MICA’s undergraduate and graduate programs have consistently been ranked among the nation’s top programs in visual arts and design. Founded in 1826, MICA is the oldest fully accredited, degree-granting college of art in the country. This page offers a quick glimpse at key facts about the College, its history, leadership, and structure.
Because we believe in the vital role of art in society, we at Maryland Institute College of Art are dedicated to the education of professional artists and designers, and to the development of a collegiate environment conducive to the evolution of art and design. The College's primary focus is on the delivery of degree programs - bachelor of fine arts (BFA), master of arts (MA), master of fine arts (MFA), master of arts in teaching (MAT), and the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate. MICA also offers programs in continuing education - from individual courses for adults and youth to certificate programs offering a coherent course of study. The programs of the Division of Continuing Studies are designed both for working artists and designers, and for others who would benefit from professional-level instruction in art and design.
All of the College's programs reflect our philosophy that students learn best when developing thinking, questioning, and doing skills simultaneously. Our curriculum is well structured, based on a strong foundation program that provides the vocabulary and technical skills necessary for further and more specialized study. Our program integrates writing, a liberal arts education, and studio skills, so that students become literate and knowledgeable of our cultural background. By the end of their studies at MICA, students are expected to be able to work independently in their chosen medium.
The College faculty is made up of professors in the liberal arts and professional artists, all of whom are committed to teaching. It is important to the College that the faculty continue active careers creating, exhibiting, or publishing their own work and that most faculty teach students at all levels - freshmen as well as advanced students. The College is dedicated to having a faculty that is diverse racially, culturally, and in terms of aesthetic direction. While our permanent faculty provide the essence of the learning experience at the College, the visiting artist program further enriches the education of MICA students by bringing other nationally recognized artists to campus for residencies, critiques, and lectures. Among the faculty are individuals who are employed full-time in their profession and teach one or two courses at the College, bringing an important real-world perspective to the classroom.
Our students come from multicultural and varied economic backgrounds. Intellectual curiosity, creativity, motivation, and self-discipline are among the attributes we look for in prospective students. Through a course of study at the College, students develop a body of work that reflects their potential for professional achievement. The experience at Maryland Institute College of Art, by including internship programs, as well as other co-curricular opportunities, offers students a firm base upon which to launch and build a career.
The co-curricular programs of the College - including programming in residence life, student affairs, student activities, community-based art and design, and career development - support the College's primary goal, which is to nurture the professional, intellectual, and personal growth of emerging artists and designers. We recognize and understand the needs of our students so that we can offer them the resources they need for success in the intense studio and academic environment of one of the nation's top colleges of art and design.