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Information for Exchange Students

To begin, you should confirm with your Exchange Coordinator or International Office that MICA has an exchange agreement with your home institution. MICA participates in exchanges with AICAD schools within the U.S. and with nearly 30 institutions abroad.

Unfortunately, MICA is not able to accept applications for non-matriculating (visiting) students outside of our exchange agreements.  Please contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions for more information on our degree programs.

Contact Information

Mailing Address

Office of International Education
Maryland Institute College of Art
1300 West Mount Royal Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21217 USA

Additional Methods of Contact

Phone: +1 410-225-2243
Fax: +1 410-225-2548 (attention: "International Education")
E-mail: internationaleducation@mica.edu
Website: www.mica.edu/internationaleducation

Application Process

Application Materials and Deadlines

Once you have been approved by your home institution to apply for exchange at MICA, please complete and send the following materials directly to MICA's Office of International Education:

  • Exchange application
  • Statement of interest (usually one page)
  • Official or certified university transcript showing all past and current courses and grades
  • Portfolio of artwork: 12 to 15 images on website only.
  • Official financial documents indicating sufficient funds (please see application for further details)
  • Copy of the biographical page of your passport
  • New Requirement: In accordance with new J-1 visa requirements, MICA now requires proof of English language proficiency (if your native language is not English).  MICA requires a score result on The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) of at least 550 PBT (paper based test), or equivalent 213 CBT (computer-based test), or 80 IBT (internet based test). MICA also accepts a band score of at least 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Application Deadlines

  • Fall semester exchange: April 1
  • Spring semester exchange: October 1


When the Office of International Education receives your complete application for exchange, shortly after our exchange application deadline we will send it to the chairperson of the department in your major field of study (for example, Painting, Video, Graphic Design, etc.). The department chairperson will review your application and will make the final decision regarding your acceptance for exchange at MICA.  

As soon as the department chairperson reaches a decision on your application, the Office of International Education will contact you and your home institution's exchange or international office coordinator with the result.


After students have been accepted, students will have to confirm their participation by email by the following deadlines:

November 15 for spring semester

May 15 for fall semester

Please note that if students withdraw after these deadlines, they will be responsbible for any fees incurred by MICA on their behalf. 

Academic Information

Academic Calendar System

Two 15-week terms:

  • Fall semester: late August to late December
  • Spring semester: mid-January to mid-May

Students must plan to attend for the entire semester.

Programs of Study Available for Exchange

  • Animation
  • Architectural Design
  • Art History, Theory & Criticism
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing
  • Fiber
  • General Fine Arts
  • Graphic Design
  • Illustration
  • Interactive Arts
  • Interdisciplinary Sculpture
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Video & Film Arts

Academic Information

Exchange students must enroll in a full-time course load of at least 12 credits. Students typically enroll in 15 credits (five classes) -- usually three studio classes and two academic classes. Exchange students may take classes in their major area and in any other studio area for which they are qualified, space permitting. Studio classes generally meet once per week for six hours, and most academic classes meet once per week for three hours. Students should expect to spend approximately 45 hours per week engaged in learning activities both in and out of class. In most studio classes, students will do studio work and will participate in critiques and presentations. Exchange students are expected to attend all class meetings and complete all course work. Grades and credits will be awarded at the end of the semester.

Class Schedule

Students should indicate their class preferences (in order of preference) in the appropriate place on the exchange application form. MICA will create exchange students' schedules based on a combination of (1) the classes that students request on the exchange application, (2) class recommendations by MICA department chairs, (3) student qualifications for classes that require prerequisites, and (4) class availability. We recommend that students carefully examine the courses available in several departments at MICA and list as many alternate courses as possible on the exchange application so that we can try to accommodate each student's preferences as much as possible. We cannot guarantee that you will obtain your preferred courses.

Class names and descriptions for each undergraduate (bachelor's-level) department may be found online here. Select each department of interest under the heading "Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree Programs." Then, within each department's page, select the link at the left of the page called "Course List" to see the department's list of classes. Note that not all classes will be offered every semester.  A current schedule of courses by semester can be found here.

Students will work on their class schedules at International Student Orientation. Once classes at MICA begin, students will have one week (called the "add/drop period") to make changes to their schedules if they wish. Upon completion of the student's exchange period at MICA, the Office of International Education will send an official transcript (record of courses and grades) to the exchange program coordinator at the student's home institution.

Visa Information

(International Students Only)

International students accepted for exchange at MICA are required to obtain an J-1 visa. To begin this process, students first submit financial documents to MICA in order to obtain a Form DS-2019 — a required part of the J-1 visa application process.

