First Year

First Year Early Decision

If MICA is your first choice for college study, you may want to consider our Early Decision Plan.

This plan is binding and provides an opportunity to demonstrate your strong interest in MICA to the admissions committee. Typically, the Early Decision application pool is smaller than the Early Action or Regular Decision pools. The advantage of applying Early Decision is that, if admitted, it allows you to conclude your college search early in your senior year.  

Early Decision applicants are eligible to receive their financial aid award if they have completed the FAFSA by this deadline. 

Dates  Deadlines + Notifications
November 1, 2021 Admission Application Deadline
November 1, 2021 Early Decision Financial Aid Online Application and FAFSA deadline to receive an estimated award with the admission decision
December 15, 2021 Admission and early estimated Financial Aid package mailed
February 1, 2022 Candidate Reply Date: tuition and housing deposits due

Early Decision Application Process:

Step 1: Application Form

Apply using the Common Application. 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 the Common Application 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 Undergraduate Regular Admission Process.)

Step 3: Essay

Choose one of the writing prompts listed on the Common Application 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 the Common Application to submit your recommender requests and allow them to upload their letters of support through the application service you selected.

Step 5: Activities and Interests

Compile a list of activities, interests, and honors as explained on the Common Application.

Step 6: Transcripts

Applicants must provide official transcripts of all secondary academic work. Your counselor may submit your transcript through Common Application (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. Homeschool applicants must provide the equivalent of a high school transcript with course or subject titles, duration of study for each title, the content of study for each title, and an assessment of performance or "grade". Preferably, the courses completed at home are part of a curriculum developed and evaluated by a nationally recognized diploma-granting organization or agency. If not connected with such an organization and an official transcript from a state homeschool association or sponsoring public high school is not available, homeschool applicants must obtain and submit GED, TASC or HiSET exam results as confirmation of completing a generally acceptable secondary school curriculum. Individual homeschool transcripts with date of completion do not suffice as official proof of graduation.

Step 7: Test Scores (Optional)

Test Optional, SAT and ACT: MICA does not require SAT or ACT scores for your application to be considered complete.* If you believe that your test score will strengthen your application, you are welcome to submit it for admission consideration. MICA's institution code for SAT is 5399. Our ACT code is 1710. 

TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE:  If English is not your first language you must submit a valid TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE score with your application. MICA requires a minimum TOEFL score of 75 (MyBest scores are accepted), an IELTS score of 6.0, or a PTE score of 58. MICA’s institution code is 5399 for TOEFL and IELTS. 

MICA does not require TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores if you have:

  • A minimum SAT score of 470 or ACT score of 18 in the English section.
  • Official transcripts that demonstrate at least two full years of academic success at a high school or college/university in which English is the language of instruction.

Step 8: Campus Visit

Sign-up for a Campus Visit here.

Step 9: Complete the Early Decision Agreement

Access the form here.

Early Decision Plan Considerations

  • 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 1.

Early Decision Financial Planning

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.

Complete Request Form

Request More Information

Thank you for your interest in Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). If you would like to receive information about MICA, please click on the link below to fill out a form. We look forward to responding to your inquiry.