Minneapolis College of Art and Design Top Questions

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?


The very first and most important advice would be spending more time searching for schools. I went to the first school I found suitable for my professional interests and got accepted to. I did not look for colleges more carefully, and that is the reason why I will be transferring to School of Visual Art this following Fall semester. I grew up in Moscow, Russia, a city of over seventeen million people. Staying in small Minneapolis was not the best choice for me, as I am more used to living in huge cities like New York. I have made a lot of amazing friends at MCAD and I am doing well in all of my classes (I have been on the Dean's List of Honor since freshman year). Being friendly and socializing with as many people as possible is key to a pleasant and fun college life. Also studying hard and constantly striving for something bigger is important, because it makes you stronger, and prepares you for the grown up life after college. Those would be all the advices that I would give my high school self. I believe that these advices can really impact one's coollege life.


Be prepared for a lot of work. Work that will pay off. Work that will get you everything you ever dreamed of. Work that will mold you into the person you want to be. Work that will make your family proud. Work that will make a difference in the world.


One of the most important things to do is be on friendly terms with your roommates if you can. Your room is a good place to relax, and if your roommate is insufferable and making your rest time unenjoyable, it's going to make your work suffer. If that can't be done, then find a safe place where you can be yourself outside of classes. Try to find a good balance of homework, sleep, and social time, as those three things are pertinent to having a successful college career. Don't be afraid to try new things and meet new people. College is the best time to find yourself and some of your best friends, and college is a great place to start over without the limitations that high school has. If there is anything that you should do, it's to not worry so much, and to have fun, because it's not worth it if you don't enjoy yourself.


I would FORCE my younger self to spend more time looking at scholarships, not having realized how necesssary they would turn out to be at that point in time despite what everyone told me. I would also tell myself to spend far less time on the computer; it took up a big part of my time that could have been used towards studying and, more importantly now, practicing drawing and experimenting with different art techniques that would have helped me greatly during my first years at college. I was easily distracted, so I would tell myself to set time aside just to practice drawing everyday, which I found out later is completely necessary to keeping yourself from getting rusty. It also helps to keep you from getting complacent with where you are as far as skill goes. I would tell myself to share my art with more people to get better experienced with critiques and not to take them personally.


I started school knowing little of where I wanted to go, so I listened and I learned. School is an instrument I play and I am always learning its song.College has a unique ability to gather strangers together. I’ve learned that strangers also have a song, though I may never quite learn the words. When I hear the voices of their songs I strive to remember the sound. When I sing along with them I never forget.I learn.I will seek those who hear my voice. Who in some way hear the song I strive to sing when I put my pen to paper. My instrument is my school; this is where I learn to play my song. The dream song I’ll carefully craft until others can hear it too.Because I came here, I will never forget the sound of my song long after it has stopped playing. For I will have been taught how to play my song with myself. I will become the instrument of my choosing. And you will hear my song.


So far I have recieved a very good brush up on different areas of the art world. I am enjoying my time there. I have also been placed on the Deans List.


As an incoming freshman starting her first semester at one of America’s most prestigious art schools in the Midwest, I didn’t know what to expect. Of course, I thought to myself, that I must have some sort of artistic ability if I was able to get into MCAD. Nevertheless, I was scared to death. What if I couldn’t keep up with the other students? What if my professors hated my work? But looking back at the last three and a half months, I see nothing but satisfaction. MCAD allowed me to gain confidence in not only myself, but in my creative soul as well. Through the encouragement from professors and fellow students, who surprisingly felt just as insecure as I did, I made pieces that I never thought I could make. I learned the true significance of opinion and criticism, how to collaborate ideas with others, and emerged as a confident artist ready to create. I can now look back and value my experiences because I know that I could not have received the same direction for achievement from other schools with a more extraordinary group of staff and students like MCAD’s.


