2021 Pre-College Summer Session Cost

Included3 college credits, room and board, most supplies, excursions, and more


Tuition for 3 MCAD College Credits

The Pre-College Summer Session replicates the type of coursework a first-year student would experience in an art and design school. The first week of the program the students learn skills, programs, and techniques. The second week is focused on final projects, critiques, and the mounting of a final exhibition. 

Students receive a letter grade (A–F) reported on an MCAD transcript as “Pre-College Summer Session.” An unofficial grade report is mailed to students after the program ends. Official transcripts can be requested from MCAD Records.

For students who enroll in an MCAD undergraduate program, these credits function as elective credits. For students enrolling at another institution, it is recommended that students keep course syllabi and documentation of all work. Credit transfer is a highly individualized process, and it is the student’s responsibility to apply these credits, if applicable, to a non-MCAD program. Credits are not guaranteed to transfer and are at the sole discretion of the home institution. Speak with a high school or college advisor for more information.

Full Room and Board

Living on campus alongside fellow students and staff is an exciting, and crucial, aspect of personal and academic success during the program. As such, students are required to live on campus but may leave for outside visits with parental permission.

Students are provided fully-furnished, single-gender student apartments located across the lawn from their studios and classrooms. Apartments are shared between three or four students. Trained, upper-level student resident advisors reside in the buildings and serve as supportive resources, day and night.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided through MCAD’s cafeteria. Special consideration can be provided to students with specific dietary needs.

Many Required Supplies

MCAD will provide necessary supplies and materials specific to each major. Students will be required to bring a basic set of supplies (scissors, tape, pencils, etc. A complete list will be shared with students in advance of the program). Graphic design majors who choose to go beyond their printing allotment for final projects may purchase additional printing credits at the MCAD Service Bureau. Students should also anticipate the cost of shipping their work home, if applicable. Additional supplies may be purchased at the Art Cellar, MCAD's on-campus art and book store.

Note: Students in the painting major pay a $100 materials fee in addition to the tuition cost.  

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.

Waived Undergraduate Application Fee

Participants in the program who apply to an undergraduate program at MCAD will have the $50 application fee waived.

Questions? Find more program information below or contact MCAD Continuing Education at or 612.874.3765.