yes, it gets cold and snows in Minnesota in the winter, but many students from milder climates learn to like winter. The weather is no reason to stay inside all of the time. Student Life and Activities provides a number of opportunities for students to get outside and enjoy the winter.