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Admission FAQs

Should I apply to this program?

Students of all artistic/creative levels are accepted into the Pre-College Summer Session. However, admission is competitive. To be successful and gain the most from this program, it is important to be interested in art and design and willing to commit to the program’s culture, requirements, and workload.

Please note: While the program is open to sophomores, most participants have just completed their junior or senior year of high school. It is recommended that sophomores have already taken advanced or honors classes.

Pre-College Summer Session students receive 3 college credits for successful completion of the program. What do these credits mean?

After successful completion of the program, you receive 3 credits in the form of an A–F letter grade on an MCAD transcript reported as “Pre-College Summer Session.”

You are encouraged to speak with your high school counselor to see if this program will satisfy any high school or college requirements. If you go on to attend MCAD as an undergraduate student, these credits count as elective credits. If you go to another college, the 3 credits might transfer into an undergraduate program, but this is a highly individualized process based on the accepting institution. MCAD cannot guarantee their acceptance.

How difficult is the program?

The Pre-College Summer Session provides you with 3 college credits for successful completion of the program. Therefore, please come prepared to be an engaged participant in all classes, complete homework assignments on time, and spend dedicated time in your studio working on projects. The eye-opening work done in class is balanced with exciting activities and excursions, as well as downtime.

Students who commit to this program reap great rewards artistically, academically, and personally. Students are often amazed by their accomplishments and leave the program with deep and lasting connections with fellow students and instructors.

What is the most important part of the application? Any tips?

  • Document your portfolio images well. Make sure the image is not blurry, is cropped appropriately, and is well-lit.
  • Put time and effort into your personal statement. Be real. Be honest.
  • Request official high school transcripts early as they can often be delayed.
  • Request letters of recommendation from teachers or counselors who have known you the longest and who are invested in your success.
  • If your grades are poor and not a good indicator of your commitment to your art, explain the reason why in your personal statement.

Can I change my major?

You may change your major up until the priority application deadline.

How many students are in the Pre-College program?

Typically there are fifty to sixty students enrolled in the program. The number of students in each major ranges from twelve to eighteen.

Where do students come from?

Students come from all over the country and international students are welcome to apply. Keep in mind that travel and visa plans and expenses are the student’s responsibility.

Can international students apply?

Yes! Equal entrance consideration is given to international applicants. Keep in mind that travel and visa plans and expenses are the student’s responsibility.

When do I know if I have been accepted? Received a scholarship?

Scholarships are reviewed shortly after the scholarship application deadline, and acceptance/denial letters are mailed within two weeks thereafter.

 

Classes FAQ

Who are the instructors?

Staff and faculty are drawn from a pool of talented, enthusiastic, and dedicated professional artists and designers immersed in the Twin Cities arts community. Some are faculty at MCAD or other local colleges and universities, while others are professional working artists.

What types of assignments will I have?

Students may find themselves spending mornings discussing how to develop ideas, learning about art history, and fine-tuning basic artistic/design skills. During afternoons, students will work intensely on individual projects. Students will be asked to delve into their own creative process, to ask questions about their work and that of others, and to develop the art of making and taking critique. Classes may also include off site excursions and field trips.

What will a typical weekday look like?

Students will attend morning and afternoon classes, scheduled events and activities, and open studio in the evenings. Due to the short nature of the program, there is a limited amount of free time. Most free time is dedicated to studio work and homework. There will be several required evening studio time sessions throughout the program.

 

Typical Weekday Schedule
8:15–8:45 a.m.Breakfast
9:00 a.m.–noonFoundation classes (observational drawing, art history, ideation and process)
12:15–1:15 p.m.Lunch and required daily group chat
1:30–6:00 p.m.Major class
6:00–6:45 p.m.Dinner
7:00–8:00 p.m.Possible group planned events and activities, discussion, museum visits, movie screenings, or work time.
8:00–11:55 p.m.Open studio / free time

 

What materials do I need to bring?

Students will be required to bring a basic set of supplies. These will include a sketchbook, drawing supplies, scissors, erasers, and glue. Students can expect to spend around $30-$45 on this basic set of supplies. A more specific list will be shared prior to the start of the program. This basic set will include supplies that will be used in multiple classes.

Materials required for specific classes will be provided.

If students are interested in purchasing additional art supplies, there is an on-campus store open on weekdays.

Due to the amount of supplies used by painting major students, an additional $100 materials fee is included as part of their tuition. Many painting students do need to spend money out of pocket to purchase additional paint colors, special brushes, or stretcher bars that are not covered by the materials fee.

Should I bring a computer?

Students may bring a laptop if they wish, but students are welcome to use the MCAD computer labs. MCAD is not responsible for lost or stolen property.

Where is the studio space located?

Studio spaces are located in various classrooms on the MCAD Campus depending on the courses in which they have enrolled. Students will have access to MCAD's state-of-the-art equipment and facilities.

When will I have time to work on projects?

Students will be able to work on their projects during studio hours in the evenings and weekends, when there are not required events and activities. Weekday studio hours are 7:00 p.m. to 11:55 p.m. Weekend studio hours are 8:00 p.m. to 11:55 p.m.

Will this program help build my portfolio? Will I be able to have a portfolio review?

All students will improve their skills and produce work for their portfolio if they stay focused and work hard. All students are required to take a drawing fundamental class that will provide an opportunity to create portfolio work. The work you will create in this program will no doubt be some of your best.

Admissions counselors provide an optional portfolio review with students. Students are encouraged to bring work they have completed outside of the program for review. Both digital images on a laptop or flash drive and physical pieces are permitted.

How do I get my work home at the end of the program?