A sense of purpose. I have always been artistic and never imagined the ways I could apply my creativity. That was before my first semester at MCAD. For the last nine years I have been trying to find my place in the world by working my way into a good job. I have always been successfull at most things that I have tried but excelling at something always seemed to be reserved for tasks for a creative side. Unable to satisfy my desire to be GREAT at something working in factories, construction companies and local retailers I finally went to a school that I felt I would be able to do well at. It has been eye-opening. I discovered I don't hate art history. I embraced and learned from it. I discovered new mediums. Things I once shyed away from have become fun to use and experiment with. I discovered passion. Art was once something that I was good at but now more then ever I want to be the best at every project I present. The most rewarding part of all is I discovered how happy I am when I know I am working towards my future.


High school college prepatory classes prepared me for school and secured my success in college classes. However, the eight building brick "school of excellence" did not provide me with the tools necessary to thrive in the real world. Even in the small, beachside town in which I grew up, there were life experiences I endured that prepared me for life. College was that first step in to the real world. Upon my high school graduation, I attended the local community college. A four year university was not in my immediate future; but that did not stop me from embracing life and seeking out new encounters. I came in to contact with students of various ages and from all walks of life. They each had their own story to tell, their own journey to finish. Each and every person who crossed my learning path had an affect on my overall experience. Sometimes I underwent bitter disapointment in my fellow classmates, and other times I was pleasantly surprised at the positive influence they had on me. Through it all I have changed and grown immensely. I still have great expectations for my academic future; for I am only half way there.


My college experience has been quite profound thus far. Not only have I learned a lot academically, but personally as well. I learned a great deal of independence and the importance of commitment and dedication. I had to continuously work hard and study in order to succeed in my classes. This took much sacrifice and dedication. Unlike while living at home during high school, I did not have guardianship watching over me; all aspects of life had to be taken care of on my own. I not only was a full time student, but I also had a part time job; both taught me the importance of hard work. Not only did I learn to work hard, I also learned a lot about myself. I discovered inner qualities such as devoutness, motivation, patience, self-control, and a love for helping others. Going into the nursing field, these are really all important qualities to obtain. Overall, I feel as though my first two years of college have helped me gain much experience, experience that will be able to help me through the remaining years of college and through life.


I've learned so much and acquired more technical skills in just the first year. I've also grown as a person, this is definitely a good way to move on to adulthood.


My College experience has been amazing and fufilling, I have learned much about what I want in life and how I want to live my life in the future. College gives me lotsof opportunity to grow and meet new people. I'm excited to be transfering to a 4 year university and finishing up my bachelors degree. Western Washington Uiversity has a fantastic campus and is perfect for what I need. Being under 18 makes it dfficult to pay for college and scholarships are a much needed break from paying. By continuing my college education I will be the first in my family to graduate with a degree, I'm looking forward to that honor!


My experience at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design has unbelievably changed my life in a positive direction. From the first moment I walked into MCAD as a freshman, I have been building skills and gaining experience that has largely reshaped what I knew to be possible in my life. MCAD trains students in what it takes to be an artist in contemporary times, but enables us as creative professionals capable of applying our experience in any field and tackling some of the most pressing issues our world faces. Through studying fine art, design, philosophy and literature, environmental issues, and opportunities at hands-on experience in my career field, I have been given the confidence, knowledge, and goals necessary to achieve my dreams. If I were asked to choose the single greatest thing that MCAD has done for me, I would respond that MCAD has extinguished all my doubts about how I am going to get where I want to go, and how I am going to help others do the same.


If I were able to talk to myself as a senior in high school I would mainly tell myself not to be so stressed about this whole process. I constantly underestimated my abilities when applying for schools and scholarships, and when I first arrived at MCAD I underestimated my ability to make friends and connect with my peers and with my teachers. I would tell myself to not worry so much about the transition in terms of building a social structure for myself, but focus more on time management and pushing through the first year. Getting distracted with social situations was a downfall for me my freshman year, and although my grades didn't suffer, my well-being did. I would certainly tell myself to not forget my roots, and not to forget why I am here. I didn't come to MCAD for old friends or for the concerts or parties, I came for school. I would tell my high school self that to suceed, I should never loose track of that fact.


