Student Life

It’s practically impossible to get lost in the shuffle at MCA. Our size and structure guarantee that. Nonetheless, we always go out of our way to keep you on track with activities to help you get acquainted, keep you informed, help you choose classes and careers and have fun.

Beginning with Orientation, we host a three-day seminar designed so that you will fully understand what’s expected of you as a student at MCA. We cover drawing classes and critique sessions, library research and writing lab experience, career education, and a thorough immersion into the things important to your success in art school.

Later in the semester, you can follow the crowd to community dinners, movie nights and bowling — great chances to meet and hang-out with other students. More scholastically oriented, off-campus activities designed to make the most of your time at MCA include internship programs; a consortium exchange program with four local colleges and 43 national and international art colleges; yearly museum seminar tours to places such as New York, Mexico City or Paris; and the Horn Island Summer Workshop. On the less academic side of travel opportunities, you will find the annual winter ski trip and the annual fall canoe trip — just for fun.

Get involved in the Student Alliance and have a say in how things are done on campus. The Student Alliance serves as an advisory council to the administration on student matters and helps provide a cohesiveness to student life by sponsoring a number of social events each year (such as the annual Hallowe’en party featuring the most outlandish costumes this side of Carnival).

Sometimes things don’t seem so promising and aren’t quite as much fun. We know that the stress of school and other responsibilities can be challenging. If you feel the need for personal counseling, an on-campus professional can help and even make referrals.

Just as art transcends time and place, MCA transcends Memphis culture as an island of artistic endeavor. You’ll find many different kinds of people here: students who have traveled halfway around the world to study art, and students who have never left Memphis; students on a straight career path, and students who have yet to find themselves; thirty- or forty- somethings working toward a second career or fulfilling a long-held dream of studying art, and recent high school graduates.

In spite of these differences, the MCA student body, faculty, and staff are often referred to as a family. What binds this diverse population tighter so strongly? Call it a passion for art, call it pursuit of a common goal – the MCA community is made up of people who have a vision and who have no trouble thinking big. Even a visitor can feel the energy as lively discussions drift out of classrooms and students laden with portfolios, fresh paint smudged fingers and clothes, hurry to their next class.

MCA’s office of Student Life offers activities to help you get acquainted, keep you informed, and help you choose careers and classes. At the beginning of each semester we offer several days of orientation, not because we think you can’t find your way around the building, but because you need to know what’s expected of you.

Later in the semester you can go on the annual canoe trip or ski weekend. Three times each semester the faculty and staff provide food for a community dinner get together and the students have movie night or the annual Talent(less) show to follow. MCA’s on thesStreet gallery downtown is a gathering place each month for Memphis’ Trolley Tour of local gallery shows.

It seems as there is no shortage of things for you to do when you get here. As much as we try to keep you immersed in art and academia it’s amazing how much time you can find for fun. You and your friends may go to the nearby Hi-Tone for music or catch a night game at Auto Zone Park to see the Redbirds play. Basketball fans can see the Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum.

When the administration at the college needs help in student affairs, the Student Alliance serves as an advisory council on student matters. The Alliance also helps provide a cohesiveness to student life by sponsoring a number of social events each year, such as the Halloween party with the most outlandish costumes this side of Carnival, monthly luncheons with the President, and the much looked forward to end-of-the-semester bash.

Sometimes things aren’t so much fun and the stress of school and responsibilities can become challenging. If you feel you need personal counseling, an on-campus professional can help and make referrals if you need additional assistance during a critical time.