The community at Maine College of Art & Design is as diverse and unique as each individual artist within it — each student adds immeasurably to the vibrancy of the College. We invite applications from students who will contribute to the diversity of our student body, including traditional high school applicants, transfers, non-traditional and international students, and veterans.

Any student graduating from high school or earning the equivalency may apply for admission to MECA&D's Bachelor of Fine Arts program. If you are currently enrolled at another college, are not presently in school, or are working full-time, you are welcome to apply to join our thriving community.

Applications are evaluated individually, with special consideration given to the strength of the portfolio and academic achievement. Every applicant is considered for merit-based scholarships upon acceptance into the College.

Undergraduate Application Deadlines

Spring 2022

Applications for Spring 2022 entry are now open on the Common App. See full application details below.

Priority Application Deadline: November 15, 2021
Applications received after November 15, 2021 will be reviewed as space is available in the Spring class.

Move-in and Orientation will take place January 16, 2022, and Spring semester classes begin on January 19, 2022.

Fall 2022

Applications for Fall 2022 entry are now open on the Common App. See full application details below.

Early Action Deadline: December 1, 2021
Full Tuition Scholarship Deadline: February 1, 2022
Priority Application Deadline: March 1, 2022
Applications received after May 1, 2022 will be reviewed as space is available in the Fall class.

Undergraduate Application Requirements

To apply for admission as a full- or part-time Bachelor of Fine Arts degree-seeking student, the following items must be submitted.

Please note that we do not consider SAT or ACT scores when evaluating applications. 

☐ Completed Common Application

We accept applications for first year students and transfer students online through Common App. Begin or complete your application here: MECA&D on Common App

☐ Application Fee

The application fee is $70. The application fee is payable by credit card on the Common Application and is non-refundable.

To request a Common App fee waiver, please see the options listed in the Common App Fee Waiver section, which can be found under Profile, then Personal Information.

☐ Personal Statement

Please write 500 words answering the questions Why art, why MECA&D? or follow the essay prompts on the Common App. Your essay can be uploaded directly to the Common App.

☐ Portfolio of 15–20 Works

Your portfolio should consist of 15–20 pieces of recent artwork in any medium, created within the last 18 months. Three of these pieces should be observational — that is, drawn or created from direct observation, not from photographs or your imagination.

The work in your portfolio can be done in or outside the classroom, and you can use your portfolio to either show us a range of mediums or to focus on a particular subject or medium.

At least three (3) of these pieces need to represent your skills drawing from direct observation, like self-portraits, landscapes or cityscapes, still lives, or portraits of friends, family members, or pets. These drawings can be in charcoal, graphite, conté, colored pencil, digital paintings — the sky's the limit! We're looking to find out how you translate three-dimensional objects onto a two-dimensional plane. You can find out more about our portfolio requirements by downloading our portfolio brochure.

Please submit your portfolio via SlideRoom and/or your own website. We strongly recommend including the following information for each piece: date, dimensions, medium(s), description of concept or inspiration, and, for drawings (physical or digital), the time spent on each drawing — it's helpful to know if a drawing is a quick two-minute sketch or done over several three-hour sessions.

For a tutorial on photographing work at home, watch the following video for tips on lighting, framing your photograph, and cropping here.

☐ Official High School Transcripts or equivalent

Applicants can request transcripts to be sent to the Admissions Office through their guidance counselors or other official representative. Transcripts will be considered official if they are sent by the issuing institution through the Common App, Parchment, SCIOR, or the National Student Clearinghouse Transcript Service, or if they arrive to MECA&D in an envelope that is stamped and sealed by the issuing institution.

Applicants may also opt to send an official scored report of the General Equivalency Diploma (GED) or High School Equivalency Test (HiSET).

Please note that we strongly prefer receiving transcripts digitally through Common App, Parchment, SCIOR, or the National Student Clearinghouse. If they must be mailed, please send them to:

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

☐ Official College Transcripts

Applicants can request transcripts to be sent to the Admissions Office through their guidance counselors or other official representative. Transcripts will be considered official if they are sent by the issuing institution through the Common App, Parchment, SCIOR, or the National Student Clearinghouse Transcript Service, or if they arrive to MECA&D in an envelope that is stamped and sealed by the issuing institution.

We require transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, even if credit was not earned, in order to award you financial aid.

Please note that we strongly prefer receiving transcripts digitally through Common App, Parchment, SCIOR, or the National Student Clearinghouse. If they must be mailed, please send them to:

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

Please note that if you have earned 60 credits or fewer, we will request an official copy of your high school transcripts in addition to any and all college transcripts.

☐ Two Letters of Recommendation

Our preference is to receive these letters from art teachers, guidance counselors, current academic teachers, and/or employers. Letters from family members are not accepted. Please submit letters of recommendation through the Common Application.

Recommendations will be considered official when they are uploaded directly by the recommender to the Common Application, and we will also accept official recommendations through Parchment and SCIOR.

☐ International Students

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.

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: Undergraduate Admissions
522 Congress Street
Portland, ME 04101

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: 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&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 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.

Early Action for High School Students

We encourage high school students applying as first time BFA students to complete their applications by December 1. All application requirements need to be fulfilled, including letters of recommendation and your high school transcripts. If you complete your application by December 1, we’ll send you a decision and your scholarship award (if applicable) before the new year (or we’ll be in touch by December 10 to ask for any supplemental materials we might need in order to render a decision). This decision is non-binding.

Transfer Students

For information on how to transfer, credit evaluation and placement, scholarships, and additional application requirements, see here.

Re-Admission

For more information on how previous students can re-admit to the college, the requirements and application, see here.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Financial aid and merit-based scholarships are available, and 100% of our students receive financial assistance in the form of federal and/or state aid, grants, and/or scholarships. If you plan to apply for need-based aid, you must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), if you have not already done so. The application is available online here and opens annually on October 1 for the following academic year.

If you have questions about applying for financial aid, please see this page or contact the Office of Financial Aid by email at finaid@meca.edu or by phone at 207.699.5073 or 207.699.5074. Maine College of Art & Design’s FAFSA code is 011673.

Nondiscrimination Policy

Maine College of Art & Design does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, religion, sex, national origin, physical disability, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and other school-administered programs. MECA&D admits qualified individuals without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, physical disability, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin, to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school.

If you have any additional questions, please contact the MECA&D Admissions Office at admissions@meca.edu or 800.699.1509.