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Regular Decision

The Regular Decision Plan is MICA's traditional application option. We employ the same standards for admission in this plan, which allows students more time to submit their application materials.

Approximately 80% of new freshmen each year are from out-of-state applications. They represent more than 46 states and territories and 57 foreign countries. Nearly 100% of incoming freshmen are traditional college age and attend MICA full-time.

Step 1: Application (online or paper)

Submit the undergraduate admission application form either online or on paper with the $60 application fee to the Office of Undergraduate Admission. The application fee for applications submitted online must be paid using a credit or debt card. For those submiting paper applications, please make all checks (which must be in U.S. dollars drawn on U.S. banks) and money orders payable to Maryland Institute College of Art. Be sure to complete the required essay and activities list. If you wish to apply for merit-based scholarships complete and return the competitive scholarships application form with your application for admission.

Step 2: Transcripts

A high school diploma or equivalent is required for admission to MICA's undergraduate degree program. Request that an official record of grades be sent to the Office of Undergraduate Admission from your secondary school. If you received high school equivalency, request that your GED scores be sent to the Office of Undergraduate Admission from your State Board of Education.

Step 3: Letters of Recommendation

Submit one to three letters of recommendation from any of the following: teachers, college placement advisors, or college counselors. You may send recommendation requests to these individuals through the online application or ask them to mail letters of reference to the Office of Undergraduate Admission.

Step 4: Test Scores

Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT) and/or American College Test (ACT) results are required for all first-time freshmen. The ACT Writing Test is recommended, but not required. Test scores are evaluated in relation to other academic materials and the portfolio review. (MICA CEEB Code—for SAT: #5399; ACT: #1710). If English is not your first language, it is strongly recommended that you submit TOEFL or IELTS test scores with your application materials by February 1 (detailed instructions are included in Step 2 of the Admission Procedures and Deadlines for International Students page). Your application will not be reviewed for admission without at least one test score on file (TOEFL, IELTS, ACT, SAT).

Step 5: Essay

Choose one of the topics listed on the application form, write an essay (250 word minimum), and attach it to your online or paper application.

Step 6: Activities & Interests

Compile a list of activities, interests, and honors in resume format as explained on the application form, and attach it to your online or paper application.

Step 7: Portfolio

The portfolio should be a collection of recent artwork that represents your artistic interests and demonstrates your technical skills and ability. You should include examples of artwork that are a product of art instruction as well as work that reflects your individual ideas and interests. The composition of the portfolio should be balanced to emphasize your strengths: for example, it could focus on a medium such as painting or photography, or a subject such as portraiture or social commentary while still representing the full range of your experience. It is strongly suggested that drawings from observation (rather than from imagination or copied from photographs) also be included.

Applicants must submit a portfolio of 12-20 pieces of artwork. Students have the option of submitting their portfolios online (whether submitting an online or paper application) or by mailing a CD/DVD with their paper application. 

Option 1: Online Portfolio

The Office of Undergraduate Admission's preferred method for submitting portfolio materials is onine via If you are submitting an online portfolio and application, please select the Online Application program in Slideroom and upload your portfolio to the media section.

If you are submitting an online portfolio with a paper application, please select the Portfolio Only program in Slideroom to upload your portfolio.

The system permits each applicant to create an inventory of images and attach the following information: title, date, medium, dimensions and notes. Images (jpg), video (mov, wmv, flv), and PDF documents may be uploaded to our site. For good image quality and fast upload, images should be sized no larger than 1280 x 1280 pixels at 72dpi. Video files must be kept under 20MB. Our SlideRoom portal offers additional instructions for submitting artwork online.

Option 2: Formats for Digital Portfolios on CD/DVD:

This option is for applicants mailing a paper application only.

  • Still imagery (painting, sculpture, photography, digital images, etc.): Submit all images on a CD/DVD as jpegs saved at 72 dpi resolution and at a size of 600 pixels in the longest direction. Remember to include an accompanying printed inventory/contact sheet showing thumbnails of all work on the CD/DVD with captions as describe under "Labeling Your Portfolio" below.
  • Time-based work (video, animation) or time-based documentation (installations, performances or interactive media): Submit as QuickTime mov file(s). It is helpful to include a selected short excerpt or edited segment (2 minutes) to precede each longer piece. Remember to include an inventory sheet describing the work submitted digitally, with a contact sheet of representative still image/s for reference.
  • Web-based work : Web-based work cannot be submitted en lieu of a portfolio. If you would like to share web-based work with the Admission Committee, please provide a URL for your blog or website(s) in your Activities and Interest list. 

Portfolios submitted as part of the admission and competitive scholarship application process become a permanent part of the admission file and are not returned. Do not mail original artwork. 

If you would like a personal review of your original portfolio by a MICA admission representative, you may present it at a National Portfolio Day,* during a visit your school, or when you schedule an interview and portfolio review as part of your visit to MICA's campus.

*Portfolio Days are hosted by MICA and other members of the National Portfolio Day Association. For information regarding dates, times, and locations, visit the NPDA Web site at You can also call MICA's Office of Undergraduate Admission for information about National Portfolio Days.

Please note: Freshman applicants who receive an "acceptable" review of an original portfolio by a MICA admission representative must still submit a portfolio with their application materials. Portfolios can be submitted online at or on CD or DVD with application materials

Labeling Your Portfolio:

Online portfolio submission is encouraged. The interface allows titles, dates, dimensions, and descriptions to accompany each file.

If you are submitting a CD/DVD along with your paper application:

  • Each image must be labeled with your name, title of work, medium, dimensions, and date completed.
  • An inventory /contact sheet must accompany your portfolio. When work is submitted on CD/DVD, this inventory should be in the form of a contact sheet of thumbnails of all images included on the CD/DVD. You may include the MS Word file on your CD/DVD, but you should also include a hard-copy printout of the inventory/contact sheets. The inventory must be labeled with your name and a description of each work submitted including: title, medium, dimensions, and date completed.

Step 8: Campus Visit

As an applicant you are encouraged to visit the College. Student-guided tours of the classrooms, studios, and residential housing, and discussions about portfolio preparation, programs of study, student life, and financial assistance will be provided. To schedule an appointment, please call the Office of Undergraduate Admission at 410.225.2222. The office is open Monday through Friday, 9 am to 4:30 pm. Learn more about visiting MICA.

Admission Dates and Deadlines

Fall Enrollment

  • February 1  Application deadline to be considered for priority admission and competitive scholarships (applications received after this date will be considered until April 1 if space is available)
  • February 26-March 6 Admission notification mailed to February 1 applicants.
  • March 7-April 15 Admission notification mailed to for applications received between February 2 and April 1.
  • April 6 Notification of scholarship recipients
  • May 1 Candidate Reply Date: tuition and housing deposits due

Spring Enrollment

  • November 5 Admission and financial aid application deadline—all materials in the packet must be received simultaneously for application to be considered (applications received after this date will be considered if space is available)
  • December 1 Admission notifications mailed
  • December 15 Candidate Reply Date: tuition and housing deposits due

Financial Aid Dates and Deadlines

Required documents:

  1. MICA Online Financial Aid Application
  2. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  3. Parent and student federal tax returns and W-2 statements

Fall Enrollment

  • February 15 Application deadline for priority funding consideration (applications received after March 1 will be processed until funds are exhausted)
  • April 6 Financial aid award notifications mailed to freshman applicant.

Spring Enrollment

  • November 5 Application deadline for priority funding consideration (applications received after this date will be processed until funds are exhausted)
  • December 1 Financial aid award notifications mailed