Off-Campus Study & Exchange | Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Off-Campus Study & Exchange

Two students on a hike ; Jasmine Marie
Jasmine Marie

When studying off campus, learning does not start or stop at the classroom door or even at the edge of the campus—it includes an exploration of the people, history, and geography of the unfamiliar. It’s your chance to learn from new faculty members and peers while also oftentimes fulfilling your major requirements. Plus, it's affordable. Your tuition stays the exact same as what you pay to attend MCAD, including scholarships and financial aid.

Many abroad courses are taught in English as well as in the country's native language, and each site provides facilities for creators as well as a wide range of cultural activities and excursions.

The Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) Exchange program offers you the chance to study at any AICAD school in the United States and Canada. As part of this exchange program, MCAD students can spend a semester at one of the art and design colleges affiliated with AICAD. This program makes the faculty, course offerings, and resources of these schools available to MCAD students with ease of accessibility and without additional cost.

Student Testimonials:

“I chose to study abroad for an academic perspective that differed from MCAD's. It was challenging and exciting. I would recommend to anyone who wants the chance to be in Europe to study abroad and travel as much as possible.” -Josie Tollaksen ‘19, Netherlands

“I definitely recommend this program. I would suggest going and taking some classes that MCAD does not offer like ceramics, jewelry, glass blowing, architecture, or whatever you're interested in” –Hanan Rddad, AICAD Exchange at California College of the Arts

“It's hard to put into words what the study abroad experience meant to me because it was without a doubt one of the greatest experiences of my life. The five months I spent abroad gave me the most amazing best friends from all over the world, allowed me to travel to new countries I had never seen, and instilled a confidence in myself that I did not know I had.” -Samantha Rickner ‘19

“I decided to go abroad because I've really only ever known Minnesota and wanted to break out of my comfort zone. I really enjoyed my experience while studying at the University of Brighton. It opened me up to new ways of creating as well as gave me the opportunity to make some amazing new friends from around the world. I would highly recommend it!” -Chloe Willnecker ‘19

Things to Know

  • There's no extra tuition cost– you will remain enrolled at MCAD and continue to pay MCAD tuition. 
  • You'll receive the same financial aid as you do at MCAD.
  • Abroad programs only take place in the spring semester, with an application deadline in mid-September.
  • AICAD Exchange can take place in the fall or spring semester, and application deadlines vary.
  • For abroad programs, you will need to apply to the MCAD Off Campus Committee for nomination to study abroad. 


  • You need to be of at least junior standing (60 or more credits).
  • You need a minimum GPA of 3.0 to study abroad and a 2.0 GPA for AICAD exchange.
  • You need to have 15 open studio elective credits.