share this

Apply Now
Get started here.
Share This Search
Continuing Education

Continuing Education . Pre-College 

Pre-College Program

Jump start your future with us!

Attend one or both sessions

Session 1: July 5-July 17, 2020
Session 2: July 19-July 31, 2020

Sharpen your artistic skills. Experiment with new media. Build your portfolio. And focus on your art at Cleveland Institute of Art's Pre-College program. During this two- or four-week residential program, you'll use the tools and processes available only to our students and experience the life of an art student at a premier college of art and design. Here’s what you’ll gain:

  • A head start on college by earning credits during your stay.
  • A taste of life as an art student.
  • Technique and skills while you explore new media, materials and processes.
  • Knowledge about professional practices from your instructors, who are practicing artists in their field.
  • An inside look at careers in art, and how creativity shapes our lives every day.
  • A shot at college scholarships, awarded through our Admissions Office.

We admit students going into grades 10, 11, and 12. Admission is based on your application, portfolio, high school transcript/letter of recommendation. We look forward to meeting you and adding your unique voice to our extraordinary residential program!

Your Schedule

During your two or four weeks at CIA, you'll 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. Here’s what a typical day would look like for a Pre-College student:

8:30am: Breakfast
9am: Studio Class
12pm: Lunch
1pm: Studio Class
4pm: Personal Time
5pm: Dinner
6pm: Evening Studio
10pm: Rest + Repeat!

NOTE* All studio time is mandatory

On weekends there will be personal time in the mornings and required afternoon and evening studio time, as well as scheduled activities and professional development presentations.

Commuter students follow the same schedule as residential students, with the exception that they will leave campus to go home after evening studio ends. Meals are provided for commuters, and they are encouraged to attend scheduled activities and presentations.


The program tuition is $2,500 for each session. This cost includes college credits, room and board, all meals, supplies, access to facilities and all activities. Students residing in Cuyahoga County have the option to commute each day. The commuter tuition is $2,000 for each session and includes all of the above except a room in the residence hall.

Some financial assistance is available, based on student need and portfolio. Visit our scholarship section to find more information.

Ready to apply?

Applications can be submitted online from November 1, 2019, through May 1, 2020. Here’s a look at what you’ll need:

  • Online application form
  • High school transcript OR letter of recommendation (from an art teacher or counselor)
  • Portfolio (8-10 pieces of your best work)
  • Nonrefundable $35 application fee

Our 2019 application is closed.

International students will need to submit additional materials, including:

  • Certification of Funds Form
  • Medical Authorization Form
  • Form I-20 Visa Application (instructions here)

Find more information on the application process here.

For more information:

216.421.7460 | Contact

Explore and Build Your Portfolio

Between each summer Pre-College program is a full year of continuing education courses that can help you build your portfolio or experiment with new media. Take a look at our Adult + Young Artists catalog.