Salt students come from all walks of life and believe in the power of storytelling. The Salt experience is intensive and focused. We are looking for students who arrive ready to work and who understand the importance of and possibilities inherent in the 15-week residency format of our program. We want students to bring their passion for documentary work to Salt to gain better storytelling skills, learn more about the field of documentary work, and be open to the new possibilities that the Salt program will present.

MECA’s community is as diverse and unique as each individual artist within it and each new student adds immeasurably to the vibrancy of our community. Applications are evaluated individually, with consideration given to the strength of the portfolio and academic achievement.

Applicants to the Salt Graduate Certificate in Documentary Studies must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution OR be currently enrolled as a junior or senior in good academic standing at an accredited college or university.


We are currently accepting applications for the Spring 2019 term with a priority admission deadline of October 1, 2018, and rolling admissions as space permits.

*Note: In order for an application to be brought to the committee, it must be complete. All transcripts, recommendations and portfolio pieces must be in by the two deadlines aforementioned in order to be considered.

To apply please submit the following to the Admissions Office:

The following application requirements should be uploaded through the online application:

1. Application Fee
There is a non-refundable $50 application fee ($60 for international students) payable by credit card on the online application or by mailing in a check.

2. Letter of Intent
A 500—1000 word essay that describes your interest in documentary studies and which Salt track you intend to pursue while at MECA. (The two tracks are Radio + Podcasting or Film + Photography) Please write short pitches (1-2 paragraphs) describing at least two (2) stories that you would like to potentially pursue while at Salt. Each pitch should include basic information about the story, including mention of a potential main character and setting, as well as why it’s interesting, and how you would potentially approach reporting it. While you are not obligated to pursue these stories if admitted to Salt, these pitches are important as they show curiosity, research skills, and problem-solving.

3. A Current Resume
This should include education, employment history, exhibitions/publications, honors, etc.

4. Two Letters of Recommendation
These letters should come from professional or educational references who can best speak to your abilities, work ethic, and character. Letter writers have the option of uploading their letter with your application or mailing the letter directly to our Admissions office. Please follow the instructions within the online application for upload instructions.

Mailed letters should arrive in an envelope, signed over the seal by the letter writer.

5. Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended

Transcripts will be considered official if they are sent digitally to using a digital credential service such as Parchment or National Student Clearinghouse, or in an envelope that is stamped and sealed by the issuing institution. The applicant can deliver transcripts in an unopened envelope stamped and sealed by the issuing institution. 3.0 minimum GPA is required.

If the previously attended institution is to send by mail, address it: ATTN: Salt at MECA Admissions, Maine College of Art, 522 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101.

In order to award you financial aid, we need transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, even if credit was not earned.

6. Portfolio

Please submit the portfolio for review online via

IMPORTANT TO NOTE: We are not looking for “professional” or “distribution ready” pieces — gaining that level of achievement is one reason why students apply to Salt in the first place. We are interested in your potential and what type of stories you feel compelled to tell. Salt is looking for individuals with all levels of media ability, from beginning to advanced students.

Choose from ONE of the following:

  • Radio +Podcasting: Two short audio stories, ranging from 3-5 minutes.
    • Submit one mp3 file per piece. (Note that .wav, .aiff, or .mp4s file formats are not accepted.) Files should be labeled as follows: FirstnameLastname_radio01.mp3, FirstnameLastname_radio02.mp3
  • Film + Photography: Two short video stories, or 20 images creating a visual narrative, or 10 singles and 10 narrative images.
    • Two 3-8 minute video documentaries OR one 2-5 minute profile and at least one 3-8 minute video story. File requirements: Images (up to 5MB each), Video (up to 250MB each)
    • 20 cohesive photographs that explore one or two documentary topics or subjects. Captions are allowed but not required. If you would like to submit your images in book format, please do so using the PDF guidelines. File requirements: Images (up to 5MB each), PDFs (up to 10MB each)


Additional Application Notes

  • Candidates may be interviewed by phone or Skype by Salt faculty or Staff from the Admissions Committee.
  • Students interested in being considered for financial aid should complete the FAFSA form.


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