Apply to the Salt Graduate Certificate

As of February 2024, we are accepting new applications for Fall 2024 entry only. Please review the instructions on this webpage as you work towards your application. You can start your application with the button below, or continue your application via the Applicant Portal (https://apply.meca.edu/status). If you have any questions, please be in touch with us at GraduateAdmissions@meca.edu.

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Overview

Applicants to the Salt Graduate Certificate at MECA&D must submit the following materials to be reviewed by the Salt Admission Review Committee:

  • Complete Program Application
  • Digital Portfolio
  • Personal Essay
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • College Transcripts

International applicants are asked to submit additional materials in order to be offered admission. See “International Applicants” below for more information.

In this page, you will find deadlines for entry, details for every application material, and helpful notes as you work toward completing your application.

Questions? Email our Graduate Admissions Coordinator Joel Tsui at joel.tsui-staff@meca.edu.

Tips & Helpful Notes:

We offer the Radio & Podcasting track both in Fall and Spring, and the Short Film and Writing tracks in Fall only.

Applications are reviewed with consideration given to the strength of the portfolio, personal essay, academic achievement, and cohesion across application materials. There are no differences in the application process or evaluation criteria between Radio & Podcasting and Short Film track applicants.

The sooner you apply, the sooner you receive an admission decision, and the more time you have to prepare for enrollment. Please consider completing your application by the earliest deadline. While we are able to offer admission during rolling admissions, we cannot guarantee decision extensions, deferral requests, or student housing.

The Admissions Reviewing Committee does not expect distribution-ready works from applicants. Gaining that level of achievement is one reason why people join Salt. We are interested in your potential and your creative vision—as long as you have hands-on experience with telling audio stories or short filmmaking, we welcome individuals from all walks of life and experience to apply.

We have a page dedicated to the Gimlet Union Scholarship. Please review the inclusion criteria if you wish to be considered for the Fellowship. See “Extended Reading” below for more information.

Deadlines for entry (Spring 2024)

Complete applications will be reviewed as soon as possible, regardless of deadlines. The only difference between deadlines is eligibility to be considered for the Gimlet Union Scholarship, which is determined independently from admission into the program.

Priority Application Deadline: Sunday, November 12, 2023 (gCal)

Applicants who complete an application by this deadline and express interest for the Gimlet Union Scholarship will be considered for the Fellowship.

We encourage international applicants to apply by this deadline.

Application Deadline: Sunday, December 3, 2023 (gCal)

We encourage applicants who want to be in graduate student housing to apply by this deadline.

Rolling Admissions

After the Priority Application Deadline, applications are reviewed on a rolling basis as space permits.

Deadlines for entry (Fall 2024)

Complete applications will be reviewed as soon as possible, regardless of deadlines. The only difference between deadlines is eligibility to be considered for the Gimlet Union Scholarship, which is determined independently from admission into the program.

Priority Application Deadline: Sunday, March 10, 2024 (gCal)

Applicants who complete an application by this deadline and express interest for the Gimlet Union Scholarship will be considered for the Fellowship.

We encourage international applicants to apply by this deadline.

Application Deadline: Sunday, May 5, 2024 (gCal)

We encourage applicants who want to be in graduate student housing to apply by this deadline.

Rolling Admissions

After the Priority Application Deadline, applications are reviewed on a rolling basis as space permits.

Application Package

To apply for admission to the Salt Graduate Certificate, regardless of track interest, please submit the following application materials to the Admissions Office:

Completed Application

Start or continue your application here.

The application will ask for your personal information, and you will be able to submit the following items as attachments within the application form:

  • Digital Portfolio
  • Personal Essay
  • Curriculum Vitae

After you submit your application, you can use the Applicant Portal to upload your college transcripts, track your application progress, and if offered admission, make an enrollment decision.

Application Fee

To submit the application, you will need to pay a non-refundable application fee of $70. The fee can be paid by credit card within the web application.

We offer application fee waivers to anyone. Please be in touch with us at GraduateAdmissions@meca.edu for instructions to receive a fee waiver.

Digital Portfolio

Please submit two (2) nonfiction work samples in video, audio, or writing. At least one of your work samples should be produced in the medium of your track interest, and we strongly recommend submitting both work samples in the medium of your track interest to demonstrate program readiness.

We encourage submitting your most recent complete works to demonstrate your skills and interests at the time of application. You may edit an excerpt from a longer work sample for the purpose of the application. If a work sample is not produced with an English-speaking audience in mind, please embed subtitles or submit a corresponding transcript in English.

If the work sample was produced collaboratively, please state your role and involvement via the description box in the application.

Below are requirements for video, audio, and written work samples:

Short Film
3–5 minutes in length.

Radio & Podcasting
3–5 minutes in length.

Writing
1,000–1,500 words. Citations encouraged, but not required.

We do not accept portfolio submissions in other formats such as mailed in CDs, USB drives, or physical slides.

Personal Essay

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

  • In about 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;
  • In about 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.
  • In about 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 personal journey, your vision, and your goals for graduate study.

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 references 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

The Salt Graduate Certificate 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.

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.

MECA&D alumni can request a free transcript transfer via email at registrar@meca.edu.

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 students who enroll 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.

Note: While we are able to offer admission to non-bachelor degree holders, in order to take out a federal graduate student loan, admitted students must have completed at least 72 undergraduate credits. In addition, students cannot take out federal undergraduate student loans at the same time.

International Applicants

Maine College of Art & Design welcomes applications from international students. In addition to the above application process and future communications related to enrollment, there 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 strongly advise international applicants to complete their applications by the Priority Application Deadline. 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 & Design
Attn: Salt 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&D 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&D.

You can download the DOF form here.

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&D.

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 your passport directly to your Graduate Admissions Coordinator Joel Tsui at GraduateAdmissions@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.

Extended Reading

To learn more about our Salt program, visit Program Overview.

To learn more about the financial commitment, visit Tuition & Fees and Financial Aid.

To learn more about the Gimlet Union Scholarship, visit Gimlet Union Scholarship.

If you are eligible for the US Federal Student Loan, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid​. Our School Code is 011673.

To find opportunities to visit us, visit Visit MECA&D.