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Transfer Students Procedures & Deadlines

Each transfer student brings to the College a different level of artistic capability and academic achievement based on a variety of post-secondary educational experiences. Some students transfer to the College as freshmen, others as sophomores and juniors. A limited number of spaces is available each year within each department, and admission is competitive.

There are various reasons why students attend other colleges for one or two years before transferring to MICA. Some plan to gain additional experience before applying to MICA; some postpone their entry for financial reasons; and some need more time to define their commitment to the visual arts. For more information about transferring to MICA, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Admission at 410.225.2222.

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. If you require financial aid, submit the Financial Aid Application. 

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 your grades be sent to the Office of Undergraduate Admission from your high school and from all accredited post-secondary institutions attended.

Note: Only courses carrying a grade of C or better will quality for transfer credit. Up to 63 credits required for the BFA degree may be transferred from other accredited colleges. Exceptions will be made in certain cases. Liberal arts courses in which the course content parallels that of courses offered at MICA will be considered for transfer credit. Transfer of studio courses is determined by portfolio review and course equivalency. In some cases, the academic dean will consider waiving course requirements after an evaluation of art achievements gained outside formal school programs.

Step 3: Enrollment status report form

The Enrollment Status Report Form, detailing a list of courses in which you are currently enrolled, or plan to enroll, must be sent with your application. If you are applying online, you can fax it (410-225-2337) or mail it to the Office of Undergraduate Admission. It should include your name, college/university attending, semester/year, course titles, departments, course numbers, and course descriptions.

Step 4: Course Descriptions

Transfer applicants must submit course descriptions for all courses for which they are requesting transfer credit. These can be faxed or mailed.

Step 5: Letters of Recommendation

If you feel that  letters of recommendation  are important to your application, feel free to submit one to three letters of recommendation from your college professors and/or professional colleagues. 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 6: Test Scores

The College Entrance Examination Board Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT) and/or the American College Test (ACT) are not required for transfer admission. However, if English is your second language, you must submit test scores from TOEFL or IELTS exams by March 1 (detailed instructions are included in Step 2 of Admission Procedures and Deadlines for International Students).

Step 7: Essay

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

Step 8: Activities & Interests

Compile a list of activities, interests, and honors as explained on the application form, and attach it to your application.

Step 9: Portfolio of Artwork

Your portfolio is considered one of the most important requirements in the admission decision. Your artwork reflects your visual sensitivity, your intellectual curiosity and creativity, and your motivation and self-discipline. For transfer students, the portfolio is also used to evaluate your post-secondary art experiences in order to determine equivalency to MICA coursework.

Transfer students should prepare a portfolio of 15-30 pieces of artwork that demonstrates a knowledge of college-level coursework. The portfolio should include items that represent basic skills in drawing, painting, color, and design. If enough coursework has been completed, the portfolio should also reflect experience in a major field of study.

The portfolio allows the review committee to evaluate which studio courses will transfer to MICA and determines class standing in your departmental major. Therefore, your portfolio should represent as much work as possible from all studio courses taken while attending other post-secondary institutions.

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 in lieu of a portfolio. If you would like to share web-based work with the Admission Committee, please provide the URL of your blog or website(s) in your Activities and Interests 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 an MICA admission representative, we would love to meet you at a National Portfolio Day,* during a visit to 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.

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 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.

Admission Dates and Deadlines

Fall Enrollment

  • March 1 Application deadline for transfer students wishing to be considered for priority admission and competitive scholarships; these applicants will be notified of admission decision on April 1
  • April 1 (then rolling) Application deadline for all other transfer students (applications received after April 1 will be considered if space is available); these applicants will be notified by April 30
  • April 20-24 Notification of scholarship recipients
  • May 21 Candidate Reply Date: tuition and housing deposits due

Spring Enrollment

  • November 5 Application deadline (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

  • March 1 Application deadline for priority funding consideration (applications received after this date will be processed until funds are exhausted)
  • April 20-24 Financial aid award notifications mailed to transfer applicants

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