Maryland Institute College of Art
Baltimore, MD, USA

Reviews

Maryland Institute College of Art
3.98 Average Rating

Sommer from Hamburg, NY

a past student here
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Amazing staff and classes at MICA you learn a lot, from students and teachers especially in your first year there. I don't think any other school can compare in MICA's foundation year and the amount that you can learn about art and yourself. This is a place to grow and build connections best school I could ask to attend.
Tips for prospective students
Make sure you brainstorm and keep your options open for different ideas and projects. Time management with be your best friend with your projects do not slack off or wait last minute to finish something problems will arise if you wait to long to do something. Also watch the local stores such as Utrec and Plaza, they have a lot of sales that can help you cut costs. Don't be afraid to use things from the trash either the recycling bin may be your best friend.
Academic Rigor
The classes for your first year are amazing not much choice in what you take because it is foundation year but the work load is good and the challenges are even better to develop skills and your imagination/creativity. (if you do not like your teacher for your class you may switch classes at MICA which is a very good thing, not all students will click with the teacher picked for them)
Dorm Life
Love the atmosphere of the MICA community and the style of the dorms. However noise can be an issue at time in the Commons even if you live in the back building. Also the heaters do not always work and only stairs in the Commons, and the rooms need to be a bit updated and cleaned better. (note this is only one area of dorms for MICA and major changes are supposed to be brought this year things may change)
Food and Dining
The food is pretty good they have a lot of choices for all, vegan and the like. They also do international foods and have fruit and salad all the time in the Meyerhoff. Friday Saturday and Sundays they have the best foods. Doris is the cafe on campus and although is a bit pricey it is pretty good. I suggest getting the 200 meal plan for all freshman for you first semester at least. most students don't use all of those meals but if you plan on having family and friends come to visit you on campus then you can swip for them so they don't have to pay the 9 or so dollars it costs to eat at Meyerhoff (Meyerhoff is all you can eat by the way). And remember not to over indulge in the dessert table.
What to do for fun
There are tons of things in Baltimore to do, you can go to the Towson Mall (which is 4 levels and has tons of things in it) on the shuttle, walk or take the free circulator to the inner harbor where there are malls and good places to eat. On weekends there are things going on at the Copy Cat and/or Graffiti House just around the corner from MICA across the bridge (the ally there is a good place to see local graffiti artists works and some old MICA students works). There is also the BMA and the Walters museum both free and not far from campus. And don't forget there is also pen station just a 5-10 min walk from campus where you can take the train to DC or NYC for 14 dollars round trip. If you are looking to go thrift store shopping there are plenty of thrift stores although you may need to drive to those. And of course your RA's will be planning things through out the year if your looking to stay on campus or go out with a group of friends.
Bang for the buck
Most MICA students go to Trader Joes or Whole foods but you don't need to go there to shop for food, save a lot is barely a block away from the Commons. Also try not to buy food for your dorm if you have a 200 meal plan it will be a waste of money then, try to ask for care packages if you want snacks in your dorm room. GO TO THE SWAP SHOP!!! I can not stress that enough, the swap shop is something the school does several times a year where students can drop things off that they don't want or need and take whatever they do want. You can get clothes books and supplies from here, and the end of the year is the biggest one ever its open all the time at that point and the things people get ride of is scary. I myself got at least 100-150$ worth of art supplies. I know people who got their text books from swap shop as well.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Swap shop would have to be one of the best things MICA does, but I would have to say the sex talks they do for the students and events they have are the best. They like to make sure the students are safe and being safe so through out the year they host several events to get students out of there dorms and to also help them learn more about sex and answer any questions they may have. A local sex toy shop owner attends some of these and helps students answer different questions that the nurse or other may not be able to answer. They also give things away such as condoms of all kinda's and toys. Personally I think this helps most students become more aware and it has helped many of my friends there get their questions answered. (I wouldn't really say this is a tradition but its something that is unique and helpful to all)
Great for these types of students
MICA is a wonderful place for all people honestly, the diversity in the students is amazing. I don't think any student can really do badly here.
Clubs and Activities
There are plenty of clubs and activities but I personally did not attend any of them. You have to be very devoted to be able to do them I think. It can cut into your time for projects, I would recommend that students look into them and make sure they can manage their time wisely if they choose to join a club.
Greek Life
There is none!
Campus Safety
Campus security is everywhere all the time and just a call or even text away, shuttles run at night to help students get across campus or other places such as the 24 hour Rite Aid. And although campus security is every where you still need to be careful in Baltimore.
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Amanda from Reisterstown, MD

