Our Mission: To provide a professional art and design education in an intimate setting.

Our Vision: All graduates will have the skills, knowledge, creative acumen, experiences and spirit to ensure lifelong professional success in art and design.

Founded in 1936, Memphis College of Art is a professional center of art and design education dedicated to preparing individuals for lives of creating, problem-solving and critical thinking. MCA provides a top-notch art education in an intimate setting—undergraduate students study in an iconic modern campus located within 342-acre Overton Park, and graduate students study in the college’s historic building in downtown Memphis’ South Main Arts District. MCA offers state-of-the-art facilities, nationally renowned faculty, interdisciplinary programs and cutting-edge exhibitions to the public and those pursuing BFA, MFA, MAT and MAArtEd degrees. It is one of only four independent, regionally and nationally accredited art colleges in the South and is the only one to offer graduate degrees. MCA also is unique in its focus on professional practices, providing a fully integrated curriculum that embeds essential skills and knowledge throughout the four years of study. Students learn about entrepreneurship, communication skills, self-promotion, networking and other professional business practices that will foster their successful careers as artists.

As an institute of higher learning, MCA is committed to two traditions: the professional artist’s tradition, which requires mastery of the skills, tools and technologies of the visual arts; and the liberal arts tradition, which requires education in the truest sense, not only imparting facts and ideas, but also fostering critical appraisal of them.

Two 15-week semesters begin in August and January and three summer sessions run from mid-May to July. Applications for undergraduate study are accepted for fall and spring semesters on a rolling basis. Scholarships are available based on merit and need through the application process. Applications for our named full-tuition award are due by March 31 each year for fall semester applicants.


    • Memphis College of Art is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate and masters degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Memphis College of Art.
    • The Art Education and Teachers Education Programs of Memphis College of Art have been approved by the Tennessee Board of Education.

MCA Quick Facts:

    • There are 67 full- and part-time faculty members. Ninety percent of full-time teaching faculty members have terminal degrees in their fields.
    • Memphis College of Art has a student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1, and an average class size of 17.
    • Memphis College of Art’s student body consists of 400-450 students.
    • A diverse population of students represents 25 states and five foreign countries. Sixty percent are from the Mid-South. About half of Memphis College of Art’s student population is from outside Tennessee.
    • Memphis College of Art has more than 75,000 square feet of student housing.
    • Ninety-three percent of Memphis College of Art students receive some type of financial assistance and 74 percent receive loans. More than $2 million is awarded annually in institutional aid. Assistance programs include scholarships, loans, work study, and grants. Thirty-eight percent of students that are Tennessee state residents are Lottery Scholarship recipients.