At a Glance

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Maine College of Art delivers a transformative learning experience within an intimate and demanding educational environment by preparing students in the areas of artistic excellence, creative entrepreneurship, and civic engagement.

Located in the heart of the Portland Fine Arts District on the southern coast of Maine, Portland is a unique collective of culture, community, outdoor recreation, and great food. Students have access to all the opportunities of a big city while remaining only minutes from beaches, lakes, forests, and an abundance of natural beauty.  Major cities including Boston and New York are easily accessibly via train, bus, or flight.

For more than two centuries, artists have chosen Maine as a place to gather and work. Drawn by Maine’s rugged beauty and reputation for fierce individualism, artists in Maine are still pushing the boundaries of aesthetics, social engagement and individual practice. At MECA we take pride in Maine’s unique heritage as a site for inspiration and inquiry, and our students and faculty carry on and contribute to this heritage.

Voted one of the top 10 art towns in the country and America’s most livable city, Portland is a creative urban center on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. On the first Friday of every month, more than 70 galleries and studios open their doors for Art Walk. A pedestrian friendly city, Portland is filled with historic buildings, distinct neighborhoods, independent businesses, and local restaurants. Stunning beaches, state parks and nature preserves are located only 10 minutes away.

Portland is a Destination for Art and Culture Seekers:
» America’s Hippest Hipster Neighborhoods: Forbes Magazine » #1 Most Livable City:  Forbes Magazine » Most Blissful City to Visit: » Coolest Small City in America:  GQ Magazine » Top College City:  American Institute for Economic Research » Best Town in the East:  Outside Magazine » Foodiest Small Town:  Bon Appetit Magazine » Top Fun Cities in the Country:  Portfolio  » Top Green City:  Organic Gardening Magazine » Best City for Mid-Level Professionals:  Kiplinger’s » Hottest Cities for Entrepreneurs: Inc Magazine  » Top 10 Art Towns in America:  America’s Best Art Towns  » America’s Best Farmers Markets: Travel and Leisure


At MECA, we want you to make art and make a living. We provide students with the skills, opportunities and experiences to be creative professionals for life. Artists at Work is a center to connect students and alumni to internships, jobs, commissions, professional development opportunities, and residencies. >> Learn more

Choose from the following areas of concentration:  Ceramics, Digital Media, Graphic Design, Illustration, Metalsmithing & Jewelry, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, Textiles and Fashion Design, and Woodworking & Furniture Design. 
>> Learn more

Minors are offered in the following subjects: Art History, Drawing, Public Engagement, and Writing.

MECA’s low-residency MFA program in studio arts is one of the first of its kind in the nation.  Each summer the MFA program brings at least 8 nationally known artists to lecture and teach with its students during an interdisciplinary summer intensive.  The MFA curriculum emphasizes the intersection of studio practice, individual research, and critical analysis.  >>Learn more

MECA’s 10-month program prepares artists to become effective art educators to creatively serve children and youth in PK-12 schools, museums, community-based, and alternative settings. Upon successful completion of the program, students are eligible for certification in Maine and all 50 states. >>Learn more

Community members of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels are invited to take advantage of the institution’s high-caliber faculty, professional studio classrooms, and intimate learning environment. MECA’s wide range of CS programming include: open studios, a winter intensive week, and classes in art therapy, ceramics, digital arts, drawing, fibers and fashion, glass blowing, interior decorating, metalsmithing & jewelry, liberal arts, painting, photography, printmaking, professional development, sculpture, and more. >>Learn more

BFA – 420; MFA – 30; 68% out of state, 32% in state; 1500 Continuing Studies

Full-Time Tuition – $30,940*
Room & Board – $7,946-$11,022
Fees – $980

*This year we have increased our investment in institutional scholarships and grants by 10% so the average tuition cost is close to $18,000 before any outside federal or state aid.

Oak Street Residence Hall – Houses approximately 85 students in a combination of single and double rooms. The majority of rooms share a bathroom with one other room.
Shepley Street Residence Hall – Houses 60 students in suite-style accommodations. Each apartment includes a kitchen, living room, bathroom, and one or two shared bedrooms.
Miles Standish Residence Hall – Houses 60 students in suite-style accommodations similar to those at Shepley.

Requirements: A personal statement, official high school transcript or official scored report of the General Equivalency Diploma, official transcripts from each college or university attended if applicable, two letters of recommendation, and a portfolio of 15-20 pieces of recent artwork.


Early Acceptance - December 1st 
Priority application due – March 1st
Rolling Admission begin – March 2nd

Applications for students starting in the Spring term are accepted on a Rolling Admissions basis. Transfer students can also apply through Rolling Admissions. 

Student involvement provides students with opportunities designed to promote individual growth, creativity and personal connections.

Clubs: Cycling Club, Fiber Arts Group, Futball Club, Gardening Club, Green Team, Maine Type Lab, MECA H.O.P.E (Helping Our People to Equality), Nontraditional Student Group, Running Club, Student Senate and Theatrical Arts Group.

Activities are also held regularly in both the school and resident halls. From the Holiday Sale to the Yule Ball, there is never a dull moment at MECA. >>More

Southern Maine has a moderate climate with average temperatures ranging from 22.3F (-5.4C) in January to 69.1F (20.6C) in July. Portland enjoys exceptional air quality and four distinct seasons from hot summers to snowy winters.

Admissions Office, 522 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101, [email protected]; 800.699.1509;

'MECA at a Glance' PDF

'MFA at a Glance' PDF

'Art Education at a Glance' PDF


What do our alumni do?

+ 67% work as professional artists
+ 19% pursued an MFA after graduation
+ 23% work for a non-profit
+ 25% work as art teachers
+ 35% work as fine artists
+ 24% work as graphic designers, illustrators, or art directors
+ 91% make art in their personal time
+ 61% are self-employed, independent contractors or freelance workers
+ 21% work as craft artists 


Student body

+ 420 BFA students
+ 23 MFA students
+ 10 MAT students
+ 68% out of state
+ 32% in state
+ 1500 Continuing Studies


Graduation & Retention Rates

5 year average:
+ 41% Graduation rate
+ 59% Transfer student graduation rate
+ 75% Freshman to Sophomore retention rate