An MCAD Education
For 125-plus years, MCAD has been shaping the meaning of art and design education: We deliver top-notch, relevant academic programs, including comic arts and furniture design, all of which are taught by our superb faculty of working artists and designers; We are fully committed to being accessible—our facilities are open 24/7—and keeping costs manageable—97% of our students receive financial aid; And since we are continuously partnering with community organizations looking to tap into MCAD creative talent, all of our students graduate with real-world work experiences.
Whether you are a high school student checking out your options, a transfer student looking for a change, or a working professional exploring ways to advance your career, an MCAD education will move you from where you are to where you want to go.
MCAD offers two undergraduate degree programs: a bachelor of fine arts degree and a bachelor of science degree. And because we're a small school that encourages students to cross disciplines, there's a lot of interaction among the students pursuing each of the degrees—which makes you an even stronger artist or designer, no matter what path you pick.
Advertising ▪ Animation ▪ Comic Art ▪ Drawing and Painting ▪ Entrepreneurship Studies ▪ Filmmaking ▪ Fine Arts Studio ▪ Furniture Design ▪ Graphic Design ▪ Illustration ▪ Photography ▪ Print Paper Book ▪ Sculpture ▪ Web and Multimedia Environments
The master of fine arts degree program at MCAD is based on the European model of advanced study, which is a mentor-based approach combining the independence of open studio work with the structure of regular feedback, critiques from visiting artists, and liberal arts seminars.
Areas of Study
Animation ▪ Comic Art ▪ Drawing ▪ Filmmaking ▪ Furniture Design ▪ Graphic Design ▪ Illustration ▪ Painting ▪ Photography ▪ Print Paper Book ▪ Sculpture ▪ Web and Multimedia ▪ Environments
If you want to expand your studies beyond standalone classes but don't have the time to pursue a degree, check out MCAD's professional post-baccalaureate certificate programs.
These programs are built for working professionals—those with the ambition and talent to progress further in the field of design, but who have limited time. Courses in these programs are taught by experienced professionals and provide access to MCAD's renowned facilities, coursework, and faculty.
Areas of Study
MCAD's pre-college summer session gives high school sophomores through graduating seniors the chance to live on campus, build a portfolio, and earn three college credits.
The curriculum provides the type of coursework that a first-year MCAD student would experience: The first week is equivalent to the first weeks of a term where you learn skills, programs, and techniques. The second week is comparable to the final week in which projects are planned, critiqued and completed.
Students work independently and together on projects. Particularly during the second week, students learn the reality of art school: you must often work at night to get the project done! Nighttime studios are fully staffed with teachers and provide some of the most intense and valuable working experiences.
Our BFA curriculum is rooted by Core Four—fundamental courses that are structured to enrich each student's development as he or she progresses through the College. From the first compositions and critiques to real-world work experiences, Core Four is a systematic process that transforms MCAD students into professional artists and designers.
Internships are academic learning experiences where students work under the mentorship of an experienced professional. Working on-site, students apply their skills to real-world projects while learning about the industry, enhancing their skills, networking, and building their portfolio.
Examples of Internship Sites
- Alec Soth Photography, St. Paul, MN
- Bloomingdales, New York, NY
- Cambria, Eden Prairie, MN
- Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, MN
- Charles S. Anderson Design, Minneapolis, MN
- City Pages, Minneapolis, MN
- Clarity Coverdale Fury, Minneapolis, MN
- Green Team USA, New York, NY
- Gucci, New York, NY
- K2 Sports / Ride Snowboards, Seattle, WA
- KMSP Fox 9, Eden Prairie, MN
- Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, MA
- Medtronic Inc., Mounds View, MN
- Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, MN
- Minnesota Timberwolves / Lynx, Minneapolis, MN
- MTV, New York, NY
- Nickelodeon, New York, NY
- Ogilvy & Mather, Warsaw, Poland
- Target, Minneapolis, MN
- Tupperware Brands, Orlando, FL
- Urban Outfitters, Philadelphia, PA
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ft. Snelling, MN
- VH1, New York, NY
- Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
- Werc Werk Works, Minneapolis, MN
MCAD has many off-campus study opportunities—both internationally and in the United States—that will expose you to even more educational and cultural experiences. Most programs require you to have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, and be in junior standing during the semester you are away.
Bauhaus Universität—Weimar, Germany
Founded in 1993, this program offers students the chance to work in an innovative, interdisciplinary, and project-oriented environment. Students may study fine arts, media/ photography or visual communication. The program also includes a one-month German-language intensive taught at the beginning of the term.
Fachhochschule Vorarlberg—Dornbirn, Austria
The University of Applied Sciences offers interactive media majors a chance to further their practice-oriented career goals, experience project-oriented curricula and refine their design, marketing, management and communication skills to become first-rate employees. Dornbirn is set on Lake Constance bordering Germany and Switzerland. The program also includes a German-language intensive taught at the beginning of the term.
Florence Honors Program—Florence, Italy
This program was created in 1989 to provide an opportunity for students to explore art on opposite sides of the Atlantic. Each year, the exchange program provides that experience for three students from Italian schools and three from MCAD. In Florence, students from Minneapolis may attend classes at three schools Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze, Istituto Statale d’ Arte di Firenze, and/or the Istituto Superiori per le Industrie Artistiche (ISIA). Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, provides MCAD students with an unparalleled opportunity to encounter art as immersive experience.
Royal Academy of Art—The Hague, The Netherlands
The Royal Academy of Art (Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten or KABK) prepares students to become self-aware artists and designers who make a significant contribution to their discipline and society with their passion, profundity and experimental attitude. Established in 1682, KABK is one of Europe's oldest academies. With over 1000 students and 150 international students from 50 countries, KABK exudes creativity, innovation and professionalism. Theory supports inquiring attitudes and tutors from prominent positions in their fields coach students in well equipped workshops.
University of Brighton—Brighton, England
Located on the southern coast of England, the University of Brighton is an hour train ride from London. The program at Brighton is for students studying graphic design or illustration, and who enjoy working independently within a project-oriented environment. Programs are structured to promote individual creative exploration with both faculty and an extensive roster of Great Britain's top professionals.
New York Studio Residency Program—Brooklyn, NY
This semester-long learning experience allows students to become immersed in the many cultural resources of New York City. You’ll make frequent visits to artists' studios and get critiques by visiting artists. And you’ll join select students from art schools throughout the United States who work independently in a studio or in full-time internships—meeting weekly for a contemporary art seminar. The program culminates with a group exhibition in New York City.
AICAD Mobility Program
As part of the Mobility Program, MCAD students can spend a semester at one of the art and design colleges in the United States affiliated with the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD). This program makes the faculty, course offerings and resources of these schools available to MCAD students with ease of accessibility and without special cost.