MECA&D’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.

We welcome students to apply by the earliest application deadlines stated for each program. Each applicant is considered for merit-based scholarships upon acceptance into the college.

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

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.

Deadlines for entry, Fall 2022

Diversity Fellowship and Early Action Deadline: Friday, April 15, 2022

Priority Deadline: Friday, May 6, 2022

Rolling Admissions: Applications received after May 6 will be reviewed on a monthly basis as space is available for the Fall cohorts.

How to Apply to the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies at MECA&D

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 Application

A completed SlideRoom application should include your Digital Portfolio, Personal Essay, Curriculum Vitae, and contact information for two (2) References. Your application is not complete without your official college transcripts (see "Official College Transcripts").


☐ Application Fee

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

☐ Personal Essay

The Personal Essay for Salt Graduate Certificate in Documentary Studies consists of two short essays. Please upload this document as a PDF directly to your SlideRoom application.

  1. Please submit an essay of no more than 500 words that outlines your interest in our Salt Graduate Certificate program. Your essay should also include an overview of your relationship with storytelling, documentary studies and/or narrative nonfiction, your purpose in pursuing graduate studies with Salt, and your goals for graduate study.
  2. Please submit two (2) story pitches of no more than 500 words total. Your first pitch should be your "dream pitch" — what story would you pursue if you had unlimited time, resources and access? Your second pitch should be your "Maine pitch" — 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.

A strong essay should place equal emphasis on all of the above, and demonstrate an understanding of your existing interests or career in relation to your interest in graduate school. You are not obligated to pursue the stories submitted, but they are important in helping us better understand you as a future storyteller.

☐ Curriculum Vitae

This should include education, employment history, exhibitions/publications, and honors. Please upload a PDF version of your CV or resumé to your SlideRoom 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 documentary practice.

In the SlideRoom 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.

While they may not be contacted ahead of an admissions decision, we advise you to extend the courtesy of informing your References so they are prepared to speak to the Salt Admissions Reviewing Committee about you.

☐ Official 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.

Please submit official transcripts from all previously attended undergraduate and graduate institutions. Transcripts are considered official if sent electronically by the issuing institution through Parchment or the National Student Clearinghouse Transcript Service, or if they are sent physically to MECA&D in an envelope stamped and sealed by the issuing institution (i.e. unopened).

Transcripts can be delivered electronically to, or by mail to the following address:

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

☐ Digital Portfolio

Your portfolio should be submitted for review directly on your SlideRoom 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 is not expecting 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.

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 10-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 story with another form of nonfiction narrative such as a written piece (no more than 1,000 words). This can be an essay or a travelogue. At the end of the document, please briefly talk about how you would edit the written work into an audio story.

☐ 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, 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.


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 (, such as World Education Services (

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, or by mail to the following address:

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


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 passport directly to your Graduate Admissions Coordinator Joel Tsui at

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

Artist Credit — Header

Probably Joel ’17, Cape Elizabeth