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Early Decision

If MICA is your first choice for college study, you may want to consider our Early Decision Plan. The plan is designed to let you know of our admission decision early in your senior year and is intended for talented students with strong academic records.

Students accepted under the Early Decision Plan have the option of receiving an early financial aid estimate. A student considered under the Early Decision Plan agrees to enroll at Maryland Institute College of Art if admitted. You may apply to other colleges with the understanding that you will withdraw those applications if admitted to MICA. To be considered for the Early Decision Plan, you must submit all of the materials described below by November 15.

If you wish to receive an estimate of your financial aid package along with your admission decision you should complete the MICA Early Decision Financial Aid Online Application or print and return it to the Financial Aid Office by November 15. You will be contacted if additional information is required to complete your estimated financial aid award. Notification of admission will be sent to Early Decision candidates on December 15, along with a tentative financial aid package, if all required information has been received by the deadline.

If you are accepted under the Early Decision Plan, you will be required to submit a non-refundable tuition deposit of $450 and a housing deposit of $550 by the Early Decision Candidate Reply Date, February 1. The tuition deposit is an initial payment of the first semester’s tuition.

Step 1: Application Form

You may apply using either the MICA Online Application or the Common Application (for Fall 2016). Please select one option to complete your application process. The application fee is $70 total ($60 application fee; $10 portfolio submission fee).

If you are unable to use either of these applications, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Admission at 410-225-2222 or

Step 2: Portfolio of Artwork

Submit a portfolio of 12-20 pieces of artwork. (Detailed instructions are available under Freshmen - Regular Admission.)

Step 3: Essay

Choose one of the writing prompts listed in both the Common App and MICA Online Application forms and write an essay (250 word minimum).

Step 4: Letters of Recommendation

The recommendations of teachers, college counselors or other professionals who can comment on your art and academic experiences are important to your application.

Please follow the instructions provided in either the Common App or MICA Online Application to submit your recommendor requests and allow them to upload their letters of support through the application service you selected.

Step 5: Activities & Interests

Compile a list of activities, interests, and honors as explained on both the Common App and MICA Online Application forms.

Step 6: Transcripts

Applicants must provide official transcripts of all secondary academic work. Your counselor may submit your transcript through Common App (if you have chosen that application option), Parchment, email ( or mail. If you are attending school in another country, your transcripts must be translated into English by an approved translator. World Education Services (WES) is recommended, but not required.

Step 7: 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. MICA's CEEB Code for the SAT is #5399; our ACT Code is #1710. Test results are evaluated in relation to your other academic materials as well as your portfolio of artwork on file.

If English is not your first language, it is strongly recommended that you submit TOEFL or IELTS test scores with your application. MICA requires a minimum TOEFL score of 80 or IELTS score of 6.5. Your application will not be reviewed for admission without at least one test score on file (TOEFL, IELTS, ACT, SAT).

If test scores are not available by the Early Decision deadline, they must be sent by February 1 or any offer of admission may be revoked.

Admission Dates and Deadlines

  • November 15 Application deadline 
  • November 15 Early Decision Financial Aid Online Application deadline to receive an estimated financial aid package with the admission decision
  • December 15 Admission and early estimated financial aid notifications mailed
  • February 1 Candidate Reply Date: tuition and housing deposits due

Financial Aid Dates and Deadlines

Required documents:

  1. MICA Financial Aid Early Decision Online Application
    Parent and student federal tax returns and W-2 statements
  • November 15 Financial Aid Application deadline for early estimate of financial aid
  • December 15 Early estimated financial aid notifications mailed
  • February 15 Deadline to file FAFSA