Summer Pre-College Art

The Summer Pre-College Art program motivates, stimulates, and prepares you as an emerging artist. Exploring traditional tools and new technologies in a variety of media leads you to develop conceptual and technical skills, excellent preparation for applying to and succeeding in a competitive college-level art program. You’ll be introduced to the spirit and substance of the Carnegie Mellon School of Art culture through challenging courses, critique, stimulating workshops, portfolio development, and energetic interaction with dedicated faculty and talented peers.

The Experience

During the summer Pre-College Art Program you will attend morning and afternoon classes, Monday through Thursday. You'll work in our beautiful, spacious studios in the historic College of Fine Arts building and the School of Art’s Doherty Hall fabrication facilities. In addition to your structured class time, you’ll participate in weekly workshops, open studios and portfolio reviews.

The Pre-College Art faculty is comprised of accomplished artists and educators. Small class sizes allow you to benefit from individual attention, intense instruction and substantial constructive feedback. Undergraduate teaching assistants provide support for both instructors and students and add valuable insight into the School of Art’s BFA program.


Individual instruction, in-class work sessions, critiques, demonstrations and lectures are all part of the classroom experience. You should expect to attend nightly open studios in order to complete work outside of class. The Pre-College Art curriculum focuses on the fundamentals of technical skill as well as the growth of your conceptual thinking and how those elements are applied to personal artistic practice.

During session one all three and six-week students take the following courses: 

  • Drawing
  • Sculpture
  • Animation
  • Concept Studio 

All six-week students take the following courses during session two: 

  • Painting
  • Digital Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Concept Studio (a continuation of session one)

An exhibition of student work occurs during our family weekend celebration. Students, faculty and teaching assistants plan and hang the show together.

Each Friday, you’ll participate in elective Workshops. These morning and afternoon sessions present introductions to a wide range of topics and skills. While attendance is required you won’t be evaluated on your performance in workshops—fostering an environment for experimentation, exploration, trial and error, and freedom. Workshop sign-ups occur during orientation weekend.


Resident (6 week program) - $8,080
Resident (3 week program - $4,540
Commuter (6 week program) - $5,766
Commuter (3 week program) - $3,324

Limited Scholarships

Some financial/merit-based scholarships will be available to select students who've been accepted into the program, completed the scholarship applicationfinancial aid estimate and submit a digital portfolio by April 3, 2017. Students selected for a scholarship can only enroll in the resident full-time six week option.