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Continuing Education

Continuing Education . Pre-College 

Pre-College Program

What is Pre-College?

Each summer CIA offers a two or four-week residency to rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors in high school. During Pre-College, creative students will experience life at a college of art and design, create a portfolio, and learn from top professionals, all while earning college credit. 

Explore new media, sharpen your skills, build a portfolio, and make plans for next summer now. 

Pre-College is open to rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors in highschool.

Why CIA’s Pre-College program?

Because there's never been a better time to pursue a career in art and design.

Everyone needs creative minds. From the interfaces of the apps we use, to the spaces we live in—creative people are paid to imagine and produce most of the things around us. 

CIA's Pre-College program is the perfect way to see if a college of art and design is right for you. Spend each day immersed in our state-of-the-art studios while working alongside students who share your passion.

Learn something new, or focus on something you love.

At the Cleveland Institute of Art, we are dedicated to teaching art and design students in an environment built exclusively for creative thinkers. Taught by experts in the field, our courses are designed for students with talent, but not necessarily experience in each discipline, so feel free explore something new.

You'll take one course per session. Can't decide on one? Stay for both sessions and take two! 

Session 1: June 20 – July 2, 2021
Session 2: July 11 – 23, 2021


Your home in Cleveland: Explore the life of a college student

Whether you come from California or Cleveland, you'll have the opportunity to experience the amazing cultural hub of University Circle. Chosen by Forbes magazine as "one of the 10 prettiest neighborhoods in the country," CIA is just a moment's walk to museums, dining and shopping. 

Residential students will stay in CIA's Uptown Residence Hall, just steps from the studio spaces where you'll spend your day. The residence hall features apartment-style suites with kitchenettes, a shared common space, and two bedrooms, each with its own bathroom. Beyond your suite, you'll enjoy free laundry facilities, workout machines, and decks overlooking University Circle.

Students living in Ohio's Cuyahoga County can choose to commute. We have many full-time commuter students at CIA. Take advantage of gaining the same academic experience as residential Pre-College students, while returning home each evening.

Learn More

A Typical Day


Tuition + Scholarships

Ready to Apply?

What will you gain?

A head start on college

Receive three college credits per session (and a grade). Pre-College students are also eligible to earn designated scholarships toward CIA's BFA program.

Techniques and skills

Work intensively in an area of your choice to refine your skills and try new techniques. Our rigorous curriculum matches that of full-time students, so you know you're getting the most out of your stay.

Experience life as an art and design student.

Live on campus, dine together as a community, make new friends, and make lots of art!

Knowledge about professional practices

It's not too early to start preparing now for your future as an artist or designer. All Pre-College students complete the program with finished pieces to contribute to your portfolio, making you a more competitive college applicant.

For more information:

Jessica Howard
Continuing Education + Community Outreach Coordinator
216.421.7460 | Contact

- OR -

Gabrielle Burrage
Director of Continuing Education + Community Outreach
216.421.7493 | Contact

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cleveland Institute of Art began plans for maintaining a healthy environment upon our community’s return to campus this fall. We are continuing to work in partnership and consultation with the office of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, University Hospitals of Cleveland, Case Western Reserve University, the Cuyahoga County Health Department, the City of Cleveland, and the Centers for Disease Control.

At this time, we plan to run the Pre-College program in 2021 with the health and safety measures that CIA put in place to reopen in August. The current measures include mandatory face masks inside the building; modified facilities and studio spaces to address social distancing; increased building sanitization and safety mechanisms; reduced classroom and lab capacities; and health monitoring including daily temperature checks and COVID-19 pre-screening assessments. We will continue to monitor COVID-19 and move forward with the program only if it is safe to do so. In the event that we need to cancel the program, students will receive a full refund.