Accreditation and Affiliations | Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Accreditation and Affiliations

Established in 1883, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) is a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.


MCAD is accredited by associations that review higher education institutions to ensure they meet critical standards:

  • The National Association of Schools of Art and Design is an organization of schools, colleges, and universities with 248 accredited institutional members. It establishes national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees and other credentials.
  • The Higher Learning Commission reviews the colleges and universities of a nineteen-state region. It is one of seven regional accrediting organizations in the country.

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  • The Minneapolis College of Art and Design is registered with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education pursuant to sections 136A.61 to 136A.71. Registration is not an endorsement of the institution. Credits earned at the institution may not transfer to all other institutions.
  • MCAD has been approved by the state of Minnesota to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education.


MCAD also belongs to two organizations that are noteworthy for their members’ academic excellence:

  • The Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design is a consortium of the thirty-six leading art and design colleges in the nation, including such schools as the Rhode Island School of Design, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the California Institute of the Arts.
  • The Minnesota Private College Council is a group of the top seventeen colleges in Minnesota, including such schools as Carleton College, Macalester College, and the University of St. Thomas.