I would obviously advise myself to save every single penny I would earn that year. Also, to apply to as many schools as I could and to visit each campus. To visit a classroom as a sit in. As far as the transition goes I would tell myself that it just takes time but to do you best to be as open to new people as I could, to have tried more things, and to not have been afraid. I would remind myself to be more outgoing. The work load I feel I?ve handled very well but to work on my researching skills. To make sure and keep up my healthly habits as far as diet and exercise. Also going to an art school make you come to terms with the fact that you are no longer "the best" at photography, or drawing, or whatever your medium is and that you should not only accept it but embrace it as an opportunity to really learn from your peers.


In a travel through time to only four short years ago, I would find a radically different individual with viewpoints that would seem like polar opposites of those that I have generated today. I would have a bounty of information about what the future of my life would hold. Whether or not the ignorant and relatively apathetic high school rebel would listen to any of the information gifted to him is uncertain, but I would attempt to inform him of the limitless possibilities that lie before him. As a high school student, one cannot fathom the knowledge and understanding that is gained from attending college. From taking even one course at a local college, a student leaves with a drive to go further, to do better. To learn as much as you can and prove to yourself that you can achieve anything. Although it is not possible to travel back in time to inform myself of my life ahead, it is possible to inform others who are in high school that they can write their own success story. We are the determining factors of our own success.


Never underestimate the value of simply showing up and putting in the time. Remember the great feats of your life: learning to crawl, tying your shoes, riding a bicycle. Each of these triumphs were achieved through determination and a sense of hope. Greate innovations are often a product of many failures. Don't be afraid to fall once in awhile.


I would suggest touring the campus and also trying to meet individually with professors for your intended major or who are currently teaching other subjects you may be interested in. KNowing the professors is a way to rate the elevl of involvement they will have in your career. You will be benefitting from thier expertise, so make sure you can work with them and they could offer you a valuable education. Look thoroughly at the classes offered at the school and the flexibility of degrees and coursework that you can choose. Living four years in a place is a dedication to the community, so it is also important that you feel comfortable living in the area of the chosen school. It is likely that you may make connections at the college that could lead to a professional career in that community, so it is important to consider this prospect.


To the paents, listen. The school for your child may not be in your top ten list, It may not be the school you went to, and it may not be in your home city or state, but it is not your future either. Your child is making a decision about the rest of their lives and if that decision is taken away from them, what type of life can they expect? No one wants to live someone elses dream. If your child decides to do underwater basket weaving, then you have to trust that their end goal is to become the best at it, and that will only be possible with your support. To all the upcomming students out there, listen and learn for yourselves. College is not where your best friend or even your parents thinks you should go. It is a stepping stone on the way to getting where you want to be, wherever that is. It is not a decision to be taken lightly, it is that division between the twenty-something year old who plays video games all day long, and the twenty-something year old who designs and programs video games all day long.


First you should know what you want to get out of your time at college. You need to make the most of your experience, school won't thrust an education on you, it's up to you to do the work. Unlike highschool, most everybody at college is there because they want to be there -- the whole academic attitude is different. College is expensive so use the facility and the professors expertise as much as you can while you're there. Make friends, they're the social network you'll need to succeed. Think about wether you're style is best suited to a small or large campus in a city or smaller town. That can make you comfortable and best able to absorb the knowledge that is your education. Good luck!


Look at all of your options, but remember, it's just a step towards your future, not the end all of what you will do for life.


Visit your college first, ask people about it, research professors if you know of any names. Research the school, see who the alumni are, if anyone famouse came out of there in your area. Study hard, keep learning from outside rescources other than your schools. Every day you miss is money coming out of your pocket that you paid for!