a current student here
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
MICA is an amazing school with the best teachers in the country. I can pursue my dreams of becoming an art teacher here in a state-of-the-art program. MICA has granted me many opportunities, like volunteering, and having a studio space, for helping me get involved in the community and creating art.
Tips for prospective students
MICA is for students who are passionate and willing to work hard, so be prepared for a lot of work! Remember to be yourself and don't take everything too seriously. Be open to new ideas and people, and you will learn everything that is great about art, MICA, and Baltimore.
Academic Rigor
The academic classes are actually quite relaxed. Most of our energy is focused on our rigorous studio classes, so our academic classes expect the best out of us but dont burden us down with work. We usually have 2 or 3 papers to do for an academic class.
Dorm Life
The dorms are apartment-style, so they are very spacious. All of them have a kitchen and a living room, and plenty of space to spread out and work on art. Plus, there are studios you can rent out in one of the residence buildings.
Food and Dining
We have a dining hall, and 2 cafes. The options for food on campus is not humongous, but the food is still decent. I love getting a hot sandwich from Cafe Doris. The area of Mount Vernon is only a 10 minute walk away which has a lot of cheap restaurants to go to.
What to do for fun
Baltimore has a great art scene, so there's always a band playing, an art show, or a fun-themed party to go to. Mount Vernon has some great restaurants and bars that are fun to frequent, like Turp's, Brewer's Art, and XS. There's also some of Baltimore's greatest amusements, like the National Aquarium, Federal Hill, Hampden, Fell's Point, and the Maryland Zoo.
Bang for the buck
MICA is well-known as one of the best art schools in the nation. Its obvious that we have the best art teachers and students in the country, if you look at the artwork that we produce. We have top-notch studios of every kind, that are open 12 hours a day (24 hours during finals week) that facilitate the learning and making of great art.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
The MICA Halloween Party is a spectacle every year, complete with a fully decorated Main Building, and a impressive Costume Contest, by the crazy creative students. The Annex and the Copycat are apartment buildings off campus that are known for the crazy parties and shows that go down.
Great for these types of students
Hard-working students, who are dedicated and passionate about their art, will excel at MICA. We love students who are fun and and different, ready to make their mark on the world, and show something new to our community.
Clubs and Activities
There are a lot of different clubs you can join. They all have fun events during the week, so its easy to get involved. I'm a part of the Community Arts Partnership, where we volunteer as art teachers at different schools. We also have CAPfest every semester which is a fun festival like event.
Greek Life
No sororities or fraternities at MICA, just a big family of art kids.
Campus Safety
There are always campus safety officers patrolling campus during the day and night. Everyone knows Baltimore can be dangerous, no matter where you are, so its reassuring to see them around. I've never had a problem with crime and if I need a ride home I call campus safety for the MICA shuttle to come pick me up.
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Cindy from Blacksburg, VA

a current student here
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
MICA is the best location for artists to learn their trade in a supportive environment. There are many involvement opportunities both on campus and in the community. There is a healthy amount of competition, creating a competitive, effective learning environment.
Tips for prospective students
Really work on critique skills as you will spend half of your studio time doing just that.
Academic Rigor
Sometimes it really depends on the class, but most of the time you will be challenged.
Dorm Life
Most people's door are always open, figuratively speaking. The college really makes sure that there is a sense of community.
Food and Dining
There are only two options, but they are quite delicious.
What to do for fun
There is always the option of the inner harbor, or going to Towson. There are usually events on campus every night, also.
Clubs and Activities
A BUNCH of clubs and organizations, definitely something for everyone.
Greek Life
Non-existant.
Campus Safety
There is a strong campus security unit that patrols 24/7.
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Kai from Plymouth, MN