You are responsible for getting your work home at the end of the program. Those who need to ship work are taken to a local FedEx, but MCAD does not package or pay to ship work.

 

Campus Life FAQ

Where will I be living?

Living on campus is an exciting, and integral, part of the program and is required of all students. All PCSS students live on campus in single-gender, semi-furnished student apartments located roughly one hundred yards from the Main Building. Each apartment houses two to four students in shared bedrooms. You will receive a personal survey that will assist us in creating your housing assignments.

How much supervision is provided?

There will be multiple Resident Assistants (RAs) living in the building who will be available to answer your questions about MCAD and your apartment. They will be living in the building for the duration of the program and will, on occasion, attend off-campus events in the evening with you. There is also a senior staff person on duty at all times while students are not in class. Students are allowed to go off campus on unsupervised excursions when other required activities are not scheduled. Students are required to be in groups of two or more, and may only travel within a certain time frame and within a limited geographic area.

Is it safe?

The apartments are across the lawn from MCAD’s public safety office, which is accessible twenty-four hours a day. The apartment buildings are secured, both at the main entrance and at individual apartment doors, by keyed entry. The apartments are staffed with trained resident advisors who live in the buildings throughout the program. All staff and faculty also undergo thorough background checks.

What policies should I be aware of?

Upon admission students will receive a Pre-College handbook which includes rules and policies, including MCAD’s Standard of Conduct It is important to provide students with a safe and positive environment and all students must agree to the Standard of Conduct policy. There is a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to illegal substances.  The possession and/or consumption of alcohol or illicit drugs are expressly forbidden. If a student is in possession or attended a gathering where alcohol or drugs are present, immediate dismissal from the program will occur. No fees are refunded.

What is provided in the apartments and what do I need to bring?

Apartments are furnished with beds, dressers, drawing tables, a clothes closet, bed linens, towels, air conditioning, and coin-operated washers and dryers. 

Students may bring favorite pillows and warm blankets, utensils, paper plates and paper towels, personalized fans, umbrellas, toiletries, spending money, and anything else they would like to personalize their dorm room. A detailed list of what to bring will be shared in the Student Handbook prior to the program start.

What food options are available?

Tuition includes the cost of three meals per day—breakfast, lunch, and dinner—at the MCAD cafeteria. The cafeteria offers basic vegetarian and non-vegetarian dining options and can accommodate special dining considerations based on requests. You are welcome and encouraged to bring your own snacks as well. Shopping runs take place every week. 

What happens on weekends?

Most weekends a mixture of free-time, scheduled events and activities, and time to work on their projects. Scheduled events include museum visits, mini-workshops with local artist, studio visits, sightseeing, movie theaters and more.

What type of events and activities will I participate in? How many off-campus events are there and am I required to attend?

A variety of events and activities are planned to connect and build students. Events and activities are planned on weekends and evenings both on campus and off campus. Students will head off campus on supervised excursions to visit Minneapolis museums, artists’ studios, sightseeing, and social activities. It is required that all students participate. Typically there will be 4-6 planned off-campus events.

Students will have the option to leave campus for grocery store runs with staff or walk to local restaurants, coffee shops, and stores next to campus with staff and/or other students.

How much money should I bring?

This varies widely for each student. Most often, money may be spent on snacks and everyday items during shopping runs, miscellaneous personal purchases, and extra art supplies at the on-campus store. The cost of basic required art supplies for the program and outside excursions are included in the cost of tuition.

 

Transportation FAQ

Will transportation be provided to and from campus and the airport?

As long as students arrive and depart within a designated timeframe, MCAD will provide shuttles from the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport on July 15 and to the airport on August 6. Students are responsible for arranging air transportation.

Will I be able to have a car?

Students are not allowed to have cars on campus during the program.

May I leave campus during the program?

This is possible but highly discouraged unless absolutely necessary. If absolutely necessary, students may either leave campus (with parent/guardian authorization), or have friends or family members visit campus. Campus visits or outside activities should take place on weekends or after 6:00 p.m. on weekdays. Free time is valuable time for students to work on projects. Connecting with other students and program staff is an important part of the program and leaving campus is detrimental to this part of the experience.

 

For Parents/Guardians FAQ

Will I receive a federal tax form 1098-T regarding my student’s participation in this program?

Yes, tuition and required fees qualify for the 1098-T. Room and board is not included. You will be sent the 1098-T form in late January or early February.

What should I be aware of as far as rules and discipline?

Upon admission students will receive a Pre-College handbook which includes rules and policies, including MCAD’s Standard of Conduct. It is important to provide students with a safe and positive environment and all students must agree to the Standard of Conduct policy. There is a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to illegal substances.  The possession and/or consumption of alcohol or illicit drugs are expressly forbidden. If a student is in possession or attended a gathering where alcohol or drugs are present, immediate dismissal from the program will occur. No fees are refunded.

Will I be able to get information about my student while in the program?

In compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), MCAD is prohibited from providing certain student information to family members or guardians once classes begin. Students may grant MCAD permission to release information to any individual by completing a waiver form. The form will be sent prior to the program start.

May I visit my student or take them off campus?

Free time is valuable time for students to work on projects on campus. Connecting with other students and program staff is an important part of the program and leaving campus is detrimental to this part of the experience. It is possible to visit or take students off campus, but highly discouraged unless absolutely necessary. If absolutely necessary, students may either leave campus (with parent/guardian authorization and 24-hour notice), or have friends or family members visit campus. Campus visits or outside activities should take place on weekends or after 6:00 p.m. on weekdays.


More questions? Contact us at precollege@mcad.edu or 612.874.3765.


Additional Information