How to Apply to the Salt Graduate Certificate

Click here to begin or continue your application for Salt at MECA&D (Spring 2023 or Fall 2023)

We encourage applicants to complete their application by the earliest application deadlines stated for each program. Each applicant is considered for merit-based scholarships upon offer of admission, and applications are assessed with consideration given to the strength of the portfolio, personal essay, and academic achievement.

MECA&D offers various scholarships or fellowships to reduce the cost of attendance. The submitted materials of all officially accepted applicants will be further reviewed to determine scholarship or fellowship award eligibility. Consideration for these funding opportunities do not require the applicant to submit any additional materials.

Applicants are advised to read through the available scholarship or fellowship profiles. Each profile will include a purpose, an award range, inclusion criteria, and an evaluation criteria. Applicants who wish to be considered for any of the available sponsored scholarships or fellowships must meet the inclusion criteria and ensure that the indicated inclusion themes are adequately expressed throughout their Personal Essay.

If you are an international applicant, please also review the "International Applicants" section below to ensure additional requirements are met.

Deadlines for entry

Salt Spring 2023

Priority Application Deadline — Friday, November 11, 2022

You can complete an application anytime before this deadline. Diversity Fellowship applicants must meet the Priority Application Deadline to be considered for the Fellowship.

Application Deadline — Friday, December 2, 2022

We strongly encourage applicants to complete an application on or before this deadline to make time for work with other departments (Financial Aid, Registrar, Business) to complete enrollment.

Rolling Admissions

After the Application Deadline, applications are reviewed as soon as completed on a rolling basis as space permits. Although there are no differences in the admission process, students admitted during Rolling Admissions are not guaranteed decision extensions.

Notes

The Salt Admission Review Committee expects to return with an admission decision within a month of a complete application submission.

Salt Fall 2023

Priority Application Deadline — Friday, March 10, 2023

You can complete an application anytime before this deadline. Diversity Fellowship applicants must meet the Priority Application Deadline to be considered for the Fellowship.

Application Deadline — Friday, May 5, 2023

We strongly encourage applicants to complete an application on or before this deadline to make time for work with other departments (Financial Aid, Registrar, Business) to complete enrollment.

Rolling Admissions

After the Application Deadline, applications are reviewed as soon as completed on a rolling basis as space permits. Although there are no differences in the admission process, students admitted during Rolling Admissions are not guaranteed decision extensions.

Notes

The Salt Admission Review Committee expects to return with an admission decision within a month of a complete application submission.

Application Package

To apply for admission to our Salt Graduate Certificate, either as a Short Film track or Radio & Podcasting track student, please submit the following to the Admissions Office:

☐ Completed Program Application

A completed SlideRoom application should include your Digital Portfolio, Personal Essay, Curriculum Vitae, contact information for two (2) References, and all transcripts listed in your education history. You can submit your application before we receive your transcripts, but your application is not complete without them.

Click here to begin or continue your application for Salt at MECA&D (Spring 2023 or Fall 2023)

☐ Application Fee

You will need to pay a non-refundable application fee of $70 to submit your application. The fee can be paid by credit card within the web application before submission.

☐ Digital Portfolio

Your portfolio should be submitted for review directly on your application. Please pay attention to the requirements for the track you intend to apply. We do not accept portfolio submissions in other formats such as mailed in CDs, USB drives, or physical slides.

Please note that the Admissions Reviewing Committee does not expect distribution-ready works from you. Gaining that level of achievement is one reason why people apply to Salt. We are interested in your potential and your creative vision — as long as you have hands-on experience with the mediums, we welcome individuals from all walks of life and experience to apply.

Note: If a work sample is not produced with an English-speaking audience in mind, please embed subtitles or submit a corresponding transcript in English.

Short Film

Please submit two (2) short films between 3–5 minutes in length each. At least one should be nonfiction. If you decide to submit one fictional short film, please use the Personal Essay to explain why you chose to do so.