accepted here and planning to attend soon
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
MICA has a lot to offer.
Tips for prospective students
Get in contact with your admissions officer. It helps put a name to the portfolio and they can give you tips on how to improve your portfolio.
Academic Rigor
I've never actually taken classes at MICA, so I'm going off of what I've seen. From what I've seen/heard, MICA encourages competition, but doesn't work you to the bone. It seems to get more intense the month before finals.
Dorm Life
MICA's dorms are some of the best I've seen. You have the option between a single or double bedroom. Each dorm has two bedrooms, totaling 3-4 people per room. The dorm includes a living area, small kitchen, and bathroom. The freshmen dorms are a bit tight, but it seems to be less small after your first year.
Food and Dining
For school food, it's pretty good. The food is much better on prospective student visiting days, so if there's ever a day to each there, that's it. On other days, it's still pretty good. It's better than my high school's food and it's better than MCAD's.
What to do for fun
Baltimore harbour is pretty close to campus and there is a lot to do there. Make sure you go with a group and don't visit when it's not busy or late at night. It can be a bit dangerous. Other than that, there seems to be a lot to do on campus too. There are a large range of school clubs to join.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
The buildings are unique. MICA's main building is classical style architecture, with a breathtaking interior. The upperclassmen dorms, the Meyerhoff, is from the 1800s as well. One of the buildings is a renovated factory from the industrial era. Other buildings, like Fox, are modern.
Campus Safety
MICA has round the clock police and you can see them fairly frequently when you're on campus. Though, there are still some shady characters.
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Chanel from Glenn Dale, MD

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
I absolutely love attending MICA. The school has felt like home since the very beginning. The faculty and staff are very organized and find many ways to help all students graduate with a firm career path.
Tips for prospective students
If you are from a suburban and city area then MICA is a wonderful campus for you. The campus is in Baltimore City along Bolton Hill and every one in the area is friendly. The school does a wonderful job creating a genuine campus feel for an art school.
Academic Rigor
The school is very tough but if you are absolutely sure that you want to have a career in the art world then you will do fine at MICA. Just remember that you have to work hard and earn your grade. It is not a easy process but all of the professors push you to develop your best work.
Dorm Life
I currently reside at the Meyerhoff, which is not the standard housing space for freshman. The rooms here are bigger, come with cable, a microwave, and have hardwood floors. If possible, I would recommend spending extra for a single because it helps so much to have space to do your work in.
Food and Dining
The dining hall is better than most college food but it is not the best. Luckily, they do cater to vegans and vegetarians by serving vegetables everyday and even have vegan sweets.
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Michelle from NJ

a current student here
17 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
The same can be said for many schools, but the education one receives at an art school especially varies from student to student on how seriously they take themselves and their work. After two years at MICA, I can definitely say that it's sometimes difficult to balance a social life as well as staying on path of finding a serious career, however nevertheless, the education I recieved from the school as well as Baltimore has impacted my life in such a way that I cannot imagine having gone to school anywhere else.
Am enjoying being here
I refuse to candy coat Baltimore- it's a tough city and not the place for everyone. The so called MICA campus is in an o.k. part of town, which a lot of people like to deem the MICA Bubble, as it encases itself into a somewhat permeable shelter. To get the best experience from the city, I cannot stress enough how much one must venture out and explore the city and get what it's really about. There is a lot it has to offer, as well as a lot of problems that are mostly brushed underneath a rug of sorts, however as a whole the city can be quite enjoyable. MICA, although the teachers easily vary and it's easy to lose yourself in stress, is a wonderful school and there's a reason why its so highly rated.
Bang for the buck
Art schools tend to be notoriously expensive, and MICA is no different. The main financial difference that sets apart this school from others is how much MICA really does help out with scholarships and funding. If you wholeheartedly seek out the financial help, MICA has much to offer.
Tips for prospective students
Take your work seriously, and be sure not to get off track. It's so easy to get lost and leave school with nothing worthwhile, so either take yourself seriously or you're wasting your own time and money. Living off campus is ridiculously cheaper than living on campus, although my freshman year in the Commons might have been the best year of my entire life. Sleep when you can. NEVER procrastinate, you will hate yourself for it. NEVER walk anywhere by yourself, there's a variety of idiots in this city that won't think twice about hurting you.
Great for these types of students
Adventurous, fun yet thick skinned, serious art enthusiasts
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Tom from Chagrin Falls, OH

a current student here
10 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
The first year at MICA provides an intensive crash-course in all areas of the arts, while successive years allow students to focus in on their chosen area(s) of study. The workload is very intense, but it would be next to impossible to come out of a year at MICA without greatly expanding one's knowledge and capability as an artist.
Am enjoying being here
Personally speaking, I love MICA. It is a tight-knit, welcoming, and freely accepting community with the explicit goal of nurturing the growth of young artists. The professors and students are, in my experience, wonderful people. While it can sometimes be an effort to find free time in between coursework, the wealth of opportunities to be found in and around MICA pay great dividends to those who seek them out.
Bang for the buck
Like all schools, MICA gives back to you according to what you put into it. That said, the school provides a wealth of opportunities for personal expression, fun, professional experience, and countless opportunities to grow as an artist and person. The quality of professors can vary, of course, but the quality of a MICA education is matchless.
Tips for prospective students
1. Be prepared to work often and hard. MICA is a fun place, but it is even more fun for those who manage their time and workload properly.
2. Get some sleep sometimes.
3. Remember that Baltimore is a big city and should be treated accordingly. There are many opportunities here, but you should exercise appropriate caution.
4. Get to know your professors. They can and will help you.
Great for these types of students
Anyone who identifies as an artist or has big ideas they want to wrestle with will feel right at home at MICA. For a dedicated art school MICA is also surprisingly well-rounded, which played a big part in my decision to attend.
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lee

