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The Maryland Institute College of Art

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I'm currently a sophomore painting major here atQuite BrightFine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc
I'm currently a sophomore painting major here at MICA. This school is VERY self motivated - how much you get out of your four years here is completely up to you. My friends and I jokingly refer to it as "baby school"- a lot of students don't really want to learn anything and MICA lets them get away with it. HOWEVER, if you really have a desire to learn and will challenge yourself MICA can be a good place for you. Avoid easy classes where you know you won't learn anything valuable, take classes that you've heard are a lot of work. Don't forget about the importance of academic classes. Above all, remember why you came here and what you love to do.I am very glad I came here, my school isn't perfect but I love it anyway. I've met some incredible, passionate people, who (along with my teachers) are always pushing me to be better. I wouldn't want to go anywhere else.
1st Year Female -- Class 2019
Innovation: A+, Collaboration/Competitive: B
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I am a current sophomore at MICA, IllustrationBrightArt & Design Department
I am a current sophomore at MICA, Illustration Major. Freshman year at MICA was difficult to get adjusted, being in a new environment. There had been a very heavy push towards making new friends quickly and contacts, understandably due to everybody being new here and having no immediate friends. Personally, I did not enjoy this aspect because I felt like it was too much of a push to socialize to the point it was uncomfortable. Freshman classes were initially difficult to get around, mainly because they were also not the classes in my major. They were more GFA, and broad, mainly to get you adjusted to think in a more art-oriented manner rather than the basic A B C answer method you'd otherwise come in with--unless you came in from and art high school, which I did not. I personally really enjoyed my academics at this point; Critical Inquiry, Art Matters. They weren't held like a basic lecture where your voice wouldn't matter, they were very group discussion oriented where everyone's voice mattered. Very heavy reading homework, take notes for class. I had a major problem with the responses of other classmates at this point, in which they thought these academics useless. Elements was one of my least favorite classes because I really hated the weirdly vague method of doing art. My teacher for this class on the other hand was extremely professional even if she was very strict.Now sophomore year is my shit. I get a better sense of the illustration department now that I get to take the actual classes I want, even classes outside my department like screen printing and others. There are issues with the department such as the fact that our chairman has been there for 14 years basically instead of the capped 8. The teachers that I have had the pleasure of having in illustration classes are some of the best people I have met who wont cut you any slack. I wasn't expected to show up for shit show hw otherwise I wouldve been torn apart during critique. You need to think and work fast. I don't understand the popular critique of "no social life" because this is what you paid for? For improvement in your work and your overall thinking. Socialize, make friends because you will definitely need future contacts its arrogant to think you wont. You'll have a lot of work to do and a lot of planning to figure out. Oh, also, in freshman year you don't have the liberty to choose the classes you want so. After that it's all you. When it comes to hopkins classes yes you can take them but realize that hey you're in MICA, not Hopkins. Hopkins kids have priority over you in enrollment. Which makes sense? But anyway. There is a sophomore/freshman on campus living rule that you can get out of if you speak to financial aid and explain your financial situation and they will try to work with you. The reason they do this is to make sure you get the full experience like it's really hard to experience all campus activities and art get together things, MICA Talks, etc if you live far. There are a bunch of other academics that you can choose in sophomore year, it's really bad to slack off with them because if you do you either graduate late, or take summer classes, or just suffer through every semester with 19 credits. Campus is pretty chill no one will bother you honestly, people tend to radiate to their new friend groups.Students are heavily involved in social protests and are attempting to help the community. Even so, diversity still lacks at MICA, faculty and student wise. The area is very gentrified and the students are hyper aware of it, not so sure about how the faculty and other MICA workers. Overall, as a school I really enjoy my classes here and my learning experience. There's personal issues I have with specific teachers but overall it's good. I'm thriving more here than I would else where.
2nd Year Female -- Class 2018
Useful Schoolwork: A+, Social Life: C+
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Obviously this is a personal account of myBright
Obviously this is a personal account of my experience at MICA. I graduated from a diverse public school with about the same amount of kids that attend MICA. I went through high school with a normal social life. I obviously have interest in art, but also in writing and other classes that require some sort of thought. That being said, if you are anything like me, do not attend this school.

To address the topic of diversity: there is none. The student population (as well as staff for that matter) can be described as pretentious, self centered, and white. They're all white or asian. To address the social aspect: as I said, I'm used to having a normal teenage social life. At MICA, there are no options. If your idea of a fun time is sitting in a circle smoking cigarettes talking about indie rock, then you'll be fine. If you enjoy going to an occasional party, you're fucked. There are none. It's a city campus so parties are extremely rare and if there are any they'll be in a tiny dorm in Leake Hall with no music and probably a total of 15 people max. To touch on the bit about classes: it's a pain in the ass to push to get any academic classes your freshman year. They give you critical inquiry and art matters but you won't learn anything in those two classes. They're basically there to make the school look good and impress the parents who are sending their trust fund babies to MICA. It's foundations year so this might not be a concern for most anyways, but I've heard it doesn't get easier as you progress in your education at MICA. A lot of the interesting academic classes are set up so that they're only available to humanistic studies majors, and in order to obtain that major you must also major in something else. When you're learning about the school they'll boast about how classes are available for MICA students at Johns Hopkins, but I've tried to contact my advisor to figure that out and somehow that fell through the cracks. I have never met a foundations student who actually does take outside classes at Johns Hopkins.

STAFF: The staff is totally incompetent. They're all spacey artists who have no idea which way is up. You could imagine asking a person like this to help you drop or switch a class is not very easy, and you will end up essentially making it happen on your own through a different staff member who has nothing to do with academic advising.

CAMPUS: UGLY AS HELL. Everyone calls it the bubble. I know somebody who took the social shuttle (which is a yellow school bus by the way) to target by herself and sat there for three hours just to get out of the bubble.

SAFETY: If you do decide to attend, you'll receive messages from Campus Safety once a week or more about a MICA student getting mugged or robbed.

Lastly but most importantly,
EDUCATION: I pay 50,000 dollars a year to teach myself at this school. Your art will progress, but that's only because you're spending all of your time doing that and nothing else. The professors grade based on how much they like you. If you want to do well in a class, suck up to them and come up with outrageous conceptual stories for every piece you complete. The education just isn't worth the money. If you're not planning to be a studio artist who shows their work at galleries, and you're looking for a practical job (I plan on majoring in GD so I can eventually own my own business and market myself), you are valueless in the eyes of staff and your peers. I really wouldn't advise you to waste your money just because everyone has told you that MICA is the Harvard of art schools. It most certainly is not.

they require for you to live on campus both freshman and sophomore year to suck as much money out of you as possible. If you attend this school you will find right away, that apparently 50,000 dollar tuition is not enough for them, and they will do anything they can do get the additional dollar out of you.

HOUSING: Housing is nice
FOOD: food is good
Moral of the story: don't go to MICA

1st Year Female -- Class 2018
Innovation: B, Education Quality: F
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The Maryland Institute College of Art

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