Get the Facts

Can I get a breakdown of the MCAD student body?

  • More than 750 degree-seeking students
  • 64% identify as female, 30% as male, 6% as nonbinary
  • 50% from Minnesota, 50% from out-of-state including 45 states and 15 countries
  • 29% students of color and indigenous students
  • 30% transfer students
  • 97% receive financial aid
  • 100% undergraduates complete an internship
  • 91% are working, pursuing further education, or in the service within one year of graduation

Do students get jobs after graduation?

Absolutely! Within one year of graduation, 91% of MCAD alumni report that they are working, pursuing further education, or engaged in military or volunteer service.* MCAD's curriculum and Career Development Department 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 more. Plus, the Twin Cities are consistently ranked as one of the top metro areas for recent graduates to land jobs.

Where can I find official facts and figures about MCAD?

The primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations is the National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator.


Can MCAD students study abroad?

Yes, and we encourage it! 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 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 guaranteed personal attention. Learn more about MCAD faculty.

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

The bachelor of fine arts (BFA) is an undergraduate studio degree. 2/3 of the classes are spent learning and creating (e.g., fine art, design, media). The remaining 1/3 of classes are in traditional liberal arts (e.g., writing, research, humanities). The BFA curriculum is rooted in fundamental courses structured to enrich each student's professional development.

The bachelor of science (BS) is an undergraduate degree that comprises 2/3 communications, liberal arts, and business courses, and 1/3 studio courses. The BS 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 (like 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 several online programs, including two master of arts programs (in graphic and web design and in sustainable design), short certificates (in web development, biomimicry, and design foundations), and standalone classes. In addition, the user experience certificate takes place partly online and partly on campus.


What is a portfolio?

This documented body of work 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 to see sample portfolio work.

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

MCAD doesn't require specific classes or a credit count, but your transcript and GPA are important parts of your application. Learn more about undergraduate admissions requirements.

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

MCAD 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 the 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. 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 or designer, but if you're not sure you want to eat, sleep, and breathe art or design, why not consider our bachelor of science degree in entrepreneurship?

Student Life

Are clubs or sports available to students?

MCAD has a club for everyone from classic movie buffs to soccer players (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 Art and are a few steps away from the famed Eat Street. A short bike or bus ride will take you downtown for shopping, restaurants, 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! Minneapolis and St. Paul are vibrant hubs 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 sports, 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 really enjoy Minnesota winters (in addition to our magnificent springs, summers, and falls). There are plenty of fun things to do outside when it's snowy, although if it does ever get too cold for you, use it as an excuse to stay in and make art! Or just curl up with hot chocolate and Netflix.

*Based on the 2016/17 MCAD Alumni Outcomes Survey, within one year of graduation, 87% of alumni report working, 3% are engaging in military or volunteer service, and 1% are pursuing further education.