a current student here
9 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
mica has a very engaging and accepting environment for students. they seem more generous with scholarships for incoming students than other schools of their caliber. the classes offered are excellent and you will be worked very hard and rewarded for your honest effort.
Tips for prospective students
ask for scholarships and aid, they are fairly generous. living on campus is pretty great and there are tons of apartments nearby that are nice. it can get a bit pricey, but still cheaper than the dorms, and there are evening safety shuttles offered by mica that will take you to your door if it's close by. be prepared for a lot of work and show up to class! don't sign up for a class if you're going to slack off, that denies a class slot to someone who really needs it. you will need to be on top of registration as most classes fill up quickly! make sure you plan out your degree with an advisor so you can hit all the requirements - it's too expensive to waste time and then have to take an extra semester.
Academic Rigor
mica classes, even the basic ones, don't mess around. the standard is five classes a semester, usually two academics and three studios, or one academic and four studios (which i've been doing). you will have something due each week for each class and it's not uncommon to have critiques every week in a class - i had a class with sketches due one week and the final due the next, consistently, so we critiqued either sketches or final pieces each and every week. the academics are intense, too, so try to get into a subject you will be interested in, because you will have heavy reading each week. honestly, by the end of your time here, if you haven't improved immensely, it's because you weren't working. you can't work this much and not improve!
Dorm Life
dorms are pretty great, just super expensive (between $4,500-$5,00 a semester). they require incoming students to live on campus for a while, but you can get out of that if you demonstrate financial inability to pay for it. the meyerhoff dorms were pretty nice, with a downstairs lounge and a buffet. you will be dependent on their heating/a.c. schedule, so bring some blankets and a space heater for the colder months!
Food and Dining
there is a buffet in the meyerhoff dorm that serves lunch and dinner, glace grill in founder's green (the freshmen dorms), cafe doris that serves sandwiches and coffee in the fox (studio class) building, and java corner for coffee and snacks in the bunting (academic class) building. there's another place to eat in the studio building with good lunch options. the best place for your money is the meyerhoff buffet, since you can get a lot of food for one meal swipe (or $10). they do make you swipe twice if you want to eat there and also take a box to go.
What to do for fun
there are tons of events on campus, everything from the monthly coffee house (an evening event with free food and student musical performances), to seminars and gallery openings. there's also a lot of student clubs and almost every event has food! then there's exploring the city, which there are sometimes groups for, and you can always check out the harbor for the aquarium or shopping/food. it's easy to make a trip to dc or new york from here, too.
Bang for the buck
no lie, mica is expensive, but well worth it if you work hard. you'll get a respected degree and with the amount of work thrown at you, you'll be very skilled once you leave. there's also the networking opportunities with the teachers, and internships, study-abroad programs, and the career center which will all help you secure opportunities for work. take your workload seriously, try not to blow your money partying while you're here, and use every advantage you can get while enrolled to find some job openings, and the costs will all be worth it!
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
there's a small zen garden behind the fox building and it's very strange to be viewing a buddha statue while cars go by on the overpasses in the background. as soon as it gets warm, groups of people hang out in cohen plaza (in front of fox) and do everything from practice hula hoop performances to hanging out with dogs that everyone can pet.
Great for these types of students
i'm pretty academic-minded, so i appreciate the heavy workload and the intensity of the academic classes, but mica in general is also great for more experimentally-minded artists. teachers will encourage you to think outside the box about things like installation, form, and content in your art. honestly, any kind of student that is dedicated to their work can excel here - slackers need not apply!
Clubs and Activities
there are so, so many clubs, including one for each major. i'm a big fan of attending events for the food, art, and socializing! i also really recommend the student voice association; they hold meetings anyone can attend and there's free food and you can get some great insight into what's happening around campus and what issues are being addressed within the different majors.
Greek Life
none! thank goodness.
Campus Safety
baltimore is a pretty tough city, but the campus does its best. there's tons of security cameras, patrols (in clearly marked cars and on segways), and recently-installed emergency phones in outside locations. the best thing they do is offer evening safety shuttles, which will take you to nearby locations, including stores, all the campus buildings, and even your front door. take advantage of those, because quite a few muggings can happen on or close to campus.
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Ronesha from North Hollywood, CA

