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Baltimore & Campus Life

A Community of Artists

The pre-college experience is infused with energy, camaraderie, and a diversity of ideas. A special bond develops among art students, faculty, visiting artists, and pre-college staff. Through endless conversations, ongoing critiques, and abundant activities, you will discover how much you have in common with students from across the country and around the globe. Art-related and non-art-related off-campus events and activities complement and support students' studio and academic lives. Because we’re such a diverse community, we encourage you to initiate activities of particular interest to you with your teaching assistants/resident counselors.

New York & Washington, D.C. Trips

Our home base in Baltimore is at the heart of the New York-Washington, D.C. art corridor. We can jump on a bus or train and quickly reach two of the most exciting cities on the East Coast. Saturday trips let you explore such museums as the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian, the Holocaust Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Guggenheim Museum.
Students should budget $25-$50 for each of these trips. Expenses will include admission fees for two to three museums (free-$20), lunch, dinner, snacks, and subway fares.

Student Performances

Bring instruments, music, poetry, and short stories—and be prepared to step up to the mic at student coffeehouses, karaoke nights, and other events featuring the diverse talents of pre-college students. A variety of sweets and coffees complement presentations as unique as the students themselves.

Faculty Presentations and Visiting Critics

You will attend presentations by pre-college faculty and visiting artists that broaden your horizons and deepen your understanding of the life and work of the artist. In addition, senior faculty from MICA's undergraduate program make visits to core classes to enhance critiques and share knowledge and insights.

Other Activities and Events Included in the Program

  • Portfolio preparation presentations
  • Coffeehouses
  • Visits to the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Walters Art Museum, and the American Visionary Art Museum
  • Movies
  • Student and staff slide shows
  • Student exhibitions
  • Dance party

Optional Activities

  • Trips to Baltimore's Inner Harbor and historic Fells Point
  • Baltimore Orioles baseball game at Camden Yards
  • Visits to the National Aquarium, the Maryland Science Center, and the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

Life on Campus

MICA’s urban campus is nestled within the historic, tree-lined neighborhood of Bolton Hill, at the heart of Baltimore's cultural corridor. The neighborhood where MICA students and faculty live and work is a friendly, neighborly area of stately brownstones, cafés, and lovely gardens.

Most of MICA's buildings were creatively renovated from existing structures redesigned to meet the needs of artists. One was formerly a railroad station, another a shoe factory. Three of our buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Buildings constructed specifically for MICA include the 1904 Main Building and its 2004 counterpart, the Brown Center.  The two white-clad buildings, which stand in conversation on either side of Mount Royal Avenue, are exemplars of the best in architectural design for their times. This combination of award-winning new construction and thoughtfully repurposed historic buildings results in an architecturally diverse and distinctive campus that maintains the aesthetic integrity and European flavor of our residential neighborhood.


Pre-college students are housed in The Commons, our secure housing complex designed especially for student artists. They feature air-conditioned, furnished, apartments with full kitchens and living/dining areas. Students share single-sex apartments with two or three other art students.

The residences feature 24-hour security, a gallery/lounge for relaxing or watching videos, and coin-operated laundry facilities. Students must provide their own linens, towels, and toiletry and kitchen items.

From the first day of the program, you'll be immersed in the pre-college community. You'll meet your TARC and resident group and participate in an orientation that informs you about classes, safety, recreation, and the College community. Living on campus offers plenty of opportunities for both work and play. 


The Meyerhoff Dining Room in Meyerhoff House, where you will eat meals, serves as the campus living room, with cozy conversation areas and comfortable seating around a glass pavilion opening into a central courtyard.  It's a place to meet friends, faculty, and staff, and have valuable exchanges in a social setting outside the classroom and studio. During the week, breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served, and on weekends, brunch and dinner are served. Breakfast is provided on Washington and New York field trips.

Pre-College Services & Resources--Baltimore

Health Services

Health services for pre-college students are provided by MICA Student Health Services, which is associated with Chase-Brexton Health Services.  MICA Student Health Services is located in the MICA Wellness Center, located on the MICA campus. Board-certified physicians treat minor illnesses and injuries. Visits to the Health Center are covered by your program fees. Laboratory tests and medications are offered at nominal charges. Students needing emergency medical care after hours will be taken to the nearest hospital emergency room. All students are required to submit a health form and confirmation of health insurance before arriving on campus.

Art Supplies/MICA Store

Nearly every imaginable art supply is available through the MICA Store. Beyond required materials and equipment, the store carries a selection of art books and current periodicals of interest to the visual artists, and a cozy reading room. All art supplies are sold at a substantial discount. Your MICA student ID card also entitles you to discounts at art supply stores off campus. Please see course descriptions for estimated cost of art supplies for individual classes.


Decker Library, one of the finest art libraries in the country, houses all visual resource materials, including periodicals, reproductions, an extensive collection of art books, more than 60,000 slides (available via a computerized slide system), and video and audio tapes.


Exhibitions play a major role in both academic and student life at MICA. In three major gallery spaces—Decker and Meyerhoff galleries in Fox Building and Pinkard Gallery in Bunting Center – and  numerous galleries devoted to student work, MICA mounts more than 100 public exhibitions each year.

On Friday, July 21, Pre-college students exhibit their work. Family and friends are invited to view this exhibition during the program’s closing night.


In the summer, Baltimore’s art scene sizzles, and MICA is in the thick of it. Baltimore celebrates the arts with Artscape, a three-day festival that runs right through the College campus and the surrounding Mount Royal cultural corridor. The largest free arts festival in the U.S., Artscape attracts local, regional, and national visual, performing, and literary artists. This free city street festival features indoor visual arts exhibitions in MICA galleries, outdoor music performances, art and crafts marketplaces, activities for children and families, literary arts programs, street performers, public installations, and great food. Pre-College students are able to take advantage of this cultural extravaganza during the program.

Rules and Responsibilities

A community like ours depends on the good judgment and considerate behavior of all its members. All students are expected to maintain high standards of personal conduct, and show respect for personal and College property and for the rights of other students, and staff. When you are accepted to the program, a student handbook will be mailed to you, which details program rules and responsibilities.

Students who violate College policies, procedures, and regulations will be subject to disciplinary action, including warning, probation, or expulsion. Such action is not a substitute for civil or criminal proceedings. All students, whether on or off campus, also are subject to local, state, and federal laws. Students are expected to be familiar with all regulations of the Pre-College Studio Residency Program and to observe them fully during their time at MICA. Prior to attending the program, students and their parents will be required to sign a Rules and Responsibilities Agreement. 

This page was last updated on 09/01/2017.