For those who do not have two short films to submit, you may substitute one short film with a ten-image photo essay, complete with a short description of the photo essay and captions for each image.

Radio & Podcasting

Please submit two (2) short audio stories between 3–5 minutes in length each. At least one should be nonfiction. If you decide to submit one fictional audio story, please use the Personal Essay to explain why you chose to do so.

For those who do not have two audio pieces to submit, you may substitute one audio piece with a piece of nonfiction writing. This can be an essay or a travelogue. At the end of the document, briefly talk about how you would edit the written work into an audio story. The substitute document should be no longer than 1,000 words

☐ Personal Essay

The Personal Essay for Salt consists of three prompts. Please upload this document as one PDF attachment in your application:

  1. In 500 words, please describe your interest in the Salt Graduate Certificate program. Your essay should include an overview of your relationship with storytelling, documentary studies or narrative nonfiction; how your life experiences have shaped your voice in storytelling; and your purpose in pursuing graduate studies with Salt;
  2. In 250 words, please submit a story pitch in relation to your own journey. How has your life experience, personal interests, and academic background shaped you as a storyteller? What is a story that interests you personally? Please identify a subject matter, a potential narrative, and at least one person of interest to interview.
  3. In 250 words, please submit a second story pitch in relation to Maine. As a professional documentarian, you may be tasked to work in an unfamiliar environment. Show us your research skills and pitch a story about Maine. Please identify a subject matter, a potential narrative, and at least one person of interest to interview.

A strong Personal Essay should place equal emphasis on all of the above, and show a clear understanding of the relationship between your own journey, your voice, and your goals for graduate study. Although you are not obligated to pursue the story ideas submitted, they are important in helping us better understand you as a storyteller.

As a reminder, applicants who wish to be considered for the Diversity Fellowship must ensure that the inclusion criteria and themes are adequately addressed throughout their Personal Essay.

☐ Curriculum Vitae

Please submit a curriculum vitae which includes your education, employment history, exhibitions, publications, honors, and any relevant experiences.

Please upload this document as a PDF directly in your web application.

☐ References

Please provide contact information for two (2) References. Your contacts should come from professional or educational relationships who can speak from direct experience about your potential to succeed in a rigorous, hands-on graduate program. Ideally, at least one of your contacts should be able to speak about your storytelling practice.

In the web application, you will enter the name, title, email and phone number for each of your two References, as well as the nature of your relationships and how long you have known them. Even if your recommender is a friend, refrain from citing them as such in your application as it introduces bias.

We advise you to extend the courtesy of informing your References so they are prepared to potentially speak to the Salt Admissions Review Committee ahead of an admissions decision.

☐ College Transcripts

Salt Graduate Certificate in Documentary Studies can offer admission to non-bachelor degree holders if the Admissions Reviewing Committee determines that the applicant's work meets the rigor of the Graduate Certificate. However, we ask our applicants to have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 and above from all previous degrees, or their current degree in progress.

Applicants can either submit unofficial transcripts in the web application as a PDF attachment, or request official college transcripts to be sent to us electronically to admissions@meca.edu, or to the following address:

Maine College of Art & Design
Attn: Salt Admissions
522 Congress Street
Portland, Maine 04101

Admitted and enrolled students must submit all transcripts included in the application as official documents with conferred dates (whenever applicable) either electronically by the issuing institution through a transcript delivery service, or by mail from the issuing institution’s registrar office.

☐ Additional Notes

Salt Graduate Certificate in Documentary Studies can offer admission to non-bachelor degree holders if the Admissions Reviewing Committee determines that the applicant's work meets the demand of the Graduate Certificate program.

In order to take out a federal graduate student loan, you must have completed at least 72 undergraduate credits. You also cannot also take out a federal undergraduate loan at the same time. If you have other needs that are not covered, please reach out to Graduate Admissions Coordinator Joel Tsui at joel.tsui-staff@meca.edu.

☐ International Applicants

Maine College of Art welcomes applications from international students. In addition to the above application process and future communications related to enrollment, below are additional steps required to successfully join us as an international student.

Pay close attention to the following sections. Any delays from filing errors may impact your ability to join our program on time.

Due to the time involved in fulfilling legal requirements, we advise international applicants to complete their applications by the soonest deadline or no less than three months prior to the start of the program. If offered admission, we also advise you to enroll well ahead of the decision due date.

Please note that all dates are in MM/DD/YYYY format, and all currency listed on our documents and website are in US dollars.

Application

In addition to the above application materials, international applicants will also need to have their transcripts evaluated, as well as submit a demonstration of English Proficiency.

Evaluated Transcripts

Applicants who attended postsecondary institutions outside of the United States are required to have their transcript(s) evaluated by a member of the National Association of Credit Evaluation Services (NACES.org), such as World Education Services (WES.org).

All documents must be in English and converted into a 4.0 GPA scale, therefore official evaluations are required.

Demonstration of English Proficiency

If your primary language is not English, you will be required to demonstrate proficiency in written and spoken English. The following are acceptable forms of documentation and their minimum test scores, if applicable:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
    • Written TOEFL Test: 550.
    • Internet TOEFL Test: 79.
  • Pearson PTE Test: 53.
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS): 6.5.
  • Duolingo English Test: 100.
  • Graduation from a US high school with at least two (2) years of high school English, not in conjunction with English as a Second Language (ESL), and documentation of a B average or higher.
  • Completion of two (2) consecutive semesters of English Composition taken at a regionally accredited US college while carrying a full-time course load and not in conjunction with ESL. A minimum grade of B is required in each semester.
  • Completion of the equivalent of two (2) years at an English speaking higher education institution and a minimum 3.0 GPA. A school official should provide a written statement that English is their primary language of instruction as documentation.

Evaluated transcripts, demonstration of English Proficiency, and other documents can be delivered electronically to admissions@meca.edu, or by mail to the following address:

Maine College of Art Attn: Graduate Admissions 522 Congress Street Portland, ME 04101 United States

Enrollment

In addition to paying the enrollment fee, accepted international students must also submit a completed Declaration of Finances form, a Verification of Finances document and a scanned copy of the passport you intend to obtain your Student Visa with. These documents are required in order for us to issue your I-20 form. Once you have your I-20 form, you can then apply for a Student Visa (F-1) at your local US consulate or embassy.

Declaration of Finances (DOF)

The United States Citizen and Immigration Service requires that international applicants submit a DOF to MECA indicating that the applicant has financial resources adequate to provide for their expenses without resorting to unauthorized employment.

The amount declared in your DOF must be enough to cover the total sum of tuition, fees and living expenses for one academic year of study. The completed DOF must be dated within a year of initial enrollment at MECA.

You can download the DOF form here:

https://www.meca.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/2020-DOF-Form.pdf

Verification of Finances (VOF)

For your DOF to be processed, all funds declared on the DOF must be supported by a VOF. This can be a bank statement either from your own bank, or your sponsor's bank (e.g. your parents or your partner). All documents must be in English, and the funds declared should be in US dollars or the equivalent under current exchange rates supplied by the bank. The VOF must be dated within a year of initial enrollment at MECA.

Scanned Copy of Passport

For your DOF to be processed, we will need a scanned copy of your passport in color. Make sure the entire page is legible and the information matches what you provided in your DOF.

Note: if your mailing address is different from the address provided in the DOF, please let us know so we can properly mail your I-20 form.

To ensure prompt processing, please submit your DOF, VOF and scanned copy of passport directly to your Graduate Admissions Coordinator Joel Tsui at joel.tsui-staff@meca.edu.

If you have any questions about the application and enrollment process as an international student, you can contact our Assistant Director of Admissions and International Student Counselor Emily Brighi at ebrighi@meca.edu.

For more information, contact admissions@meca.edu or call 207.699.5023