Pre-College Summer Session Warm Up Your Art and Design Practice The 2024 application is now open. The priority deadline is April 1. MCAD’s Pre-College Summer Session (PCSS) is an inspiring and challenging two and a half week, 3-credit, studio art and design program. It’s open to high school students who have completed their sophomore, junior, or senior year. The 2024 session will run July 10–28. Through a combination of personal investigation and group collaboration, this program encourages you to explore new concepts, share ideas, and develop a studio practice. You learn what an art college education is like, including: Choosing a major: Animation Character and Concept Design Illustration Painting Photography Exploring your creative abilities Improving your critical thinking skills Trying new techniques with help from professional artists Sharpening your aesthetic senses through critiques Developing time-management and classroom participation skills You spend full days under the guidance of professional instructors, immersed in both foundational and major-specific classes. Evenings and weekends provide a chance to spend dedicated time working in studios, building new friendships, and exploring Minneapolis in small group excursions. Check out the 2024 Pre-College Summer Session Brochure What You Will Need to Apply The Pre-College Summer Session application consists of two parts: the online application and an application questionnaire (Google form). For the application questionnaire portion, you will have the opportunity to upload documents, such as transcripts and letters of recommendation. You will also have the opportunity to submit examples of your work. Work samples are required if you would like to be considered for a scholarship. For your application to be complete, these items are required: Online application Completed application questionnaire Transcript These items are optional: Letter of recommendation 5 work samples if you would like to be considered for a need-based or merit scholarship First two pages of 2022 or 2023 form 1040 from your family's tax return, if you would like to be considered for a need-based scholarship More Information and Application Program Fee $3,650 Please note: Students in the painting major pay an additional $150 materials fee. Students in the photography major pay a refundable $150 equipment damage deposit. Includes 3 MCAD elective credits Full room and board Course-specific supplies City-wide excursions, including museum tours, visits with artists, and more Optional portfolio review with admissions counselors End-of-program student gallery exhibition and reception $50 MCAD undergraduate application waiver Scholarships A limited number of competitive, financial, need-based scholarships are available, covering up to 90% of tuition. Merit-based scholarships worth $250-$500. $1,000 scholarships toward an MCAD undergraduate degree are awarded to exemplary PCSS graduates upon completion. Access to Facilities and Equipment Fully staffed studios are open until midnight during the week, providing some of the most intense and valuable work experiences. Students also have access to MCAD facilities such as computer labs and the printing bureau. Activities and Excursions Renowned for its arts, music, and theater scene as well as lakes, shopping, and food, Minneapolis is a unique place to work and play. Students get to experience the summer excitement of the Twin Cities during supervised off-campus trips. Excursions typically include visits to artists' studios, cultural events, sightseeing, and more. Mid-Program Portfolio Review 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. Final Program Graduation Ceremony and Gallery Exhibition The program closes with a celebratory graduation ceremony and exhibition on the final Saturday evening of the program. Friends and family are invited to attend. The ceremony offers students a chance to celebrate their achievements, receive a diploma, and learn who will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship toward an MCAD undergraduate program. "[The Pre-College Summer Session] has been one of the most valuable experiences of my life so far. It has shaped not only my art, but has helped me become a more confident and independent person." Looking for Something Shorter? If you are in high school and are not ready to commit to more time, MCAD has a variety of options designed for you. Check out: Individual summer youth classes Pre-College Studio Intensives: weeklong classes, available for 1-credit each summer Pre-College Weekend Intensives: two-day workshops, available during the school year Portfolio Preparation: courses are available throughout the year Frequently Asked Questions 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. 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. What is the most important part of the application? Any tips? Document your portfolio images well. Make sure the image is well lit, cropped appropriately, and not blurry. Put time and effort into completing the application questionnaire. Be real. Be honest. Request high school transcripts early as they can often be delayed. If your grades are poor and not a good indicator of your commitment to your art, explain the reason why in one of the short essay questions on the application questionnaire. If you think a letter of recommendation may help your application, request letters from teachers or counselors who have known you the longest and are invested in your success. Please note letters of recommendation are optional. Can I change my major? You may change your major up until the priority application deadline. Where do students come from? Students come from all over the country and international students are welcome to apply. 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? Applications and scholarships are reviewed shortly after the priority application deadline. Acceptance/denial letters are e-mailed within two weeks thereafter. Classes 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, ask questions about their work and that of others, and 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 studios 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.–noon Foundation classes (observational drawing, art history) 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 are responsible for bringing a set of basic art supplies: Pink pearl eraser Kneaded eraser Scissors Set of 3–5 graphite pencils- soft, medium, hard Pencil sharpener Black ballpoint pen Blue ballpoint pen Glue stick Fine black sharpie Medium black sharpie Container for supplies (like a pencil box or similar) Sketchbook 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. Please note: Students in the painting major pay an additional $150 materials fee. Students in the photography major pay a refundable $150 equipment damage deposit. 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. 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 bring work home are provided with poster tubes, but MCAD does not package or ship work. Please note that professional nude models may be used in some of the classes. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about this. Campus Life Where will I be living? Students are required to live on campus. PCSS students reside in semi-furnished student apartments located roughly one hundred yards from the Main Building. Each apartment houses one or two students in single bedrooms. Students will receive a personal survey that will assist us in creating your housing assignments. Learn more about housing. 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 Campus 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. Learn more about campus safety. What policies should I be aware of? Upon admission, students 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? Each apartment will include: Twin bed with linens (one blanket, two sheets, one pillow) Towel and washcloth (towels are small in size, so bring your own, if you’d prefer) Dressers Drawing Table Closet space Refrigerator, oven (no microwave) Air conditioning unit in main living room area Phone for incoming calls and outgoing local calls Students may bring the following items: Dorm room decorations, photos, etc. (no nail holes allowed in walls) Favorite cards, group games, etc. Favorite snacks/food Kitchen products: utensils, paper plates, drinking cup, paper towels Pillow and warm blanket Small fan for hot days Spending money: $100–$150, depending on eating/shopping habits Sunscreen Toiletries Trash bags Umbrella Over-the-counter medications if needed Optional - Laptop/memory stick; students may bring a laptop if they wish, but students are welcome to use the MCAD computer labs. What food options are available? Tuition includes the cost of three meals per day for all students—breakfast, lunch, and dinner—at the MCAD Cafe. The cafe 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. Learn more about dining at MCAD. What happens on weekends? Most weekends are a mixture of free-time, scheduled events and activities, and time to work on projects. Scheduled events include museum visits, mini-workshops with local-artist studio visits, sightseeing, 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 2 or 3 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 Will transportation be provided to and from campus and the airport? As long as students arrive and depart within a designated time frame, MCAD will provide shuttles from the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport on the first day of the program and to the airport on the last day of the program. 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? It is 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. "My daughter's on-campus experience gave her self-confidence in a rigorous program. It was foundational in terms of her applying to college. Bravo MCAD." For Parents/Guardians 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. 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 email@example.com or 612.874.3765.