Earning your associate degree in a focused art and design community means less time talking and more time doing. At KCAD, you'll jump right into hands-on work from day one in a wide variety of immersive studio courses.
An associate degree from KCAD gives you the flexibility to explore creative career paths while building a strong foundation for your future.
Offerring an accessible and affordable pathway to a bachelor's degree, our associate
degree programs are designed to spark curiosity and strengthen core creative skills
while helping connect your passion for making to professional opportunity.
Why Earn An Associate Degree from KCAD?
Active Learning Experiences
Who better to help you make the most of your creative potential than faculty who are working artists and designers themselves? More than instructors, our expert faculty are mentors who invest in your success on a personal level.
Associate Degree Programs
Associate of Fine Arts in Design Studies Degree
The AFA in Design Studies is a two-year program that prepares you for contuining study toward a bachelor’s degree in design. You'll participate in a shared first-year experience of foundational courses before advancing to focused study of a design discipline of your choosing in your second year. Throughout, your experience will focus on learning the process of design while developing vital knowledge and skills for generating and implementing creative ideas, both independently and as a part of a collaborative team.View the KCAD College Catalog for a list of current courses.
Interested in a four-year degree? Explore KCAD's BA and BFA degree programs.
Associate of Arts in Art History Degree
The AA in Art History is a two-year program that prepares you for continuing study toward a bachelor’s degree in art history, studio art, and related majors. You'll participate in a shared first-year experience of foundational courses before advancing to focused study of Western, non-Western, and design-focused art history in your second year. Throughout, you'll explore a broad range of key periods, artists and designers, styles, and aesthetic themes while you develop crtical skills in research and analysis.View the KCAD College Catalog for a list of current courses.
Interested in a four-year degree? Explore KCAD's BA in Art History degree program.
Associate Degrees - Frequently Asked Questions
I'm not sure what I want to focus my bachelor's degree on—is a KCAD associate degree
program a good fit for me?
Absolutely! Our associate degree programs are perfect for those who are still figuring
out how they want to apply their creativity in the professional world. With the programs'
focus on hands-on learning, personalized support, and core creative skill-buidling,
you'll be able to uncover the career path that's right for you while working toward
a tangible—and valuable—degree.
Do I need to submit a portfolio to apply for an associate degree program?
No. While a portfolio is required for admission to KCAD bachelor's degree programs,
you do not need to submit a portfolio when applying to our associate degree programs.
Can I transfer directly into a bachelor's degree program at KCAD after earning an associate degree?
Yes. Our associate degree programs are structured to allow a seamless transition to
a bachelor's program once you've completed your associate degree requirements.
How long will it take me to earn a BFA degree from KCAD after earning an associate degree?
Completion of our two-year associate degree programs will position you to earn your
bachelor's degree from KCAD with an additional two years of study, provided you take
a full course load each semester.
Do KCAD's associate degree programs qualify for the State of Michigan's Tuition Incentive Program (TIP)?
Yes! Ferris State University—including KCAD—participates in the State of Michigan Tuition Incentive Program. If you are eligible for TIP assistance, that assistance can be applied to the tutition costs of a KCAD associate degree program.
Not sure if you're TIP-eligible? View the State of Michigan TIP Fact Sheet for more information.
Still have questions? Connect with our Admissions Office and get the answers you need.