The Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design is a non-profit consortium of 43 leading art schools in the US and Canada. It was founded in 1991 by a group of 25 presidents who felt a need for the similarly structured art schools to come together so as to mutually develop their schools and programs. Our mission is to help strengthen the member colleges individually and collectively, and to inform the public about these colleges and the value of studying art and design.
AICAD colleges educate more than 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year, plus many thousands more in summer and continuing education programs. Our students are drawn from all 50 US states and more than 60 foreign countries. Over 70% of these students receive financial aid to support their education.
Membership in AICAD is open to colleges in the US and Canada that are private, nonprofit, free-standing (that is, not a department of a larger college or university), specialized colleges of art and design, BFA and/or MFA degree granting, and accredited by NASAD (the National Association of Schools of Art & Design) and the appropriate regional accrediting agency (New England, Middle States, North Central, Northwest, Southern, and Western). AICAD also has International Affiliates which must meet the equivalent criteria in their home countries.