Summer Opportunities

AICAD School Pre-College Programs

Pre-College programs at AICAD schools offer high school school students a unique opportunity to "try-out" art & design school during the summer before their 3rd year or final year of secondary school. Pre-College programs range in duration but are typically 6 weeks long and are designed to give students a real college experience. Students choose an area of focus/major, live in the college dorms and follow a college-level studio curriculum with other like-minded students from around the world.

Eligible students are considered through an application process which may or may not include an essay, a letter of recommendation and samples of artwork. Students and families can also apply for various forms of financial aid and scholarships.

The following AICAD schools offer Pre-College programs:

Art Academy of Cincinnati

Art Academy of Cincinnati

A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education

College for Creative Studies

Joseph V. Canzani Center

Columbus College of Art and Design


Cornish College of the Arts

LCAD Main Campus
Design + Digital Media Professor, Dan Jensen

Laguna College of Art and Design

Photo: R. Krivicich

Maine College of Art

Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design

Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design

Campus shot

Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Montserrat College of Art

Montserrat College of Art

Moore College of Art

Moore College of Art and Design

New Hampshire Institute of Art

New Hampshire Institute of Art

Campus shot

Oregon College of Art and Craft

Otis Campus

Otis College of Art and Design

PNCA Campus

Pacific Northwest College of Art


Parsons School of Design

View of Lenfest Plaza, which features works by Claes Oldenburg and PAFA alum Jordan Griska.
photo: Jeff Fusco

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

PCA&D exterior 2 (1)

Pennsylvania College of Art and Design

Pratt Sculpture Park

Pratt Institute


Rhode Island School of Design

Greg Wilson, Photographer

Ringling College of Art and Design

SFAI courtyard tower_1440x740

San Francisco Art Institute


School of the Museum of Fine Arts


School of Visual Arts

University of the Arts

The University of the Arts

Watkins_College for AICAD 2016 1440w

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film

California State Summer School for the Arts (CSSSA)

CSSSA is a rigorous, preprofessional, month-long training program in the visual and performing arts, creative writing, animation and film for talented artists of high school age. Its purpose is to provide a training ground for future artists who wish to pursue careers in the arts and entertainment industries in California. California residents enrolled in grades nine through twelve may apply to attend CSSSA. Students from outside of California may also apply and are admitted each year.

Students apply for admission within regular application guidelines (identifying themselves as CSSSA alum) and CSSSA scholarship awards are made by the admissions department directly.

All students who have completed CSSSA, are eligible to be considered for college scholarships from several affiliated AICAD schools (should they gain admission), including:

  • Art Center College of Design
  • California Institute of the Arts
  • California College of the Arts
  • Cornish College of the Arts
  • Laguna College of Art & Design
  • Pacific Northwest College of Art
  • Otis College of Art & Design
  • San Francisco Art Institute
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • The University of the Arts