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Transfer Students FAQs

Change can be overwhelming, but this transition doesn't have to be.

We've taken the time to outline common questions from transfer students. Look over the information provided here, and if you have more questions, just reach out to your personal transfer counselor at

Q: Who does MICA consider a transfer student?

A: If you have graduated from high school (or earned your GED) and completed and earned credit for one or more post-high school college classes, you are a college transfer student. 

Q: Can a college transfer still be a freshman?

A: Yes. Your academic level (freshman, sophomore, junior) is based on the number of transferable credits you have earned, supported by your portfolio. For example, if you have earned a total of 12 transferrable credits when you apply to MICA, you would start at MICA in the range of a first-semester freshman.

We are also looking at the type of credits you have earned. MICA has a required First Year Experience of eight studio classes that our first-time freshmen take when they start at MICA.  If you have not taken these classes at your previous college, you will spend your first semesters at MICA completing these classes, and in terms of academic level will be in-between freshman and sophomore level.

Q: Is a college transfer student an undergraduate student? 

A; Yes. First-time freshmen and college transfers have not yet completed a four-year college degree, and are both undergraduate students.

Q: What if I already have a college degree?

A: If you have earned a previous bachelor’s degree and wish to earn another bachelor’s degree, you are considered a college transfer applicant. College transfer applicants are expected to have some college-level art instruction before they apply to MICA. If your previous degree is in visual arts/design/media, we will assess your transferable credits from your transcript and course descriptions, supported by your portfolio. If your previous degree is not in visual arts/design/media, we will assess your transferable credits from your transcript (while we will not be able to accept all of your academic credits, we will attempt to place as many of them as possible).

Q: What are the application deadlines for transfer students?

For spring and fall deadlines, please refer to Transfer Admission Process

Q: Does MICA award credit for audited (non graded) courses?  
A: No, MICA does not award credit for audited courses. 

Q: What type of degree does MICA award?  
A: MICA awards the Bachelor of Fine Art degree (BFA). 

Q: What is the balance of studio classes to academic classes? 

A:As an art college that awards the BFA, our curriculum is 2/3 studio classes to 1/3 academic classes. In comparison, an art major at a liberal arts college or university that typically awards the Bachelor of Arts (BA) will take 2/3 academic classes to 1/3 studio classes. 

Q: How much credit weight do MICA classes have? 

A: We are on the semester system. Most classes are three-credits each.  

Q: What type of transfer credit does MICA accept?  

A: MICA is on the semester system. To be eligible for transfer, each course must be equivalent to at least three-credits in the semester system. 

5 quarter credits  = 3 semester credits 
2 trimester credits = 3 semester credits 

Q: What is the required criteria for a class to be eligible for transfer credit? 

A: Each class must 

  • be at least three-credits (or equivalent to three-credits in the semester system)
  • not be remedial 
  • be passed with a final grade of C or higher 
  • fit into the MICA degree plan for your intended major 

Q: How many credits are required for MICA's BFA? 

A: 120 semester credits 

Q: How many credits earned outside of MICA are eligible for transfer credit?  

A: Up to 60 credits maximum earned at outside institutions are eligible for transfer credit.  

Q: Does MICA have a required foundation program? How does this requirement affect transfer students?

A: MICA offers a program called the First Year Experience (FYE). It consists of eight studio classes (24 credits), which our first-time freshmen take during their first year at MICA. 

We recommend that transfer applicants take as many of these first year requirements (listed below) at their current school before applying to MICA.

  • Drawing 1

  • Drawing 2

  • 2D Design

  • 3D Design (or any class that focuses on three dimensional skills such as sculpture, ceramics, or fiber)

  • 4D Design (or any class that focuses on time-based art such as animation, film, video, interactive art/media)

  • Color Theory

  • Color/Design elective of your choice (or Painting 1, Color Drawing, etc.)

  • Art/Design/Media elective of your choice

Q: Does MICA have academic requirements? 
A: Yes, MICA has academic requirements. Even though our curriculum is 1/3 academic classes to 2/3 studio classes, our commitment to academic study is evident in the variety and depth of our academic course offerings.  

Q: Can students complete all of their academic courses before attending MICA?  

A:  No. While some academic courses are eligible for transfer credit, you will be required to take other academic courses at MICA alongside your studio courses. Academics will be a part of every semester you spend at MICA. For example: to be full time enrolled at MICA, a student must take at least four 3-credit classes (12-credits) each fall and spring semester. One of those 3-credit classes should be an academic class. The remaining three classes can be studio classes.

Q: What academic courses are eligible for transfer credit? 

A:  Art History electives (3 classes =  9 credits)

Humanistic Studies/Literature electives  (2 classes = 6 credits)

Academic electives (2 classes = 6 credits)

Math or Physical/Biological Science (1 class = 3 credits)

Q: Can students get credit for studio electives? 

A:  Yes. Each major has a different number of studio electives eligible for transfer credit.

Q: Do I have to complete an Associates degree before applying to MICA?  

A: An Associate of Arts or Associate of Fine Arts is not required to apply to MICA.

However, if you are following the requirements for an AA or AFA, you should contact us at to determine if all of the classes required for your Associate Degree are eligible for transfer.

Q: What is the minimum number of credits required to apply as a transfer student to MICA?  

A: We recommend that students have at least one full-time semester of college classes completed or in progress before applying to MICA.

Q: What makes a strong transfer portfolio? 

A: We encourage you to visit Portfolio Preparation for Transfer Students.

Q: Does MICA require official transcripts?  

A: Yes. To be official, your transcript must be emailed or mailed from your college registrar directly to MICA's Undergraduate Admission Records Department.


Mail: Records Coordinator
MICA Undergraduate Admission
1300 W. Mount Royal Avenue
Baltimore MD 21217

Q: If I have attended more than one college, should I submit an official transcript from each school? 