The best advise I can give, is to truly go for something you enjoy, are interested in, or or believe in. I have seen so many people go through school, just getting through it, not realy into it. These people are generaly the ones who end up getting less then favorable grades, and many times drop out, wasting thousands of dollars. I can speek from experience, I am a transfer student. I found that I too was not fully dedicated to my studies, my heart was just not in what I was focused on. Instead of skipping classes and not caring, I decided to finish off the year to the best of my abilities and transfer out with good grades to a school speacializing in a subject I have always dreamed of creating! I am an animation major at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and could not be happier!


There may be a time where you find yourself inside of a change you decided to make; that change being the choice to attend college. A lot of things will become different in your life, and a lot of personal growth will occur. This may mean losing touch with old friends, but it's a change for the better. You will begin to realize that life is about choices even when it hurts, mentally and physically. At times you will be lonely, and you will feel small, and other times you'll realize that you are small, and that it's okay. You become educated other wise outside of school. You will create ways of allowing your life and your school life to coexist. Parents may have difficulty letting their children go away from home and start their own lives, but deep inside they know it's a change for the better. The bond can and will only grow closer the further apart and the times that parents and children reconnect, will be just that much better. They will finally get to know eachother for who they are as individuals. Look for a 24/7 school with free internet.


College is a commitment, and like any other commitment, make sure you know what you're getting in to. Go beyond the statistics the college boasts, and spend time at the school. A few good conversations with current students and alumni might be more valuable than any admissions materials they would you send you through the mail. If at all possible, try to spend a day and a night in the college. Go to an event, sit in on a class, and try to sink your teeth into what the school is really like. If you are choosing an institution based on a major or area of study, make sure you see a list of the classes they offer for that program. Once you find the place you think you want to be, it's about keeping up a positive attitude and making sure it's the place you want to be. Remember, it is your life and no one elses, and that college is a priveledge that many people never experience. And finally, it's not always about being right or wrong, it's about learning.


I would advise parents to become an active part of their children's education, and continue to push even when children don't want to be pushed around. I was frustrated with my mother about her constant nagging to fill out scholarship applications and write essays, but if my mother had not become involved with my college education, I would have never made it to college. I'm somewhat of an introvert, so my mother and I sought out prviate colleges within the state of Minnesota, and found the perfect one for me. MCAD was the best decision I have made in my entire lifetime. The college offered apartment housing, 24-hour lab access and fresh perspective for the new generation of right-brain innovators. I want students to be aware of what makes life enjoyable, because there's very likely a career for it. Doing the research and getting your name out there increases your chances of finding something which best suits you. If your parents are pushing the decision of one school over another, don't let what they want for you decide what your future holds. They are supposed to be there to help, and not bully.


First things first, Art school is not a walk in the park. This campus especially will push you further than you ever thought you could go. I am an Animation Student at this campus, we dont get alot of sleep, but the family atmosphere is what makes this college such a great one. It is actually possible to get to know almost everyone here. Homework parties are the way to go, we all get together and get our work done, but at the same time spend the nights laughing our heads off. If you are looking for a college that will actually force you to grow artistically, mentally, physically, and even spiritually, please come and take a look at MCAD. I personally could not think of a better place on the planet to be right now.


Personally, I would telll parents and students to take your time through the college hunting process. There are so many kids I graduated with that are unhappy with their school because they rushed into it and made hasty decisions. I would not have found the Minneapolis College of Art and Design if I raced around and picked a college. Although the right college may seem far away, part of the experience is living away from home (in my case it's 8 hours). So, take your time, don't let distance factor in too much, and finally, trust your parents and those mentors who help guide you. Their experiences and mistakes can only help better your choices that you have to make on the road to college. In the end, if you've done everthing to your liking (you know, the cliche "stayed true to yourself") you'll find the right college, or the right college will find you. In my case, the right college found me with a little postcard in the mail, and now I'm an enthusiastic sophomore.


