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PRE-COLLEGE:  July 10-30, 2016

The residential Pre-College program provides high school students with the skills to embark on a rigorous study of the arts.

Students customize their individual Pre-College program by choosing two majors from the following mediums:  Illustration, Photography, Music, Textile + Fashion Design, Jewelry + Metalsmithing, Ceramics, Printmaking and Painting. 

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Pre-College is open to students who have completed their sophomore, junior or senior year of high school.

Pre-College faculty members include dedicated professionals who are practicing studio artists, instructors at Maine College of Art,  and other faculty from institutions across the nation.  The education and experience of MECA's instructors reflect the College's national reputation, its dedication to a solid studio foundation and the strength of its studio majors.

Located in the heart of the Arts District in downtown Portland, Maine College of Art occupies the 150,000 square foot Porteous building, a former department store built in Beaux-Arts style. Pre-College students experience working in fully equipped art and music studios with professional artists.

All students live in MECA’s Oak Street Residence hall. This co-ed residence hall offers double rooms with individual bathrooms and laundry facilities. Rooms/floors are segregated by gender, and students have a common area for socializing. Students also enjoy the MECA Café, a full service food program with vegetarian as well as traditional options.

Portland, Maine is a small, artistic seacoast city with clean air, safe streets and amazing natural surroundings. It is filled with funky shops, an inspiring restaurant scene, coffee houses, galleries, theaters and artist studios. 

The Pre-College program offers a merit scholarship of $1500 for all Pre-College participants who are accepted to MECA's BFA program.  All Pre-College students are invited to participate in the Pre-College Portfolio Day, which is held during the last week of the program. Recent high school or personal work may be included. In addition, all participants will receive an application fee waiver to MECA's BFA program.


Pre-College Spotlight from Maine College of Art on Vimeo.

Maine College of Art - Pre-College from Maine College of Art on Vimeo.

The Pre-College program is designed to help students develop their art and design skills while experiencing what it means to be a full-time art student.  

The program is made up of three core components:  one course of study from MAJOR #1, one from MAJOR #2, and all students participate in a foundation curriculum that focuses on observational drawing and design. 

Students select two majors from the list below:

MAJOR #1:  Illustration | Painting | Photography | Textile & Fashion Design 

MAJOR #2:  Music* | Illustration | Jewelry + Metalsmithing | Printmaking | Ceramics 

The Music Major in Pre-College incorporates Composing, Songwriting, Recording and Performance. Students work in groups to write original songs, experience true musical collaboration and use compositional tools such as Pro Tools, Sibelius and Ableton Live to record their own pieces in a state-of-the-art recording studio. Groups are formed by the instructors to ensure balanced and creative musical combinations; an emphasis is placed on finding personal style. Culminating performances are an integral part of the program. Pre-requirements: While the focus is on contemporary music, we welcome vocalists and instrumentalists of any and all musical styles. Students are expected to have at minimum a basic proficiency in their instrument. No previous experience necessary in songwriting or recording is required.

PROGRAM EVALUATION  Students will receive grades for their work in both Majors in Pre-College, a Pass/Fail grade in their Life Drawing course and earn 3 college-level studio elective credits upon successful completion of the program.


Tuition, Room & Board $2910
Studio Supplies $325*
Dorm Security Deposit $150 (refundable)
Application Fee $10
Total $3395

$500 Program Deposit is due upon acceptance.
*Covers basic consumable art supplies.  Students will receive a list of items to bring, such as scissors, metal edge ruler and sketchbook.


Requests for refunds must be received in writing by June 1, 2016. No refund requests will be considered after that date. Application fees ($10) are not refundable.


Applications received by February 1, 2016 will receive full consideration for financial aid.  In addition to a complete application, students must submit a copy of their parents/guardians 2015 Tax Forms.
Following the February 1, 2016 Priority Deadline, preference will be given to applications received by April 18, 2016 or until the program reaches maximum capacity. Financial Aid will continue to be awarded as funds remain available. 
If you have any questions about deadlines, financial aid, or the program in general, please call us directly at 207.699.5061. We are here to help!

We are pleased to share information about the Anthony Quinn Foundation 2015 Scholarship Program for potential pre-college students, available through the Maine Arts Commission.  Learn more here.


In 2016, MECA will offer one full-tuition, need-based scholarship to the Pre-College program.

If you have any questions about this scholarship, please call us at 207-699-5061.

To apply, please submit the following by FEBRUARY 1, 2016:

1. The Pre-College application (see the APPLY tab) including your parent/guardian's 2015 tax forms.

2. 2 to 3 images of your artwork. Non-professional images are OK! (Please email them to: [email protected])

3. Lastly, please submit responses to 2 of the following 3 prompts. While we value quality over quantity, each essay should be no less than 250 words. Please be specific in your responses, citing examples and using details to illuminate your thoughts. (Please email responses to [email protected])

-How has art helped to shape you as a person?

-Take us step-by-step through your ideal creative process. Include what you would use as inspiration, assignment, research, materials, experimentation, time frame, resolve, and anything else that you think is important.

-Describe a work of art that has had a strong impact on your life. How has it changed your perception of the world?

2016 Application Deadlines:  February 1 (Priority Deadline) & April 18 (General Deadline)


Certain majors fill up quickly. Admitted students whose applications are post-marked by February 1, 2016 will be ensured the majors of their choice and will be given priority consideration for financial aid.  

Following the February 1 Priority Deadline, preference will be given to applications received by April 18, 2016 or until the program reaches maximum capacity. Financial aid will continue to be awarded as funds remain available.
If you have any questions about deadlines, programs or financial aid, please call us directly at 207.699.5061. We are here to help!

Pre-College Application Checklist:

+ 2016 Online Application (Available by November 1st)

+ Application Fee: $10, non-refundable, payable by check or credit card

+ Letter of Recommendation from an art teacher or counselor

+ Statement of Intent addressing why Pre-College at MECA appeals to you. Let us know who you are! (One-page maximum, please.)

+ Copy of your high school transcript(s): both official and unofficial transcripts will be accepted

+ Copy of parent/guardian 2015 tax forms (if applying for Financial Aid)

Maine College of Art — Admissions, 522 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101 

For questions or more information please contact Admissions at 207.699.5026 or 800.699.1509 or [email protected]