Visual art is a broad field of study; use this year to think about who you are and what you want to do, prepare for the admission process, and find the art college or university fits your unique interests and goals:
Make art whenever you can. In art college, you'll be doing a lot of work outside of class, so learn to make art on your own time. Take a drawing class at a community college or local art center; take a continuing studies class over the summer. Get out of your comfort zone by trying new media, printmaking, sculpture, video, or collage. Continue to develop and rework classwork and homework assignments so that they are worthy of a place in your portfolio.
Have your portfolio reviewed. The art you make during your junior and senior years of high school will make up the bulk of your portfolio for admission and scholarship applications. As a junior, you will begin to build a body of work that you will add to as a senior. Because portfolio requirements vary among colleges, having your portfolio reviewed as a junior will help you learn what different art programs expect; determine your strengths and weaknesses; and focus on the subjects, themes, and media that interest you.
Start thinking about what kind of schools you will apply to. Art college or liberal arts university? MICA's Artist's Guide to Choosing a College can help you ask the right questions of yourself and the colleges you are considering, learn more about fields of study and careers in art and design, and figure out the difference between a Bachelor of Art and a Bachelor of Fine Art. Sign up to receive a copy of our Artist's Guide »
Visit the colleges you are interested in applying to. There is no substitute for a campus visit when gauging your interest in a specific college or university. Schedule a campus tour while classes are in session, observe a class, and talk to current students and teachers. Take in your surroundings; is the campus urban, suburban, or rural? Will you enjoy living in that environment for four years?
Throughout the fall and spring, we schedule "Visit Days" to help you gather information about MICA. Learn more about attending a MICA Visit Day »
Participate in a Pre-College Summer Residency Program. Pre-college programs can thought of as a "dry run" for applying to art college. You'll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the art college experience: take courses and workshops in art and design; live and study with other prospective art students; create work to add to your portfolio. Get more information about MICA's Pre-College Program »
Get in touch with your admission counselor. Contact the Office of Undergraduate Admission to find out who is in charge of applications from your state. Email your counselor to introduce yourself and begin a conversation about your interest in art.