Get the Facts

Can I get a breakdown of the MCAD student body?

Of MCAD's ~800 students:

  • 64% identify as female; 30% identify as male; 6% identify as non-binary
  • 45% are from Minnesota; 49% are from all over the country, including Texas, New York, Maryland, Colorado, Montana, California; and 2% are from around the world, including Great Britain, Chile, the Netherlands, China, Germany, Taiwan, Italy, and Korea
  • 97% receive financial aid
  • 36% of undergraduates are people of color
  • 38% of undergraduates are transfer students
  • 90% of first-year students live on campus
  • 21 is the average age of undergraduates
  • All undergraduates complete at least 1 internship
  • 76% of graduates report working in their field of study—full-time, part-time, or freelancing

Do students get jobs after graduation?

Absolutely! 76% of alumni report work in their chosen fields after graduation. MCAD's curriculum and career development 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 are consistently ranked one of the top metro areas for recent graduates to land jobs—and a large percentage of these jobs are art/design-related.

Where can I find additional facts and figures about MCAD?

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a division of the U.S. Department of Education, is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations. Visit MCAD's section on NCES's College Navigator to learn more about us.


Does MCAD offer study abroad options?

Yes, students can choose from a number of study abroad options as well as programs that allow you to study elsewhere in the United States.

Are the instructors and professors working professionals?

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.

What is the difference between a BFA and a BSc degree?

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 fundamental courses structured to enrich each student's professional development.

The bachelor of science (BSc) is an undergraduate degree that comprises 2/3 communications, liberal arts, and business courses, and 1/3 studio courses. The BSc curriculum integrates three critical dimensions of creative communication: creative management courses, studio courses, and liberal studies courses.

What if I am interested in taking classes that MCAD doesn't offer (e.g. chemistry)?

MCAD has a partnership with Macalester College for students interested in specific courses not offered by MCAD.

Does MCAD have any online programs?

Yes, MCAD offers two online programs: the post-baccalaureate certificate in interactive design and marketing and the master of arts in sustainable design. Our post-baccalaureate certificate in graphic design takes place partly online and partly on campus.


What is a portfolio?

This documented body of artwork you have produced is required for admission to many of MCAD's academic programs. Learn more about specific program requirements.

Can I view a sample portfolio?

Yes, please contact us and ask to see sample portfolio work.

What high school classes/credits are required for admission to MCAD?

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. Learn more about undergraduate admissions requirements.

Do you accept AP/IB/PSEO/pre-college credits?

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.

Do you accept transfer credits from other colleges/universities?

Of course. 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 do apply credits that meet our criteria toward an eventual MCAD degree. Learn more about our transfer credit acceptance policy.

What are the GPA and ACT/SAT scores required for admission to undergraduate programs?

Because MCAD looks at the complete application package, we do not have minimum GPA or standardized test score requirements.

What is the acceptance rate?

MCAD's acceptance rate is about 60%.

What if I know I want to be an artist, but don't want to limit myself by getting an art degree?

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?

Student Life

Are clubs or sports available to students?

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.

What do MCAD students do for fun?

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.

Are the Twin Cities supportive of the arts?

Yes! The cities are a vibrant hub of creativity and activity with a strong arts and cultural presence (we are the fifth most creative metropolitan area in the nation). From visual arts to music, theater to sporting events, we have it all. And MCAD's campus is in the heart of it.

What is winter in Minnesota like?

Picturesque. Yes, it gets cold and snows here, but many students from milder climates find they really enjoy Minnesota winters (in addition to our magnificent springs, summers, and falls). Students are provided with a number of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors throughout the year. Snowy weather is no reason to stay inside all of the time. Although if it does occasionally get too cold for you, you can just stay in and make art! And/or curl up with hot chocolate and Netflix.