Everything you need to include in your application to MCAD. 

We will be flexible with the receipt of final transcripts, exams, and test scores. Due to the cancellation of SAT and ACT testing dates, MCAD has moved to a test-optional policy. Additionally, we understand that the release of official transcripts and AP or IB exam scores may take additional time. MCAD will accept unofficial copies for review in the application process, with official copies due prior to enrollment. We can assure you that you will not be negatively impacted by these delays in your admission to MCAD. If you have any questions, please reach out to your admissions counselor at or 612.874.3760.

Be sure to follow the dates and deadlines for the best chance at admittance.

  1. Application Form
  2. Official Transcripts
  3. ACT or SAT Test Scores (Optional)
  4. Letter of Recommendation
  5. Personal Statement
  6. Portfolio (optional for BS applicants)
  7. Additional Requirements for International Students

Application Form

To begin the application process, you must first complete the online application form. The application is easy to fill out, plus you can save it as you go so it doesn’t have to be completed in one sitting. The form requires a credit card number for the application fee of $50.

Official Transcripts

Send via mail or email

Official transcripts must be sent directly from the issuing institution. Transcripts marked "Issued to Student" are not considered official. A final official transcript with a date of graduation is required for all applicants. Due to the impact of the pandemic, MCAD will accept unofficial copies for review in the application process, with official copies due prior to enrollment. If a student has taken courses or semesters as pass/fail, the type and rigor of courses taken will be considered. A student's chance of admission will not be negatively impacted by taking courses pass/fail. Please contact your admission counselor for next steps if you have questions about submission of transcripts.

High School Students/Graduates

Submit official transcripts from high school and from any colleges or universities that you have attended.

Non-High School Graduates

If you did not complete high school, submit your general equivalency diploma (GED) scores as well as official transcripts from high school and any colleges or universities you have attended.

Transfer Students

If you are or have been enrolled at another college or university, submit official transcripts from high school* and the colleges or universities you have attended.

Homeschool Students:

Homeschool transcripts are welcome. Please ensure your transcript includes classes, curricula, and grades.

*Not required if you have previously earned a bachelor's degree.

See additional information about transferring PSEO, AP, IB, and college credits.

ACT or SAT Test Scores (optional)

Send via mailemail, or secure document transfer

Submission of  ACT or SAT scores for the undergraduate program is optional. Your chance of admission will not be negatively impacted if you do not submit standardized test scores. In many circumstances, standardized test scores may have value for indicating potential ability, so students are still encouraged to submit them with their application. There is no minimum score and the writing portion of the test is not recommended. Due to the impact of the pandemic, MCAD will accept unofficial copies for review in the application process. Please contact your admission counselor for next steps if you have questions about submission of scores.

Letter of Recommendation

Send via mail, email, or Slideroom

One letter of recommendation is required from an art instructor, teacher, guidance counselor, advisor, or employer in support of your application.

Personal Statement

Send via Slideroom

Write a carefully edited 400- to 600-word statement specific to your program:

Bachelor of Science Applicants

Describe a team project you have been involved in. What was the goal of the project? What was your role? What did you learn from the process? Was the project successful?

Bachelor of Fine Arts Applicants

Choose one of the following:

  • Describe an artist who has influenced your work. Discuss both the artist's work and your own work.
  • Describe a project you completed as a group member. Describe the project and your role.
  • Describe how a critique of your work influenced it or made it better.


Send via Slideroom (do not mail)

Bachelor of Science Applicants

A portfolio of artwork is not required. However, visual documentation of the project described in your personal statement may be uploaded as a portfolio.

Bachelor of Fine Arts Applicants

Your portfolio is the most important part of your application. It is evaluated on artistic and conceptual content, design and composition, technical skill, and creative potential.

Include the following four subjects in your portfolio:

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

At least one of these subjects must be represented in an observational drawing. Do not work from photographs or another artist's work. Include a full value scale (from light to dark) and background. Use your eyes, imagination, and creativity. The remaining three subjects may be composed in the media of your choice.

Additionally, include eight to sixteen pieces of 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 only be submitted to show idea development of submitted completed pieces. Get some tips on developing your best portfolio.

Slideroom allows you 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 in our step-by-step video walkthrough (below) and on the Slideoom site. There is no charge to submit portfolios online. For technical support, email

Additional Requirements for International Students

Send via mail or email

Proof of English proficiency

If English is not your native language, you must successfully complete the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Duolingo English Test, or one of the Michigan tests for higher education. The TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo English test, or Michigan tests for higher education must be taken within twelve months of MCAD's application deadline (e.g. if MCAD's deadline is January 1, 2021, the test must be taken after January 1, 2020). Minimum scores for admittance:

  • PBT TOEFL: 550
  • IBT TOEFL: 79*
  • IELTS: 6.5

MCAD's TOEFL code: 6411

Duolingo English Test

Minimum score: 100

MCAD accepts the Duolingo English Test. The Duolingo English Test is an online English proficiency test that can be taken online, on-demand, in under an hour for only $49. The test is taken via a computer with a camera and includes a proficiency score, video interview, and writing sample which are shared with MCAD when you send your results. Certified results are available within 48 hours of the test session.

Michigan Tests for Higher Education

MCAD accepts the following Michigan tests for higher education, which assess English language proficiency.

Official English translations of all transcripts

Proof of citizenship (a photocopy of your passport is suitable)

Financial certification

To obtain a student visa (not applicable for online-only graduate programs), you must first show proof of funds to cover tuition, housing, and expenses for at least one year of attendance at MCAD. Once accepted, MCAD will send you a financial certification form that must be signed and must include an official letter from a manager or officer of a major financial institution citing the balance of funds for you or your sponsor. This form is due with the tuition deposit by the posted deadline. MCAD is authorized under federal law to enroll nonimmigrant students in accordance with the requirements specified in 8 CRF 214.3.

*MyBest Scores (aka ‘superscores’) are a sum of the highest scores from each section if multiple tests have been taken in the last two years. We will use the MyBest Score when provided.

MCAD's Mailing Address

Please use the following address when mailing admissions materials to MCAD.

MCAD Admissions Office
2501 Stevens Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55404