MECA&D’s community is as diverse and unique as each individual artist within it and each new student adds to the vibrancy of our community. Applications are assessed 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.

Both full- and low-residency students are considered under the same cohort, so there are no differences in application process or evaluation criteria. All accepted applicants are also considered for merit-based scholarships, regardless of country of citizenship.

Deadlines for entry in Summer 2022

Full Tuition Scholarship Deadline: Friday, January 21, 2022

Priority Deadline: Friday, February 25, 2022

Rolling Admissions: Accepting applications through Monday, May 2, 2022 as space permits

All incoming MFA students must start in June with the summer intensive. We do not offer Fall or Spring admission.

How to Apply to the MFA at MECA&D

To apply for admission to our MFA program, please submit the following application materials to the Admissions Office.

☐ Completed SlideRoom Application

A completed SlideRoom application should include your Digital Portfolio, Personal Essay, Curriculum Vitae, and two (2) Letters of Recommendation. You can submit your SlideRoom application before your recommenders submit their letters, but your application is not complete without your letters of recommendation or 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.

☐ Digital Portfolio

Please submit a digital portfolio directly in your SlideRoom application. Your portfolio should include 15–20 digital images of work, or up to 10 minutes of video. We do not accept portfolio submissions in other formats such as mailed in CDs, USB drives, or physical slides.

☐ Personal Essay

Please submit a personal essay of no more than 750 words that outlines your interest in our MFA program. Your essay should also include an overview of your creative practice, an analysis of your current work, and your goals for graduate study. A strong personal essay should place equal emphasis on all of the above, and demonstrate an understanding of your practice in relation to material, cultural, and critical contexts.

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

☐ 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 SlideRoom application.

☐ Two Letters of Recommendation

Please submit two letters of recommendation, completed by your recommenders. Your letters should come from professional or educational references who can speak from direct experience about your potential to succeed in a rigorous, interdisciplinary graduate program. Letters should address your ability to work independently and contribute positively to an intensive learning environment. Ideally, at least one of your references should be able to speak about your artistic practice.

In the SlideRoom application, you will enter the name, title, email, and phone number for each of your two recommenders, as well as the nature of your relationships and how long you have known them. SlideRoom will generate an invitation to your recommenders automatically with a link for them to upload their recommendation letter directly to your application.

It is possible to submit a SlideRoom application without letters of recommendation, so please be diligent with following up with your recommenders. The MFA Admissions Reviewing Committee will not review incomplete applications.

☐ Official College Transcripts

All applicants should either be a bachelor degree holder or an undergraduate senior with an expected graduation date ahead of our program start date. We ask our applicants to have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 and above from all previous degrees.

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: Graduate Admissions
522 Congress Street
Portland, ME 04101

☐ 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

For more information, contact or call 207.699.5023

Banner image: Will Jacks, MFA ’20, Hand Prints (detail), Silver Gelatin, 2019