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Your Future As An Artist

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Animation, Comics, Fashion, Printmaking, Photography + More!

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As An Artist + Person

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Pre-College Program

Curious if an art & design school is the right path for you?

Interested in earning 3 college-level credits this summer?

Want to kick your college admissions art portfolio up a notch?

Our Pre-College program is a three-week experience designed to help you discover what life would be like for you as an undergraduate student at Maine College of Art & Design. During Pre-College, you develop your admissions portfolio, develop language for artistic critiques, earn college credits, make friends with peers from around the country, and work alongside fantastic professional artists and designers! 

Based in the beautiful, walkable city of Portland, Maine, you will be immersed in the arts and culture of the area while being just minutes from the state’s beaches and hikes.

Apply to Pre-College Check out our brochure

Program Dates: July 8-29, 2023

How it Works

Every student chooses two majors to explore in-depth. Both majors are given equal time to teach you proper techniques and provide demonstrations. Along the way, you will sketch, read, discuss art, and participate in critiques. All students draw from a nude model during a Figure Drawing class to support the majors and improve technical skills.

Pre-College provides a rigorous pace and workload, similar to the first semester of art college. Although a portfolio is not required for entrance to the program, it is expected that students will be strongly committed to three weeks of intensive daily studio classes and additional evening and weekend studio work. Students have opportunities to meet one-on-one with our Admissions Counselors and engage in informal portfolio reviews along the way.

At the end of the three weeks, Pre-College graduates install a final exhibition of their work, participate in a closing ceremony, and earn three college-level studio elective credits.


  • Animation
  • Illustration: Comics & Graphic Novels
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Ceramics
  • Fashion & Textile Design
  • Black & White Darkroom Photography
  • Metalsmithing & Jewelry Design

Application & Deadlines

  • Priority Application + Scholarship Deadline: Feb 1, 2023
  • Regular Decision Deadline: April 15, 2023
  • Paperwork + Full Payment Due: May 1, 2023

The application for Pre-College 2023 has closed, but please check back in the fall for the application for the 2024 summer program! To receive program updates and a link to the application once it's open, please fill out this form.

Tuition and Fees:

2023 Pre-College Program
$4,700 (Tuition, Most Studio Supplies, Activities, *Single Room & Board)
$4,200 (Tuition, Most Studio Supplies, Activities, *Shared Room & Board)

$500 Program Deposit and the Roommate Questionnaire are due upon acceptance to secure your spot in the program. The deposit will be applied to the full tuition cost above.

Refund Policy:

Requests for refunds must be received in writing by June 1, 2023. No refund requests will be considered after that date. Application fees ($40) and program deposits ($500) are not refundable.


Pre-College is open to students in their sophomore, junior, or senior year of high school, (or the equivalent) who are 15-18 years old as of June 2023.

To apply students will need to fill out our application form as well as submit a $40 application fee, a letter of recommendation from a teacher or mentor, a High School transcript, and a one-page (250–300 word) essay.

Essay Prompts (choose one):

Prompt 1: Tell us about a person in your life with whom you have a meaningful relationship. Who is that person? What is your relationship with that person? Why is it a meaningful relationship? What are your interactions with that person like? How do those interactions make you feel? Why?

Prompt 2: You have a free Saturday without any commitments, money, or transportation. Design your day. Tell us who you would invite if anybody. Give the details of what you would do. How do you think you would feel doing it?


Limited scholarships are available based on financial need. Completed applications with supporting materials must be received by February 1, 2023, to be considered for a scholarship. Completed applications and supporting documentation received after February 1, 2023, will be considered if funds are still available. Students wishing to apply for a need-based scholarship must submit a copy of their parent/guardian’s most recent available tax forms.

Covid Policies

Updated 2/17/22


All Pre-College students must be fully vaccinated. This includes 2 Moderna or Pfizer vaccinations and a booster, or 1 Johnson & Johnson vaccination and a booster. Please provide documentation of your vaccination to


Masks must be worn on campus in the Porteous building, 380 Cumberland, and in common areas of the dorm at all times.

Acceptable masks include:

  • KN95
  • N95
  • KF94
  • Medical/surgical masks

Please note that fabric masks are not acceptable unless paired with a surgical mask.

Student Handbook

2023 PC Student Handbook