Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Student with MCAD professor
Aerial view of MCAD
Minneapolis College of Art and Design campus
MCAD drawing studio
MCAD printmaking studio
Morrison Building (Admissions office is located here)
Student in a painting studio


Minneapolis College of Art and Design
Office of Admissions
2501 Stevens Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55404

phone: 612.874.3760
toll-free: 800.874.6223
fax: 612.874.3701
email admissions

Want to get to know us better? Come visit!

Programs and Degrees Offered



The Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) is a four-year, nonprofit private college committed to educating individuals to become professional artists and designers, effective critical thinkers, and creative leaders. Founded in 1886, MCAD has the highest level of accreditation for a school of its kind. MCAD offers bachelor's and master's degrees and professional certificates in media, communications, design and fine arts. Students learn technical and professional skills, both traditional and cutting-edge, and develop the creative, intellectual, and leadership abilities to get noticed and become successful. The MCAD experience is transformative and impacts graduates throughout their entire lives.

Minneapolis College of Art and Design at a glance


  • Undergraduate: 725
  • Graduate and Professional: 111

Undergraduate student distribution

  • 76% White, 10% Asian, 8% Hispanic, 5% Black, 1% American Indian/Alaska Native, excludes race/ethnicity unknown


  • Student/faculty ratio: 13:1
  • Average class size: 17
  • Number undergraduate majors: 14

First-year student profile

  • Average ACT score: The middle 50% of enrolled students had ACT composite scores between 21 and 26; 80% of students presented the ACT as part of their applications.
  • Average SAT score: The middle 50% ranges were 430-600 for math, 480-650 for reading and 460-610 for writing; 20% of students submitted the SAT as part of their applications.
  • High school GPA: 3.3
  • Percentage from Minnesota: 43%
  • Percentage who live on campus: 78%


  • 2015-16 undergraduate tuition and fees: $35,326
  • Room and board: $7,240
  • Percentage first-time undergraduates receiving financial aid: 97%

Religious affiliation

  • None


Degrees offered

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Master of Fine Arts in Visual Studies, Professional Certificates in Graphic Design and Sustainable Design

View all majors and degrees

5 largest majors

Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography, Comic Art, Animation


42 full time, 84 part time; 50% of full-time faculty hold the highest degree in their field

Student/faculty ratio


Average class size


Accreditation & approval

North Central Association of Colleges and Schools as well as the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. MCAD is a member of the Minnesota Private College Council, Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design, the College Art Association, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and The Middle America Art Conference

Non-traditional education programs

MCAD offers a wide variety of classes, lecture series, and special events all year through its Continuing Studies programs and MCAD Gallery. Each summer, MCAD offers studio-based workshops and classes to diverse people of all ages. MCAD Pre-College Summer Sessions, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design's teen summer program, is designed to give high school students an introduction to life at MCAD. For three weeks, students ages 16 to 18 live on campus, experience a college-like curriculum, earn college credits, make art, build a portfolio and attend social activities. Workshops are also hosted specifically for art educators. These sessions give professionals the opportunity to hone their skills as well as to discover new artistic disciplines, with an emphasis on educational practices. The workshops may be taken on a non-credit or 1-credit basis and help with recertification. Each five-day session runs Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on-campus housing in our apartment-style dorms is also available for out-of-town students.

Certification programs

Certificate in Graphic Design, Interactive Design and Marketing Online Certificate, Sustainable Design Online Certificate.

Intercampus agreements

Sophomores, juniors and seniors may earn some of their liberal arts credits needed for graduation by taking classes at Macalester College.

Study abroad programs

Germany, Austria, Italy, Netherlands, England, AICAD Mobility Program

Internships/career services

MCAD's Core Four curriculum requires all students to complete an internship prior to graduation. The internship program permits students to apply theories and techniques learned in class to positions in area organizations involving their chosen fields.

The MCAD Career Services Office helps develop meaningful, satisfying and sustainable careers using the skills learned in the classroom. We provide industry information; help prepare professional material; develop networking and job hunting strategies; learn good interviewing skills; and arrange on and off-campus recruiting. We work one-on-one with students to develop professional skills and strategies necessary to establish their career through our career counseling services.

Admission & cost


Online application: http://www.mcad.edu/apply

Admission requirements: Admissions application and fee; BFA ONLY: Portfolio of Visual Artwork/BSc ONLY: Creative Writing Essay; Statement of Interest; Official High School and College Transcripts; SAT or ACT Test Scores; Letter of Recommendation. Please see http://mcad.edu/admissions/application-requirements/undergraduate for application requirement checklists and more information.