A: Yes. If you plan to request credit evaluation for the courses taken at each college, we will need an official transcript from each school.

Q: Can I send my college transcripts before submitting an application?  

A: Yes. If the transcript arrives at MICA before your application is processed, it will be filed under your name and matched to your application at a later date. 

Q: If I am currently enrolled in college at the time that I intend to apply to MICA. Should I send MICA my final transcripts from my current college? 

A: Yes. We need final grades for in-progress classes in order to determine credit.  

Q: Course descriptions are required. What are they used for?  

A: Course descriptions help the Admission Committee assess your earned credits. Cut and paste the course description from your college’s online course catalog into a word document. Do this for very college class you've taken after graduating from high school that you want to have considered for transfer credit.

Q: Do I need to submit my high school transcripts?  

A: Proof of high school graduation is required only if you are applying for Financial Aid. 

Scan your high school diploma or a copy of your final senior transcript with final grades and the graduation date printed on it; email the scanned document to If you took the GED or a similar high school equivalency test, request that your official score report be emailed to

Q: Is there a CommonApp for transfer students?  

A: Yes. Go to MICA’s CommonApp page, click the Add to My Colleges button and select Transfer Students at the sign in prompt. The transfer application is completely separate from the freshman application. 

Q: Are recommendation letters required for transfer students? 

A: Recommendation letters are not mandatory, but they can offer support for your application.  Recommendations can be submitted by professors, college counselors, work supervisors and colleagues. Your recommenders should submit their letters directly to or use the link generated for recommendations in CommonApp. 

Q: Is an admission essay required

A: Completing the Admission Essay (in the MICA-specific Activities section of the application) is recommended. Please make sure your essay is at least 240 words. 

Q: Are all of the transfer deadlines scholarship-eligible? 

A: Yes, however, priority consideration is given to students who apply by the Early Action 1 and Early Action 2 deadlines. 

Q: Are all of the transfer deadlines scholarship-eligible? 

A: Yes, however, priority consideration is given to students who apply by the Early Action 1 and Early Action 2 deadlines. 

Q: Do I fill out a separate application to apply for merit based scholarship?  

A: All transfer applicants (including international students) are eligible to apply for scholarship.  However, there is no separate application to complete for transfer scholarship. Simply answer YES to the CommonApp questions about your intention to apply for scholarship. The strength of your portfolio and academic record will help determine your merit scholarship award. 

Q: What steps can I take to start planning my transfer to MICA?  

A: If you are attending a community college, get in touch with us early in the transfer application process, even before you’re ready to apply. You’ll learn what our curriculum requires and will be able to replicate it as closely as possible. The closer you are to 60 transferable credits when you apply and are admitted to MICA, the less time it will take to complete your BFA. You may be able to graduate from MICA in two years.

Q: Will I be required to live on campus?   

A: Admitted transfer students are not required to live on campus, yet you are welcome to do so. To apply to live on campus, pay your housing deposit at the same time that you pay your tuition deposit and fill out the housing application. Housing is available on a first-come first-served basis.

Q: What is MICA's transfer credit policy?

A: You can transfer to MICA at any point in your post-secondary academic career. There are no specific transfer requirements or the minimum number of credits to fulfill prior to applying to our undergraduate program.

Q: How does MICA evaluate transfer credit

A: When the Admission Committee evaluates transfer credit, your prior college experience will be compared to MICA's BFA requirements. Only credits earned at an accredited post-secondary institution will be considered for transfer. Of the 120 credits required to earn a BFA, up to 60-semester credits (or equivalent) may be transferred and applied toward your degree. Transfer credit for studio courses is determined by portfolio review. Liberal Arts courses in which course content parallels that of the courses offered at MICA will also be considered for transfer credit. Only courses carrying a grade of "C" or better will qualify. If your prior institution does not give letter grades, "pass" grades will be accepted.

Accepted students will be mailed a preliminary transfer credit evaluation along with their admission decision.

Q: Where can I learn more about the courses required to complete a BFA in my major?

A: MICA has eighteen undergraduate majors, six liberal arts minors, sixteen studio concentrations, and six graduate-level capstone/dual degree programs. Majors are required for all students and should be declared at the time of application. Liberal arts minors (academic), studio concentrations (art/design) and capstone programs allow students to gain additional areas of expertise and are optional.

Click here to learn more about MICA's undergraduate programs of study.

Q: Are standardized tests (ACT, SAT, TOEFL, IELTS) required?

A: ACT or SAT scores are not required for transfer students. All transfer students who speak English as a second language must provide a TOEFL or IELTS score. 

  • TOEFL Test: A minimum overall band score of 75 on the IBT Test of English Language as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required.  Candidate may submit their scores digitally or as an official document in hardcopy.  MICA’s institution code is 5399.
  • IELTS Test:  A minimum score of 6.0 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is required.  IELTS scores may be submitted digitally or as an official document in hardcopy. MICA’s institution code is 5399.

Q: Are there scholarships and financial aid available to transfer students?

A: Merit-based scholarship is available for transfer students and is based on the quality of the applicant's artwork and most recent cumulative college GPA. Transfer scholarship awards range from $1,000 to $26,000 per year. You can find the transfer scholarship application included in both the MICA online application and the CommonApp.

All students accepted for admission to MICA who have completed the required financial aid applications by the deadline are considered for need-based grants, scholarships, work-study, and loans. Learn more about MICA merit and need-based scholarship and financial aid opportunities:

Priority consideration for scholarship and financial aid is given to fall applicants who apply by the March 1st deadline, and spring applicants who apply by the November 1st deadline. For more information visit Financial Aid for New Students.


Transfer Admission Process

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