2017 SSI Art School Week

From February 6th till February 8th, SSI conducted three Skype meetings with prestigious art schools in the United States. The schedule was as follows:

  • February 6th: Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)
  • February 7th: California College of the Arts (CCA)
  • February 8th: Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)

All three schools are renowned in the States as well as around the world for their top fine art and design programs. This week, students heard about each university’s strengths, their departments, and admissions requirements.

MICA, CCA, and RISD all require the TOEFL iBT exam with MICA and CCA requiring at least an 80 and RISD requiring at least a 92. Also, RISD requires the SAT or ACT while MICA and CCA highly recommend it.

All three schools also recommended that students make use of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design (AICAD) website (http://www.aicad.org). Students can register for an account and upload up to five pieces of art that they are considering using for their admissions portfolio. The student will then receive feedback from admissions officers at the art schools who participate in AICAD. Top schools who participate in AICAD include Art Center College of Design, California College of the Arts (CCA), Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA), College for Creative Studies (CCS), Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Otis College of Art & Design, Parsons School of Design, Pratt Institute, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), School of Visual Arts (SVA), and The Cooper Union School of Art.


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Students who attended the information sessions also learned some interesting facts about each university, such as:

  • 95% of MICA graduates are either employed or pursuing graduate studies.
  • MICA may offer conditional admission to excellent applicants who have a TOEFL iBT score below 80. Students can later fulfill this requirement by taking the TOEFL iBT exam again or by attending a 3-week immersion program over the summer.
  • CCA is the #1 design/art school for return on investment and 85% of students have a job within one year of graduating. They believe their location (San Francisco and Oakland, California) is a big benefit to their students when looking for a job post-graduation.
  • 73% of students receive a scholarship at CCA.
  • At RISD, all students participate in the Experimental and Foundation Studies program in their freshman year where they learn drawing, 2D, and 3D art. It is not until their sophomore year that they pursue their department or focus.
  • Students at RISD can also take courses at Brown University, who is their neighbor.

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The three art schools all emphasized that scholarships are available for international students. With a B+ class average (3.3 GPA), test scores above their minimum requirement, and an excellent portfolio, the applicant has a very high chance of receiving a scholarship.

Overall, art students looked happy to interact with art school admissions officers and asked several questions at the end of each information session. The three admissions officers encouraged students to stay in touch and send their artwork for feedback before applying as seniors.

MICA will be visiting Seoul in late-March and has already agreed to visit SSI to conduct a portfolio review. We highly recommend art students prepare a few pieces and take advantage of this opportunity.

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For more information on MICA, CCA, and RISD, students are encouraged to meet with their counselor and/or make use of the following links:

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