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Minneapolis College of Art and Design

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Type  Private
Academic staff  100
Campus  Urban, 10 acres (4 ha)
Acceptance rate  64.4% (2014)
President  Jay Coogan
Average salary after attending undergrad  33,900 USD (2013)
Established  1886
Undergraduates  650
Undergraduate tuition and fees  34,146 USD (2015)
Phone  +1 612-874-3700
Graduation rate  61.4% (2014)
Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Location  Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Address  2501 Stevens Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404, USA
Notable alumni  Mary GrandPré, Lisa Nankivil, Wanda Gág, James Rosenquist, Mark Mallman
Similar  Augsburg College, Dunwoody College of Technology, North Central University, Minneapolis Community and Tech, College of Visual Arts

Meet mcad the minneapolis college of art and design

The Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) is a private, nonprofit four-year and postgraduate college specializing in the visual arts. Located in the Whittier neighborhood of Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, MCAD currently enrolls more than 700 students offering education in painting, drawing, animation, entrepreneurial studies, sculpture, printmaking, papermaking, photography, filmmaking, illustration, graphic design, book arts, furniture design, liberal arts, comic art, web design, and sustainable design. MCAD is one of just a few major art schools to offer a major in comic art.


Minneapolis college of art and design master of fine arts


MCAD was founded in 1886 by the trustees of the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts and originally named the Minneapolis School of Fine Arts. Douglas Volk (1856–1935), an accomplished American portrait painter who studied in Paris with renowned French painter and sculptor Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824–1904), became the school’s first president. Its inaugural class was held in a rented apartment in downtown Minneapolis and had an enrollment of 28 students, 26 of whom were women.

In December 1889, the School found a more permanent home on the top floor of the just-finished Minneapolis Public Library at 10th Street and Hennepin Avenue. In 1893, noted German-born painter and educator Robert Koehler (1850–1917) moved from New York to Minnesota to become president of the school. Over the next ten years, he developed much of the curriculum that is known today as the art education field. By the turn of the century, the school had two instructors and had instituted a summer term, in addition to night classes for people in the community. In 1910, the School of Fine Arts changed its name to the Minneapolis School of Art to reflect the new emphasis on applied arts.

In 1915, the school moved to its present location one mile south of downtown Minneapolis, and set up its classrooms and studios within the newly constructed Minneapolis Institute of Arts. The 10-acre (4 ha) site for the art museum and school was donated to the City of Minneapolis in 1911 by prominent local banker and businessman Clinton Morrison (1842–1913). It was formerly occupied by Villa Rosa, the home and estate of Morrison's parents Dorilus Morrison (1814–1897), the first mayor of Minneapolis, and Harriet Putnam Whitmore Morrison (1821–1880). The site of the Morrison's former estate is today held in the public trust under the jurisdiction of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and is officially known as Dorilus Morrison Park.

In 1916, the school moved into its own nearby facilities in the new Julia Morrison Memorial Building, which was built with funds provided to the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts by Dr. Angus Washburn Morrison (1883–1949) and his sister, Ethel Morrison Van Derlip (1876–1921), as a memorial to their mother, Julia Kellogg Washburn Morrison (1853–1883), the wife of Clinton Morrison. Designed by prominent Minneapolis architect Edwin Hawley Hewitt (1874–1939), a former Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts president, the Morrison Building featured three large painting studios with skylights, administrative offices, workshops and an auditorium.

In 1970, the School was renamed the Minneapolis College of Art and Design to reflect the broadening of its fine arts and liberal arts curricula. By this time, with enrollment of nearly 600 students, the college had outgrown its facilities, and in 1974 expanded into a building designed by Pritzker Prize–winning modernist architect Kenzo Tange (1913–2005) as part of the new "arts complex" that included the Children's Theatre Company and a major addition to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

On July 1, 1988, MCAD became a wholly independent institution, no longer governed by the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts.

In 2002, I.D. Magazine named MCAD one of America’s "Top Ten Design Schools."


MCAD offers several degree programs.

Bachelor of Fine Arts: The BFA program offers majors in Animation, Comic Art, Drawing and Painting, Filmmaking, Fine Arts Studio, Furniture Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Web And Multimedia Environments, Photography, Print Paper Book, and Sculpture.

Bachelor of Science: The BSc program offers a major in entrepreneurial studies. Students have the opportunity to meet with real clients and take on real projects for a contextual study from the moment they step inside MCAD's doors. This allows students to network with industry professionals by becoming a part of the industry themselves, giving them not only an education but also real-world experience. By the time they graduate, students already have a leg-up on graduates from other colleges and universities.

Continuing Education: MCAD offers a number of continuing studies courses for children, teens, and adults. Adult courses are available for both enrichment and professional development.

Master of Fine Arts: The MFA program offers disciplines in the areas of Animation, Comic Art, Drawing, Filmmaking, Furniture Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interactive Media, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture. It uses a mentor-based approach in which students select a mentor from a list of MCAD faculty and professional area artists, work one-on-one with their mentors discussing their goals as an artist, and develop strategies in studio art and liberal studies seminars to meet their needs.

