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Where passion
finds purpose.


The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) is Wisconsin’s only four-year, nonprofit, private college of visual art and design. MIAD is a member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD), a consortium of 39 leading art schools in the United States and Canada.



We ignite curious minds through art, design and service.


COURAGE, to seek our own path
INTEGRITY, to pursue our lives and work with meaning
KINDNESS, to thoughtfully engage with others
COMMUNITY, to positively contribute to the world around us
INNOVATION, to meet universal challenges in new ways
INCLUSION, to find strength in diversity


We will be a galvanized educational and creative community, addressing universal needs through our thought, design and expression.

MIAD building along the Riverwalk

MIAD by the numbers. Ranked in the top 20 small art colleges in the nation. Ranked in the top 10 best schools for Illustration in the Great Lakes. Ranked in the top 10 in the Midwest for Communication Design. 4 MIAD NSP Students have been accepted to the prestigious Yale Norfolk summer program in the last 4 years. Nearly 30% of MIAD graduates own their own businesses.

Quick Facts


The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) was founded in 1974. It is the successor to the Layton School of Art, founded in 1920.


MIAD is Wisconsin’s only college devoted exclusively to the education of artists and designers. It is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD) and the Higher Learning Commission,  a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Degree Programs

Communication Design
Fashion and Apparel Design
Fine Art + New Studio Practice
Animation Track
Interior Architecture and Design
Product Design



All Major Programs
Art Management
Book Arts
Digital Media Production
Furniture Design
Soft Goods



Art History
Natural Sciences



Students must earn 120 credits to graduate, including 78 studio credits and 42 critical studies credits. Critical study areas and the number of credits required in each are: English & Writing, 12: Art History, 12; Humanities & Sciences, 18.

Campus & Community


  • Fully equipped 3-D Lab, including wood, metal and plastic power and hand tools
  • Emerging Technology Center (ETC) with 3D printers, laser cutters/etchers, digital printers, virtual reality and animation resources, Waicom drawing tablets
  • Innovation Center for innovative and entrepreneurial thinking and making in collaboration with corporate and nonprofit partners
  • Laptop-compatible labs for both fine art and design majors
  • Numerous photography labs
  • Textiles Lab
  • Individual fine art and design studios
  • Sculpture studio with foundry
  • Printmaking studio with equipment for intaglio, lithography, screen printing and digital processes
  • Library (SWITCH Program) providing students with access to over half a million volumes, 2000 videos and extensive online resources
  • Academic Support Center (tutoring, counseling, ELL support)
  • Blick Art Materials (located on-campus)
  • MIAD Cafe


  • Brooks Stevens Gallery of Industrial Design (Jane Bradley Pettit Building)
  • Frederick Layton Gallery (Jane Bradley Pettit Building)
  • MIAD Student Gallery (Jane Bradley Pettit Building)
  • MIAD Gallery at The Ave (301 West Wisconsin Ave., Suite 104)


MIAD’s faculty consists of more than 100 artists, designers, and scholars. Our student faculty ratio is 11 to 1.

900 Students (Includes full-time and part-time, degree-seeking students)
600 Pre-College students
250 Outreach/Special Programs students

Application Requirements

MIAD requires a completed application form, transcripts and portfolio for admissions consideration. There is no fee for applicants who apply online at

Cost & Aid

For complete cost information, please refer to Tuition & Payment.

Study Opportunities

MIAD offers special study opportunities on and off campus. They include:

  • The AICAD Exchange program, allowing students to attend 33 other AICAD schools throughout the nation for one semester.
  • Semester-long exchange programs in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Spain
  • MIAD-led short-term study/travel to such locations as Ireland, Italy, Thailand and France
  • Independent Study
  • Work Study
  • Internships
Marquette University Affiliation

The MIAD and Marquette University connection offers MIAD students access to an increased number of Humanities and Sciences classes, library, health care, intramural sports, and health club facilities.

MIAD’s campus is located in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward, the city’s official arts district, some twenty blocks of renovated warehouses, artists lofts, theaters, businesses, shops, and restaurants. Bordered by the Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan and a destination for both tourists and residents, the Third Ward possesses a distinct and unique urban flavor.

The college offers one of the largest, safest, and most comprehensive art and design environments in the United States. Its campus occupies a mix of historic and modern buildings:

  • The Jane Bradley Pettit Building, 273 East Erie Street: In 1992, after a complete renovation, the college moved into this facility. Our  main academic building offers students, faculty, and staff 245,000 square feet of space on five floors.
  • Two50Two MIAD Student Apartments, 252 East Menomonee Street: Offers students exceptional apartment-style living with upscale amenities, including LED TVs, modern furniture and upgraded appliances in every apartment, and on-site lounges and laundry. Two50Two is located directly across the street from MIAD.
  • MIAD Gallery at The Ave, 301 West Wisconsin Ave Suite 104: The college’s first off-campus gallery showcasing work by students, staff, faculty and alumni is located downtown near Milwaukee’s 3rd Street Market Hall.
  • Blick Art Materials, 242 East Menomonee Street: MIAD’s extensive on-campus art and design supply store.
MIAD's main building


MIAD alum named designated artist for ABCD gala event

Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) alum and employee Cheryl Klein ’98 (Drawing) was selected as the designated artist for the After Breast Cancer Diagnosis (ABCD) 25th anniversary gala on June 15, 2024.

Illustration and Animation faculty publishes book

Associate Professor Adam Osgood, who teaches Illustration and Animation courses at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD), will publish Motion Illustration: How to Use Animation Techniques to Make Illustrations Move through Bloomsbury in August 2024.

MKE airport unveils inaugural MIAD student exhibition

Positivity abounded at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport on June 27 as the airport and the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) unveiled the inaugural installation of MIAD student artwork in the busy D concourse.