Application deadlines: Fall - Early Action: Dec. 1, Priority: Feb. 15, Regular Decision: April 1; Spring - Early Action: Oct. 1, Priority: Nov. 1, Regular Decision: Dec. 1

Application fee (amount): $50

Advanced placement credit

MCAD has maximum allowable transfer credits from Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) and PSEO/pre-college programs. As a high school student, you may apply to transfer up to 3 Studio Arts and 9 Liberal Arts credits of AP or IB (the total may not exceed 9 credits). As a high school student, you may apply to transfer up to 6 Studio Arts and 9 Liberal Arts credits of PSEO/pre-college credit (the total PSEO/pre-college may not exceed 15 credits). AP, IB, and PSEO/pre-college credit combined may not exceed 21 total transfer credits. Students must complete all necessary steps by posted deadlines in order to transfer credits. More information

Transfer criteria (credits, GPA):

MCAD is selective about transferring credits from other schools. We may accept transfer credits from Advanced Placement courses (AP), International Baccalaureate programs (IB), post-secondary enrollment (PSEO) and pre-college programs, as well as other colleges and universities. Please contact your Admission Counselor for guidance in the transfer process. Once admitted to MCAD, transfer students will receive an official transfer credit evaluation. MCAD has maximum allowable transfer credits. As a transfer student, you may apply to transfer up to 33 Studio Arts and 30 Liberal Arts credits. MCAD will only accept credits from courses which are compatible with our existing course offerings and credit will transfer only for classes with a straight "C" or better. Grades lower than "C" (including C-) will not be eligible for transfer. Students must complete all necessary steps by posted deadlines in order to transfer credits. Please see www.mcad.edu/transfer for procedures, dates, and deadlines.

Transfer process (deadlines and materials)

Transfer students entering the fall semester must submit all final materials for transfer, including final official transcripts and transfer portfolios, before the last Friday of June. Students entering spring semester must provide official transcripts, artwork and other materials needed for transfer credit by November 1st. Please see www.mcad.edu/transfer for procedures, dates, and deadlines.


2015-16 undergraduate tuition and fees: $35,326

Room and board: $7,240

Graduate tuition and fees: Master of Fine Arts: $34,146

Percentage of first-time undergraduates receiving financial aid: 97%

Financial aid information

At MCAD, we believe that a world-class art and design education is extremely valuable, but it should also be affordable. That's why we're dedicated to ensuring that all MCAD students receive the financial assistance they need to be successful. MCAD helps students afford their college experience through grant programs, scholarships, loans and part-time work. We also offer a list of lender options and resources for researching the thousands of outside scholarships out there, so you can explore every option available to you. 97% of MCAD students receive financial assistance. We award more than $8.5 million in aid every year. MCAD tuition is below the national average for art colleges. The bottom line is you can afford MCAD. MCAD Admissions Merit Scholarships are open to all entering undergraduate students. All needed admissions requirements for Fall semester applications must be submitted by Feb. 15; Spring semester application deadline is Oct. 1. No additional application is required. This scholarship competition awards monies based on the strength of the applicant's admission file in relation to the applicant pool. Scholarships may range from $10,000-$15,000 per year for up to four years.

More information
Net Tuition Calculator

Student involvement

Student organizations

A/V Club, Animation Club, Anime Club, Coffee Club, Comic Heads, Community Club, Green Club, LOST@ MCAD, Musical Club, MCAD Design Club, Mplz Bikers Brigade, Musical Club, Parkour and Free Running Club, Photographers Club, Pokeman Club, Piano Club, Polymath Society, Project Runway, Recess Club, Saturday Night Live Club, Sketch Club, Ski + Snowboarders Club, Smash Gaming Club, Soccer Club, Softball Team, Student Curated Concerts, Tabletop Gaming Club, THINK Philosophy Club, Tim & Eric Club, Toymaking Club, Venture Brothers Club, All School Scavenger Hunt, Annual Black & White Artists Ball and CMYK Ball, Back-to-School BBQ and Club Fair, Earth Day Celebration, Housing Events (Open to all students): Midnight Movie Screenings, Snow Tubing, Pumpkin Carving & Costume Contest, MCAD Annual Art Sale: A huge sale of artwork in a variety of media by current MCAD students and recent alumni, Monthly Wellness Events and Topical Booths, Spa Day: Massage therapists, $5 Moxie Salon hair cuts, hot herbal teas, & mood music (once a semester), Spring Community Dinner, Student Leadership Dinner, Summer-Send-Off BBQ with bands and lawn games, Taco Truck and Finals Snack Cart, Thanksgiving Feast, Too Cool 4 School: Tickets and transportation to cultural events in the Twin Cities, Volunteer and Community Service Opportunities, Welcome Back Wieners and Club Fair, Yoga

Athletic programs


Soccer, volleyball and softball leagues

Fine arts offerings

Advertising, Animation, Comic Art, Drawing, Painting, Filmmaking, Fine Arts Studio, Furniture Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography, Print Paper Book, Sculpture, Web + Multimedia Environments

Social media