Maryland Institute College of Art

The Maryland Institute of Art was founded in 1826. Baltimore’s most recognised citizens established the school, including Thomas Kelso, Hezekiah Niles, John H. B. Latrobe, and Fielding Lucas, Jr. It was originally known as the Maryland Institute for the Promotion of the Mechanic Arts and now counts itself as being among the country’s oldest visual art colleges.


The school ran for 10 years at “The Athenaeum”, a landmark for political, civic, cultural, social, and educational affairs. It was destroyed in 1835, as well as all of its records and property. In 1970, a group of 70 individuals, headed by Benjamin S. Benson, called a meeting of those who supported the idea of a mechanics’ institute. This meeting ultimately led to the Institute being opened on January 12, 2848.

The Institute moved into its very own building in 1851 above Market Place’s old Centre Market. However, in 1904 the building was burned down along with a further 1,500 buildings during the Great Baltimore Fire. The site was later rebuilt and the Institute has expanded and added several buildings over the years.


The program combines a liberal arts education and wilting with studio skills. MICA is ranked as one of the best colleges in the Northeast, according to The Princeton Review, and has admitted more Presidential Scholars in Visual Arts than any other U.S. university. Painting, illustration, and graphic design are the most popular majors here.

The Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is rightfully proud of its reputation for fostering a community of creative and talented individuals dedicated to pushing their artistic boundaries and expanding their perspective and vision through committed study. MICA admits 1,700 students on undergraduate programmes and 200 students on graduate programmes, including 120 international students, from 48 U.S. states and 52 countries.

Programmes of study

The school offers 25 different but equally professional programmes that lead to either a BA, MA, or MFA. MICA sponsors numerous community outreach and public programmes, including over 100 annual exhibitions by faculty, students, and nationally and globally recognised artists.

The Area

Baltimore, with a population of 622,000, provides students with a taste of life in the city, a visual and vibrant performing arts community, a diverse culture, world-class sports teams, medical centres, and museums. The campus is situated in a residential neighbourhood with other educational and cultural institutions all around it. Famous for its sunny and temperate climate, the city offers four distinct seasons: pleasant, mild falls and springs; hot and humid summers; cold winters with occasional snowfall; and a sunny and temperate climate.


The approximately 10,000 alumni reside in 58 countries, have been represented in both private and public collections all over the world, exhibited in museums and galleries, and won global awards. 86 per cent of BFA graduates who go to work immediately after graduation work in a related field, with 23 per cent going on to a graduate programme immediately after graduation.