We encourage you to learn more about the Kansas City Art Institute and the resources available to your student while they are here. This is one of the most important decisions in your student’s life. You’ll find most of what you need to know regarding curriculum, tuition costs, financial aid, or student achievement and employment, on this site.

More difficult to communicate are the intangibles. The beauty of our campus. The dedication of our faculty and their genuine interest for your student’s success. The close bonds and profound passion that are shared throughout our arts education community. These are things that can only be experienced. We encourage you to schedule a campus visit.


Our son was taught with a strong sense of discipline and purpose, along with the creative skills and liberal arts knowledge needed to thrive in a dynamic career.

Byron and Gerri Lyn Ginsburg


Helping your student to choose the right fine arts college can seem a bit overwhelming. But it’s important to remember that your student’s most powerful and enduring education is the example you’ve already given.

Our job is to add the finishing touches to a masterpiece well begun. We accomplish this by helping students fulfill the high expectations they have for themselves, and by nurturing, honing and directing the talent that is already there. It’s a responsibility we take very seriously. Your student’s formation as an artist is in good hands, and I’m confident in assuring you of the following things. These also happen to be the things that distinguish KCAI from other professional art schools:

KCAI offers a uniquely stimulating environment with unequaled opportunities for artistic inspiration. Our teachers are gifted artists – many former KCAI graduates – who know what new students are going through and understand their aspirations, questions and needs.

The first year Foundation program is a leading, progressive model for art education, offering the most valuable, motivating, and immersive learning experience of any in the country.

As a “maker’s” school, KCAI provides all the tools, materials and space needed for creation; more than what is typically found at other art and design schools. Student work is celebrated here – exhibited on this website and in a public gallery spaces.

Numerous opportunities are available for student internships or involvement in projects that benefit local businesses and the community.

Our 9:1 student-teacher ratio and continuing, substantial investments in facilities and technology demonstrate our commitment to each student’s ultimate career success.

We would be honored for your student to attend KCAI. We will do everything possible to make sure that the education received is well worth the investment.

Gina Golba
Dean of Student Affairs


There are two, innovative programs developed by KCAI that are important to discuss because of the impact they have on the early formation of young artists. Both of these have received acclaim for their inventive teaching strategies from arts educators and academics, as well as the students who have benefitted from them.

Pre-College ArtLab (PCAL)

PCAL is a two week summer residency program for high school students, including seniors who have already graduated. Students accepted into the PCAL program will choose a studio major for intensive study. Students will also study art history and life drawing. The program helps students discover first-hand the commitment it takes to be an artist, while allowing them to test and demonstrate their skills. Program tuition includes room & board and supplies, and graduates earn three college credits. For more information contact us at or (816) 802-3423.

School of the Foundation Year

It’s difficult for in-coming college students to know their true talents and interests and where to focus their major studies. So every freshman at KCAI must first explore and understand fundamental concepts and skills related to all artistic media. It is both an intense and a highly rewarding experience. Students learn in a very individualized environment through extensive studio work. They learn perception, conceptualization, collaboration, and creation – all while their thinking is challenged, enhancing their ability to sense the possible. Foundation students meet for class and in studio in a dedicated building, which adds to student fellowship and minimized distractions. For more information, see Foundation.

Parent to Parent

“Our son’s KCAI experience provided a solid foundation for developing his career and life-management skills. Hard work, trials & discovery, campus culture, diversity and instructors-as-mentors all played a role. A 2013 honors graduate with degrees in Ceramics and Art History, he was hired by Hufft Projects of Kansas City, a leading designer and fabricator of custom buildings and furnishings. He’s done work that inspires him – and for people he respects and admires – while also maintaining a separate studio to create artwork.

The decision to attend “art school” was not taken lightly, and was often questioned by others. However, we knew the environment he needed to support his creativity. Where some of our peers saw uncertainties, we saw possibilities. If they saw limitation, we saw liberation. And when they envisioned stability for their student, we valued flexibility.

By attending KCAI, our son was taught with a strong sense of discipline and purpose, along with the creative skills and liberal arts knowledge needed to thrive in a dynamic career. The school delivered beyond our expectations. We value the relationships and support that have continued beyond graduation.”

Byron and Gerri Lyn Ginsburg
Overland Park, Kansas


One common concern parents have is whether or not their student will fit in or feel at home when away at school. This is rarely an issue at KCAI. Students who come here already have many interests and passions in common. The school population is small enough that everyone gets to know one another quickly, and students work closely together in classes, which becomes a basis for establishing strong personal connections and lasting friendships.

You may also have concerns about whether your student will become distracted, lose focus or start to doubt their abilities. Again, in such an intimate learning environment, where teachers are heavily involved with each student individually, this is very unlikely. Teachers pride themselves on their hands-on and heart-to-heart interactions with their students, and they are here to guide, motivate and foster your student’s creative spirit.

Quick Links to Additional Information

We understand that finances are a big consideration, learn more at scholarships and financial aid.

Find out about application requirements and deadlines at admissions.

To learn more about the curriculum, go to majors + academics.

To see a list of careers that your student might want to go into, go to careers in the arts.

Become acquainted with career services and find out more about some of our successful alumni at alumni + careers.

Take a look at our View Book to see student work, read about amazing alumni, see an overview of academic programs and get a feel for campus life.

View the Academic Calendar for a comprehensive list of important school dates, deadlines and events.

For questions, or to join our parents email list, contact us at