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Quick Facts

The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design

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.


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 liberal studies credits. Liberal study areas and the number of credits required in each are: English & Writing, 12: Art History, 12; Humanities & Sciences, 18.


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) 70% Female, 30% Male
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



2023-24 academic year: $40,480
Per semester: $20,240
Per part-time credit (fewer than 12 credits per semester): $1,350

For more information, see Cost of Attendance.



Fees for the 2023-24 academic year vary by student depending on course selection and year in college.

  • Full-time First-Year student fees are $750. Additionally, full-time First-Year students purchase Studio mini-kits of supplies which are estimated at $350 in the fall semester. More information on Studio Mini-Kits and supplies is sent to admitted students in early summer.
  • The Technology and Software fee, which includes a subscription to Microsoft Office, Autodesk and Adobe Creative Cloud Suite, is $450.
  • Majors fees for full-time, upper-level students are $800.
  • The Student Services Fee for all students is $310.



2023-24 Academic Year Costs
Exceptional student housing is available at Two50Two, MIAD’s residence hall.  Located directly across the street from MIAD’s main academic building, Two50Two offers apartment-style suites exclusively for MIAD students.

  • Double-occupancy room* (with shared bath) cost for the 2023-24 academic year: $8,395 (includes all utilities)
    *based on availability and cannot be guaranteed
  • Triple-occupancy room** (with shared bath) cost for the 2023-24 academic year: $6,785 (includes all utilities)
    **based on availability; there are more triple than double units

MIAD requires all full-time students to live at Two50Two, unless the student meets one of the following criteria: has a permanent residence within 45 miles of campus; is at least 21 years of age; is married; is a custodial parent; is a junior or senior; or has special needs which cannot be met at Two50Two. Housing information is mailed to all admitted students in March.



2023-24 Academic Year Costs
While MIAD’s residence hall offers fully equipped kitchens, we do understand there are times when students would prefer to eat on-campus in the MIAD cafe. MIAD requires a minimum $1,700 meal plan ($850/semester) for all residential students (those living on-campus). Student may choose to add additional funds to their minimum meal plan, or purchase food independently to prepare in their apartment kitchen.

Financial Aid

100% of all MIAD students receive some form of Institutional, State or Federal financial assistance.

MIAD students use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and MIAD’s federal school code – 014203 – to apply for financial aid.


MIAD awards numerous merit-based scholarships to incoming students who demonstrate artistic and academic achievement. Scholarships range from $12,000 to full tuition.


MIAD’s campus is located in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward, the city’s official arts district, bordered by the Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan. 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.
  • Blick Art Materials, 242 East Menomonee Street: MIAD’s extensive on-campus art and design supply store.

Take a look around MIAD’s campus!

Special Programs

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
  • 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
  • Multiple 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 Success 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)
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.


Product Design students visualize unique toys

Juniors in the Compelling Narratives and Visualizations Product Design class at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) were challenged with understanding brand momentum and partnerships.

Milwaukee County Historical Society honors MIAD

In celebration of 50 years of art and design education, the Milwaukee County Historical Society honored the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) at their annual Awards Dinner on May 9, 2024.

GDUSA names MIAD Communication Design a top program

Solution-oriented, hands-on visual literacy: this is a core quality of the Communication Design program at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD). In 2024, Graphic Design USA Magazine recognized MIAD’s Communication Design major as one of the top programs in the nation.

Students receive national honors from Society of Illustrators

Four illustration students and graduates from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) received national honors from the Society of Illustrators. MIAD’s Illustration and Animation programs were also ranked highly by Animation Career Review magazine.

Wool-ful: Senior Exhibition 2024

Intentionality and purpose have been driving forces in Mary Frances Hoffman’s life that continue at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD). Combine them with a passion for knitting and sensory needs and you have Wool-ful, Hoffman’s senior exhibition project in Product Design.