a current student here
7 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
MICA is a great school that encourages every student to reach their full potential, while still staying true to who they really are. The entire faculty and staff are very encouraging and also help every single student grow as each year passes. Everyone in the MICA community is full of so much love and generosity, including the teachers who provide amazing opportunities for the students, which helps us after we graduate. .
Tips for prospective students
I would suggest visiting MICA before applying, because it is such a great school that you have to experience it before you apply. I would also say that MICA is one of the very few schools where it's just as amazing as the pictures in it's catalog. It's helpful to become friends with other prospective students, whether it's on Facebook or when you visit the school.
Academic Rigor
MICA does have a great academic program which definitely caters to every mind of every single artist at the school. I appreciate how the teachers let the students incorporate their art into projects, essays and presentations, because it helps as artists, especially to grow professionally.
Dorm Life
The dorm life at MICA is one of the best in the country. I applied to eight other art schools in the united states and went to visit all of them and MICA provides housing for every single student. The school makes sure that you live in the right place for you and as someone who wanted my own room, I got it even during my freshman year, which many other colleges don't provide. The security is also great and MICA always ensures that the students are safe especially in the dorms.
Food and Dining
The food and dining at MICA is one of a kind. The Meyerhoff is a great place to eat if you are ever looking for a good meal. Doris is also great if you want really great sandwiches or snacks. But the food is amazing and the chefs asks for students's requests, specifically if we want a certain type of food then they will provide it. There are also food trucks and great places to buy food on campus. The great part is you can put money on your ID card and swipe it for food, so you don't have to worry about carrying a debit/credit card.
What to do for fun
At MICA there are a lot of activities that the school plans for every student. During the weekends in the fall and winter, the student activities office will provide free trips to go apple picking, ice-skating, to go shopping, hiking. They always have sign-up sheets around campus and especially in the living areas. It's great because it gives the students a chance to get out of the school bubble and meet new people or experience a different part of Maryland or Baltimore that they did not know about. At MICA there are so many gallery shows and performances that are free, so I always stop by and see the work that other students have produced, which also provides a good time to socialize.
Clubs and Activities
The clubs at MICA are amazing as well. No matter what your major is, MICA has a club for pretty much every person and if you don't see a club that may not suit you, then you can create your own. MICA also has a big halloween dance and a formal in the spring time, so students can dress up and have fun. It's great because it gives people time to socialize.
Greek Life
There is no greek life at MICA. But once you go there, you won't even notice, because MICA is such an interesting school with creative minds and people, so a lot of the time students will come up with their own activities etc.
Campus Safety
Campus safety is really great at MICA. During the beginning of the school year, students can sign up for a program called RAVE, and the student is given a telephone number to call if anything should occur during late hours or during anytime of the day. MICA is really great on keeping up with safety issues. They send out emails to the whole school if anything happens to one student, so every student can stay safe. If something does occur on campus, MICA immediately increases the security around school. They have security guards everywhere around campus and also some drive around during late night hours. MICA genuinely cares about the safety of every student, which is really heartwarming.
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N.S. from PA

a current student here
7 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I've only been here a month, but since I'm working at least 6 hours on work every day, I can actually feel myself improving, getting faster at drawing, and strong sense of composition. Also, the quality of my independent sketches and drawings are getting faster, too. The teachers for the first year are all very good teachers and many are easy to talk to and get to know.
Am enjoying being here
The college life is really great here. The majority of the freshman are all in one place and the rest are just 1 block away. There are so many events going on through the weekends and many fun things go on the weekday nights. Also with the student clubs meeting once a week or every other week, I can join multiple clubs to meet more people with similar interests.
Bang for the buck
It's definitely a lot of money, that's for sure, but I can see why though. The education is great, the dorms are apartment style which is something a lot of freshman don't get, the meals are a nice all you can eat buffet style (or a take-out option).
Tips for prospective students
Whatever you many hear, the community here is really open and welcoming. They really want you to take advantage of that and get involved. But also, if you're iffy about the area, definitely come see it for yourself to see if you would be alright here. There are a lot of shady areas and the school warns the students where not to go, but also provides good transportation for the students after hours.
Great for these types of students
Artists of technical abilities are here, yet everyone work just as hard as the next.
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