Admitted exchange students will receive detailed information about the J-1 visa application process with their acceptance letter or DS-2019. 

After gathering the materials required for an J-1 visa interview, students can schedule an appointment for the interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate nearest their home. Students should consult with the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate that they plan to visit to ensure that they have all of the materials required for the J-1 visa interview (note that the items required may vary among locations).

While in the U.S., international exchange students are subject to all J-1 regulations. 

Tuition and Fees

Tuition is waived in accordance with MICA's exchange agreements with partner institutions.  Beginning with the spring 2013 semester, exchange students will be charged a Student Life and Technology Fee.  For fall 2017 and spring 2018, the Student Life Fee is $530 per term and the Technology Fee is $320 per term. Fees have not been set for the academic year 2018 -2019 yet.

Health Insurance

MICA health insurance is now required for all exchange students.  Exchange students will be automatically enrolled and billed directly for this cost. The cost for spring 2018 is approximately $882. The fee for academic year 2018-2019 has not been set yet.


MICA operates on-campus student housing facilities for upper-class students, Meyerhoff Hall, the Gateway, and Mt. Royal Townhomes. MICA cannot guarantee campus housing for exchange students, but makes every effort to accommodate students whenever possible. Campus residences are designed apartment-style with private or double-occupancy bedrooms and a shared kitchen, bathroom, and furnished living room. MICA offers an optional meal plan for the cafeteria and cafés located on campus. 

Students admitted for exchange will receive detailed information about housing options, including a housing application.  Please note that if students live on campus, they will be required to purchase a meal plan.  

Temporary Housing

If you plan to arrive earlier than the campus residences open, or if you are unsure if you would like to live on campus, you may wish to find temporary housing in Baltimore where you can stay until the dormitories open or until you are able to find off-campus housing. MICA is not able to offer temporary housing to students who arrive early. Note that students on a J-1 visa are not permitted to enter the U.S. more than 30 days before the program start date indicated on their DS-2019.

Please click here for a list of hotels near MICA. There is also one youth hostel in Baltimore, located about one mile from the MICA campus. Note that hotels in Baltimore may be significantly more expensive than those in your home country. Please schedule your arrival carefully and budget accordingly.

Estimated Expenses (Approximate)

Students should budget for all expenses they may incur during their study at MICA, including room, meals, health insurance and health care, local travel, art supplies, personal expenses, etc. The estimated total cost of one semester in Baltimore is U.S. $10,200, but this will vary depending upon individual spending habits and is subject to change.

Travel Plans and Arrival

Below are tips that may be useful in planning travel. More detailed information about MICA's orientation programs and arrival in Baltimore will be sent to admitted exchange students in the mail with the DS-2019.

Flights to Baltimore

We strongly recommend that students fly into Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI). (Note that Reagan National and Dulles Airports are quite far from MICA.) Information about travel options from BWI Airport to MICA will be sent by mail with the DS-2019.

Scheduling Flights - Arrival

In the exchange acceptance letter, the Office of International Education will specify the date that we expect students to arrive at MICA. Usually this will be the first day of International Student Orientation.

Students who will live on campus will not be able to move into campus housing until it officially opens. (We will notify students of this date in the acceptance letter; it is typically the day before International Student Orientation begins.)

In planning travel, also note that J-1 visa regulations require that international students arrive no more than 30 days before their academic program begins.

Scheduling Flights - Departure

Students on an F-1 visa are permitted to remain in the U.S. until thirty days after the end date on their DS-2019. This is called the J-1 "grace period." In planning travel home, consider that students are able to remain within the U.S. and travel during these thirty days, but after leaving the U.S. during this period it is not possible to re-enter in J-1 status.

Students who wish to travel to Canada or Mexico, for example, are advised to do this during a vacation period during the regular semester while their DS-2019 is still valid for re-entry, or else plan to travel outside of the U.S. after the semester ends so that they can fly directly home afterwards.

Location, Areas of Interest, & Travel Opportunities

Baltimore is a historic US city that blends tradition with a contemporary style all its own. It is located in the middle of the eastern seaboard, allowing convenient access to major east coast cities by train, bus, and car. The Baltimore/Washington International (BWI) Airport offers daily national and international flights. Students at MICA can easily visit Washington DC, Philadelphia and New York City—and their world class museums and galleries—for a day on their own or on one of the frequent bus trips that MICA organizes. Students may plan longer trips during school vacations.

This page was last updated on 12/04/2017.