Master of Arts: Launched in 2004, MCAD's MA program was the first accredited online program, not exclusive to architecture, focusing on sustainability methodologies that can be applied to any effort. The program was developed and is taught by long-standing sustainability practitioners working in design and business, including members of Worldchanging, Biomimicry Guild, The Natural Step, Sustainable Packaging Coalition, Living Principles, and the Permaculture Guild. Students come from all industries, cultures, and career stages to share ideas and insights while learning how to apply systems thinking to their own work. Not limited to designers, business and government decision makers find they not only learn how to work in an applied sustainability environment, but also learn design thinking methodologies—sparking real and long-term innovation.

Post-Baccalaureate Certificates: MCAD offers two professional post-baccalaureate certificate programs for students and working adults who have already completed a bachelor's degree. The graphic design certificate program is taught partly on campus and partly online and prepares students for careers as professional graphic designers. The interactive design and marketing certificate combines web design courses with web development and marketing courses and is a 100% online program.


MCAD is located at 2501 Stevens Avenue, just south of downtown Minneapolis. It shares an eighteen-acre arts campus with the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Children's Theatre Company. The MCAD campus consists of eight buildings and three acres of lawns and gardens.

  • MCAD offers student apartments for on-campus living.
  • 122 Units
  • 10 efficiencies
  • 63 one-bedrooms
  • 40 two-bedrooms
  • 9 three-bedrooms
  • 43 percent are furnished
  • The Minneapolis Japanese School, a weekend Japanese educational program designated by the Japanese Ministry of Education, previously held its classes at MCAD.


    MCAD operates one main gallery space, a gallery on the concourse, an outdoor sculpture garden, and the student-run Gallery 148. The college hosts contemporary art and design exhibitions, receptions, artist talks, and other events that are free and open to the public.


  • Total undergrads: 650
  • First-time degree-seeking freshmen: 140
  • Graduate enrollment: 44
  • Notable Alumni and Faculty

  • Kinji Akagawa: Sculptor, printmaker, and arts educator best known for sculptural constructions that also serve a practical function.
  • Henry Bannarn: Artist best known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance period.
  • Patrick Jennings Brady: Artist best known for organizing the Cig Art benefits.
  • Arnold Franz Brasz: Painter, sculptor, and printmaker.
  • Esther Bubley: Photographer who specialized in expressive photos of ordinary people in everyday lives.
  • Nancy Carlson: Children's book author and illustrator.
  • James Casebere: Contemporary artist and photographer.
  • Adolf Dehn: Lithographer who helped define some important movements in American art, including Regionalism, Social Realism, and caricature.
  • Gregory Euclide:  Contemporary artist and teacher best known for creating the album artwork for Bon Iver, winner of the Grammy for Best New Artist.
  • John Bernard Flannagan: One of the first practitioners of direct carving (also known as taille directe) in the United States.
  • Wanda Gág: Artist, author, translator, and illustrator most noted for writing and illustrating the children’s book Millions of Cats.
  • F. Keogh Gleason: Resident set decorator at MGM studios for over 40 years
  • Mary GrandPré: Illustrator best known for her cover and chapter illustrations of the Harry Potter books in their U.S. editions published by Scholastic.
  • Theodore Haupt: Modernist painter, sculptor, and muralist who achieved recognition for his New Yorker magazine covers.
  • Dan Jurgens: Comic book writer and artist known for his lengthy runs on the Superman titles The Adventures of Superman and Superman (vol. 2).
  • Vance A. Larson: Abstract expressionist painter and portrait painter.
  • P. Scott Makela: Graphic designer, multimedia designer, and type designer especially noted for the design of Dead History, a postmodern typeface.
  • Mark Mallman: Minnesota musician and composer for film.
  • Linus Maurer: Cartoonist, illustrator and puzzle designer.
  • Jin Meyerson: Artist with a disposition for large scale painting of high detail.
  • Chris Monroe: Cartoonist, illustrator, and author best known for her weekly comic strip “Violet Days.”
  • George Morrison: Landscape painter and sculptor and part of a circle of abstract expressionists.
  • Lisa Nankivil: Best known for her non-representational striped-format oil paintings and abstract monoprints.
  • Patricia Olson: Graphic designer, painter, feminist artist, and educator whose works are categorized as figurative art.
  • Clara Elsene Peck: Illustrator and painter known for her illustrations of women and children in the early 20th century.
  • Tania del Rio: Cartoonist working mainly in comic books who has worked for Archie Comics.
  • James Rosenquist: Artist and one of the protagonists in the pop-art movement.
  • John Howard Sanden: Portrait artist whose subjects include former President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush.
  • Paul Shambroom: Photographer whose work explores power in its various forms.
  • Aaron Spangler: Sculptor and printmaker whose sculptures are carved from solid blocks of basswood and finished with coats of black gesso and graphite.
  • Adrien Stoutenburg: Poet and prolific writer of juvenile literature whose poetry collection Heroes, Advise Us was the 1964 Lamont Poetry Selection.
  • Pete Wagner: Political cartoonist, activist, author, scholar, and caricature artist whose work has been the subject of controversy and frequent media attention.
  • Ben Willmore: Photographer, author, and entrepreneur best known for his digital imaging expertise and for writing the book Photoshop Studio Techniques.
  • References

    Minneapolis College of Art and Design Wikipedia