High School

High school classes and intensives
Pre-College ArtLab

High school classes and intensives

High school classes are offered year-round at the Kansas City Art Institute. All classes give fine art instruction while working with any skill level. Classes align with the KCAI Foundation Year and are designed to give a preview of what art school life is like. Studio classes in ceramics, fiber, sculpture and woodworking take place in the collegiate studio space. Please call the high school programmer at 816-802-3489 if you have questions about the class schedule.

Each semester, select courses are offered for one hour of college credit with an additional fee. Students are encouraged to take credit classes in sets of three; three hours of college credit are typically equivalent to one college class. 

High school students that are interested in taking a class listed on the adult schedule should contact 816-802-3489 to request permission to enroll. The course objectives, safety  and equipment training and other pre-requisites are taken into consideration with each request.

See a complete listing of courses.

Pre-College ArtLab (PCAL)

A three-week residency program for high school students from July 10-29, 2016

KCAI's Pre-College ArtLab (PCAL) is a challenging three-week residency program for freshman through senior high school students who are committed to thier creative work. Seniors who have already graduated are also welcome to apply. Those accepted into the program will work with our instructors, in our studios, in their major of choice and during creative writing and life drawing courses.  

Want to learn more? See details below or contact KCAI's School for Continuing and Professional Studies at 816-802-3333 or pcal@kcai.edu.

Join us in summer 2016

  • Experience firsthand the commitment and focus it takes to study art at the college level
  • Work with instructors who are practicing artists and educators
  • Study within a college-like curriculum that will expose you to new techniques and media
  • Explore new possibilities by working in well-equipped studios featuring specialized equipment
  • Connect with high school students from across the country who are as serious about art as you are

PCAL features

Compare our pre-college program with other schools, and you'll appreciate the value we offer at KCAI. Our program cost of $2,799 includes:

  • Three college credits
  • Tuition
  • Room and board
  • Living Center Grant*
  • Supplies
  • Some excursions and weekend activities
  • Portfolio review at the conclusion of the program
  • Exhibition of work 
  • High quality images of your life drawing and major studio work to use in college applications

* A $3,500 Student Living Center grant, applied to one full year of housing at KCAI. The maximum award is one grant per students and is dependent on admission to the college.  

Your schedule

  • Six hours of studio major, five days a week
  • Two and half hours of life drawing, five times a week
  • 15 hours of creative writing
  • Field trips, workshops and other fun planned activities on weekends
  • Free time to use as you wish (in the studio, exploring Kansas City...)

2016 studio options 

  • Animation
  • Illustration
  • Painting
  • Sculptural ceramics

On-campus housing

Students reside in the Student Living Center, along with resident assistants (RAs) who are active students in our B.F.A. program. RAs are availalbe to assist you with daily living needs and answering any questions you might have about studying at KCAI. 

Final exhibition

The program will close with a comprehensive exhibition of student work on display throughout campus. Family, friends, faculty and staff are welcome to attend this special event. 

Student expectations

We expect that all PCAL students demonstrate a high level of initiative and responsibility regarding their work and behavior during this program. Walking and/or public bus transportation is encouraged for individual outings; tour buses are provided for planned PCAL activities. For everyone's protection, no transportation in individual vehicles is permitted. Because our goal is to provide an intensive, in-depth and concentrated art-making experience for the students, visitors are restricted to specific times. Few exceptions will be made to this restriction.


A limted number of merit based scholarships, ranging from $200 to $2,799, are available each year. All applications recieved by April 1, 2016 will be considered for a scholarship. Students who complete thier application before April 1 will be notified regarding their admission, but will not be notified regarding scholarship status until the end of April 2016.

To apply

  1. Fill out our online application (includes a non-refundable $25 fee) 
  2. Upload five, high quality digital images of your work
  3. Attach a letter of recommendation from a teacher or qualified instructor familar with the applicant's abilities
  4. Submit your current high school transcript

Admission is granted on a rolling basis. Applicants will be notified of their admission status approximately one month after your completed submission has been received. 

Deadlines and schedule for summer 2016

  • Monday, October 5: Application open  
  • Friday, April 1:  Application deadline to be considered for a scholarship
  • Late April: Scholarship award announcements will be made
  • Friday, May 6: A $300 non-refundable deposit due. This payment will secure a seat in your preferred studio. Applications will be accepted after this date only if space is availalbe. 
  • Friday, June 3:  Remaining balance and paperwork is due
  • Sunday, July 10: Program begins with move in and orientation 
  • Saturday, July 23:  Parents Day 
  • Friday, July 29:  Last day of class and evening exhibition
  • Saturday, July 30:  Move out 

Back to top

Payment Options

1. Online:

  • Go to lumen.kcai.edu/cps/
  • Create an account
  • Type "deposit" or "tuition" in search field
  • Add to cart
  • Complete payment

2. Send payment in full to:

Kansas City Art Institute, PCAL 
4415 Warwick Blvd
Kansas City, MO 64111

3. Payment plan through Tuition Management Systems Inc.

*Convenience fees may apply

Families who wish to pay for educational expenses online may do so through Tuition Management Systems Inc.  This payment plan allows families to make equal monthly payments or lump-sum payments.  There is an additional cost of $65 when enrolling in a payment plan, no interest is charged for this option.

For more information, call Tuition Management Systems Inc. at 800-722-4867.

Please note the convenience fee charged by TMS for online payments:

  • Bank Draft - Checking or savings account through the online services ($0 charge)
  • Credit Cards - MasterCard, Discover, American Express are accepted
    • The online convenience fee for credit card payment is 2.99% of the amount charged.  This amount will be added to the credit card transaction.  For example, on a payment of $5,000 a convenience fee of $149.50 will be incurred by the cardholder for a total payment amount of $5,149.50.

Please note the convenience fee charged by TMS for payments by phone with a TMS representative:

  • Bank Draft - checking or savings account
    • Payment over the phone through a TMS representative will incur a fee of $10. This amount will be added to each bank draft transaction.  For example, on a payment of $2,000, a convenience fee of $10 will be incurred, for a total payment of $2,010.

Back to top

What is PCAL?

PCAL - What's it like?

Students describe their experience during Pre-College ArtLab, a three-week summer residential program for high school students from all over the country.

CPS Enroll

Click here to enroll today in a class at the School for Continuing and Professional Studies at KCAI.

Spring 2016 classes

Download a spring brochure with a complete list of all the classes we're offering.

What are you interested in?

Need a suggestion?

Visit our FAQ page and let us recommend classes relevant to your interests