Housing | Minneapolis College of Art and Design


Living in the
Whittier Neighborhood

Student grabbing fruit out of a bowl on the kitchen counter

On-Campus Apartments

MCAD offers shared furnished apartment units—not crowded dorms—that have full kitchens, sleeping areas, bathrooms, and storage space. Living on campus puts you right in the center of our college community, where you’ll have easy access to dining, events, and campus facilities, most of which are open 24/7.

MCAD student housing is competitively priced compared to off-campus housing. Plus you'll have smaller deposits and no commuting expenses or utilities to pay. On-site Resident Assistants provide support, advice, and referrals.

MCAD has a Two-Year Residency Requirement and all full-time first-year and sophomore undergraduates are required to live on campus in MCAD Student Housing. 

Exemptions to the required residency policy may be requested and will be reviewed by the committee. Exemption requests that may be considered are a documented medical condition, signed by a medical professional; cultural or religious; married; is a custodial parent or has caregiver responsibilities; age 21 or older in first or second year of undergraduate program; is a junior or senior at MCAD. 

"I do enjoy living in the dorms. It's not like typical dorms I've seen. I also love that there are personal showers, so you don't have to leave your room with a shower caddy." –Annabel, MCAD Student

What to Expect

Seven on-campus buildings offer apartments for undergraduate students and international MFA students. All buildings have self-locking entries, no-cost laundry facilities, and locked mailboxes.

All apartments include:

  • Broadband internet access
  • Shower curtain
  • Window shades
  • Refrigerator
  • Oven and stove top
  • Dresser for each resident
  • Kitchen table and chairs
  • Captain's beds with dressers that fit underneath
  • Lounge chair for each student
  • Desk and adjustable task chair for each student
  • Floor lamps (when ceiling light not available)

Important Details and Policies 

  • Apartment and Roommate Selection: If possible, housing and roommate assignments will be made on the preferences stated in your housing application. Requests for specific roommates must be made by both roommates. 
  • MCAD Housing Gender Policy: MCAD strives to provide safe living spaces for all students and to be inclusive of all genders, gender identities and gender expressions. While all MCAD residence buildings are mixed-gender, it is the college’s standard procedure to provide students with same-sex housing assignments within each apartment. MCAD recognizes, however, the need to consider requests for exceptions to this procedure to accommodate gender-diverse students. Students have the opportunity to disclose their gender identity on their housing application; those who identify as gender diverse may indicate their preference of the gender of their roommates. All disclosed information is kept confidential except for those who need such information for housing assignments. Students may request specific individuals as roommates. Gender-diverse students who do not specify roommates will be assigned with students who identify as a GLBTQ ally. 
  • Students who live in MCAD housing are required to buy a declining balance meal card each semester, providing a convenient method to pay for meals.
  • MCAD cannot provide on-campus parking for students. Limited off-street parking is available for The Hive residents.
  • Pets: No pets are permitted in MCAD housing.
  • Security: Campus Safety Services 
are on duty twenty-four hours a day all year.

The style of our apartment gives us secret garden vibes. It's a very calming space with vines, a disco ball, string lights, and butterflies--but it also has some silly elements, which make it feel more like home.

Abby Zellak, MCAD Student

student dorm photoshoot– Abby Zellak
Student dorm photoshoot– Lesley McGaster

My favorite part of living on campus is the accessibility to open outdoor space. I personally love nature and being able to sit outside and go on walks.

My favorite spot to do homework is at the tables in the MIA garden.

Lesley McGaster, MCAD Student

My favorite part of living on campus is having easier access to the main building and morrison. Being able to run to the printer, hop into studios whenever I need to work somewhere else at night whenever art takes me into the late hours.

Olivia White, MCAD Student

Student dorm photoshoot– Olivia White
Student dorm photoshoot– Ari Orsino

Three items I say that encompass my style is my record collection– they are very important to me and I think my favorite is my Blue Oyster Cult Agents of Fortune that belonged to my mom who inspired me to start my collection. The second would be my 1980s Ghostbusters wall telephone that I won in my first estate sale auction. I am a big 1980's nerd and that is a pride and joy of my collection. The third in my collection is my Peanuts Tackle Box I got while thrifting that now holds some of my pens and pencils for when I am working at my desk on my comics.

Ari Orsino, MCAD Student

Off-Campus Housing

MCAD is located in the Whittier neighborhood of Minneapolis. Just one mile south of downtown, Whittier contains a number of popular landmarks such as the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Children's Theater Company, and Eat Street. This area contains a rich concentration of artists, musicians, foodies, and cultural diversity.

There are plenty of great off-campus housing options in Whittier. If you bike, drive, or take advantage of public transportation, your housing options expand even further.

Starting Your Search

Begin your search early—preferably 60 days prior to the desired lease start date. The more time you allow yourself, the better the chance you have of finding a place that is suitable and affordable.

Popular Apartment Search Websites

Apartment Search—Tips from an MCAD Student

Current MCAD student, Morgan Moen, went out of their way to create this great document with tips for fellow students who are searching for housing in the neighborhood. This post was originally shared via Facebook on May 18, 2020. We have converted it to a PDF document for easy viewing.

Where to Look for Apartments

MCAD campus is located in the Whittier neighborhood of Minneapolis. Here is a short list of neighborhoods near the MCAD campus:

MCAD Students by Zip Code:

  • 55403
  • 55404 (MCAD's locale)
  • 55405
  • 55407
  • 55408

Neighborhood Searches and Word of Mouth

One of the best search techniques is looking for physical "Available for Rent" signs in your desired neighborhood. Some of the best apartments in the area pass from person to person with little-to-no advertising, so asking friends and neighbors if they know of availabilities is a good idea.

Things to Consider

  • Rent
    • Living alone is generally more expensive than living with roommates.
    • Utilities, including heat, electricity, and internet, may not be included in the price of rent.
  • Location
    • How much time and money will you spend getting to and from school, grocery stores, and work?
    • Does the neighborhood/street/unit seem safe?
  • Duration of lease
    • One year is typical, but six-month and month-to-month leases are also offered on occasion.
  • Condition of unit
    • Check cleanliness, appliances, water pressure, fixtures, locks, lighting, outlets, and laundry.
  • Safety
    MCAD's campus and the Whittier neighborhood are generally quite safe. That said, there are ways to be proactive about avoiding unsafe situations:
    • Consider the security of the building, such as door and window locks, well-lit hallways, and well-lit streets.
    • Contact Community Crime Prevention/SAFE at 612.673.3015 for neighborhood crime information.
    • Drive through the area both during the day and at night.
  • Landlords
    • Don't underestimate the importance of first impressions. The impression you give may determine whether or not you get the apartment. But remember, first impressions go both ways; listen to your instincts before doing business with an unfamiliar person. Most importantly, ask questions and do your research
  • Tenant–Landlord Relations
    Resources are available should you need assistance in relations with your landlord.

Property Insurance

MCAD recommends that all students living on or off campus have personal property insurance. Property/renter's insurance tends to be very affordable and worthwhile. If applicable, check with your family’s homeowners insurance to see if you can add a property insurance rider at a low cost.


Housing Questions? Email housing@mcad.edu.