Before going to college, you may want to ask yourself what you want to do in your life. Many students are unsure by the time they've graduated high school. Going to college is one of the most important decisions you'll make. Go to college, preferablly right after high school. There will be more people your age if you do. By taking a year or two off, it may be harder to convince yourself to go back to school. If you have many interests and cannot decide what field interests you the most, it may benefit you to go to a community college or a university. If you already know what you want to do, choose the school that you feel will help you the most. I did, and I haven't ever regretted it. Make sure to go to the schools you are interested in before committing to them. Look for campus life and clubs. Look at the college's job placement office and talk to the school's alumni. Most importantly, attend college- even if only through loans. Apply for grants, scholarships, contests, give-aways, internships and on-campus jobs. You won't regret it. I promise.


Make sure you research the majors and ensure your child is making the right choice. If they choose MCAD ensure they have regular support and encouragment because it is a tough school but well worth the effort.


I would like to tell everyone that is applying to higher education is to take a chance. Follow your dreams and try your hardest. Try many different classes even if you thing that they may be difficult it could be something that you find a deep love for. Don't look at the price sticker, if the school seems like the best fit for you, there will be a way to find the funding. If it is a passion of yours, you will work your hardest to find a way to succeed, follow on your path to a career. You may find out that a place that you started at is just the place that isn't for you and you have took the wrong path. Take some time and really thing about what in daily life makes you happy and you path will eventually turn for the better. Make mistakes but learn from them. Nobody can be perfect, but you can try to be close to perfect.


The best advice is to keep your options open and never limit a college off due to its demanding tuition. There are always scholarships that one can apply for to help pay for that hefty tuition. By limiting the choices just because of lack of funds, you limit the possibilites of your future and your possible successes. Also, be flexible; the first year of college is always the hardest to get through. If you can make it through the first year of adjustments, homesickness and acceptability at the college, you'll do fine (as long as you stay on top of your work!). The last word of advice that I have is never rely on one college either. Meaning, don't just submit an application to one college, keep your options broad. Even if you could never see yourself attending that home community college, still apply regardless of your outlook. Besides, it is a huge self esteem boost to get accepted into colleges. On that same note, don't get discouraged if you don't get accepted into your first choice, just keep working at it and you'll find success in the oddest of places.


Don't let the cost of a school scare you out of doing what is best for the student. Often the schools offer great financial aid and there are plenty of scholarships available. It would be worse to go to a school just because it was affordable, best to go with what you know is truly what you want and need. Be sure to visit the school beforehand to really get a feel for the grounds and the people there, including staff and students. It's all part of the experience. That's really what college is, the experience.


The least loans possible, and if you use them; get a repayment plan ready from the get-go.


Show up. If you have class in the mornings or anytime just make sure you go. Just showing up is a simple thing a college student can do to succeed and be happy. I mean this for parties and clubs too. Just try going to one and make the effort to get invovled. You can't get invovled if you don't show up. As far as picking a school, go some place with good teachers because nothing makes you work harder than a good teacher and live on campus your first year with someone you dont know. you're going to have to get used to it but its a great way to meet people.


I would advise sutdents to visit as many colleges as possible first; there's a huge difference between how a college looks on paper and how it feels in person. Know what you're looking for before you go and have a checklist of things your ideal college must have, as well as a list of things you know you want to avoid. Once you've chosen, make it yours. Go the extra steps to get to know your advisors and faculty and people around the school; they're a fantastic source of information when it comes to choosing a degree, finding an internship, and getting foot in the door in your field. If you can at all, take a class of two just for fun. It doesn't have to be a requirement or part of your degree, but if you find yourself intrigued by something, follow it and if you still love it, find a way to make it work with your program. I've gotten the most out of my college experience so far by doing things I love and following through to find the right career path that can build upon and utilize those interests.