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School of Art + Design

What is the School of Art + Design?

The department of Visual + Performing Arts at Montgomery College, Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus offers an alternative track for students majoring in AFA – Studio Artnew window and AFA – Graphic Designnew window. This track is known as the School of Art + Design and it differs from the more popular Traditional or Flexible Track offered on all three campuses.

To help you visualize the difference, download this chart (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)

Below are our two options for incoming students to compare:

Flexible Track: Traditional Path

The most common enrollment option for art students at MC is the traditional open enrollment pathway. This allows you the maximum flexibility in your course scheduling and is offered on all campuses for all art and design majors: AA – Art, AFA – Studio Art, and Graphic Design – AFA. In this track you can choose the schedule that works best for your complex life.

Remember: this path can be completed on any campus and requires nothing more than a completed Montgomery College application for enrollment.

The School of Art + Design Track: First Year Path

This second option allows first semester, incoming students majoring in either AFA – Studio Art or AFA – Graphic Design on the Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus to enroll in a pair of linked, foundations-level art courses reserved for art majors ONLY. Through the SA+D option, incoming art majors must enroll in specific sections of ARTT 100: Introduction to Drawing and ARTT 102: Two-Dimensional Design.

This offers you the opportunity to participate in a cohort experience (a fellow group of other art majors only), helping you to quickly establish a peer group among fellow art majors in the department.

 Participation in the SA+D option requires students to submit a special application and to complete a portfolio review to receive permission to enroll in the SA+D cohort courses, whereas the Flexible Track does not have this requirement. This SA+D path can only be completed on the Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus, and the Flexible Track is available on all campuses.

The School of Art + Design’s degree program offers an associate of fine arts (AFA)—a foundation curriculum parallel to the first two years of a baccalaureate in fine arts (BFA). The first year studies include core studio courses in drawing (Introduction to Drawing, Intermediate Drawing and Figure Drawing I), and 2-D and 3-D design. In the second year, students select their major. Graphic Design majors study computer graphics, graphic design, photography, and typography. Studio Arts majors study drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture. Your total course-work at the School of Art + Design will include 2/3 studio courses and 1/3 general education courses.

Students completing the School of Art + Design program continue their study in many areas including fine art, graphic design, web page design, curating, art education, advertising, fashion design, and interior design. Administrators, faculty, and staff can answer your questions and help guide you along the path toward your goals. Our primary concern is to help you reach your highest potential.



All credit students applying to the School of Art + Design at Montgomery College (SA+D) must submit a School of Art + Design application as well as the general online Montgomery College application. Current Montgomery College students need only submit the SA+D application form.

In addition to the SA+D application, the following items must be submitted:

  • Official high school/college transcripts
  • One letter of recommendation from an art teacher, counselor, employer or a professional in the art field who is not a relative.
  • A portfolio review/interview 
Download an Application Here


Send the completed application form, transcripts, and letter to: 
           School of Art and Design at Montgomery College 
           7600 Takoma Avenue, CF 120 
           Takoma Park, MD 20912

You will receive written confirmation via email from the SA+D Admissions Office upon receipt of your application.

If you have any questions about the application process, contact:  Kevin Bowman, SA+D Coordinator | 240-567-1375


Participation in the School of Art + Design requires the applicant to submit a portfolio of their artworks for review. Each prospective student's portfolio is evaluated for evidence of personal motivation, academic achievement, and strength of portfolio. We work with all applicants to help prepare them to join the SA+D first semester program. Therefore, applicants who are not admitted during the initial portfolio review may elect to work on improving their portfolios to apply for a second portfolio review Portfolios may be submitted digitally or reviewed in person.

Your portfolio should include:   

  • Approximately 10-15 pieces including a sketch book.   
  • Drawings from direct observation such as still life work, self-portraits, landscapes, interiors or figurative work.   
  • Variety of media: pencil, ink, charcoal, painting, printmaking, photography, digital, ceramics, sculpture, fibers, or work in other media.   
  • Classroom assignments and self-directed work.   
  • Compositions using foreground, middle ground, and background with a good range of value.   
  • Examples of how you use color.   
  • Current work (no older than 3 years). 
  • Limited fan art examples.

Artwork does not need to be matted or framed, but should be neatly presented; no folded, torn, or stained work. Regardless of your focus or interest in art, your portfolio should show a variety of art skills. The bulk of your portfolio may reflect your areas of interest, but drawings from observation are important as well. 


In-Person Portfolio Review

We recommend in-person reviews as they offer the best opportunity to discuss your artwork and your academic goals, while also providing an ideal opportunity for applicants to get a tour of our facilities, visit classes and critiques, and develop a rapport with the personnel in the program.  Contact Kevin Bowman, SA+D Coordinator, by e-mail at to arrange for a portfolio review and interview. You will meet with a faculty member to review your portfolio. In-person reviews are ideal. 


Digital Portfolio Review

If you opt to submit your portfolio digitally, contact Kevin Bowman, SA+D Coordinator, by e-mail at for instructions on sending your digital image files. Your portfolio should be submitted as high-quality images in JPEG format and should include an image list. Please number you image files and identify each image on the list, indicating title, medium, date, and size of the work. 

International Students have additional steps to take for admission.  Refer to the International Student Admissions pagenew window for assistance.  #YouAreWelcomeHere

The School of Art + Design is fortunate to provide several scholarship opportunities to applicants and currently enrolled students. These scholarships include:

  • Sophie Danish Scholarship
  • Gudelsky Scholarship
  • Maggie Noss Memorial Scholarship

Admitted students can apply for these SA+D specific scholarships and all other MC Foundation scholarships by completing one online application through AcademicWorks. This online tool automatically matches you up with relevant scholarships. Go to the online application and use your MyMC login to begin the process: