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. 

This summer, studio classes are offered in sculptural welding and ceramics. Portfolio Preparation and ARTquation are instructed by Kansas City Art Institute Admission staff. Enroll early in these classes to reserve your seat.

See a complete listing of courses.

Pre-College ArtLab (PCAL)

A three-week residency program for high school students from July 5-24, 2015

KCAI's Pre-College ArtLab (PCAL) is a three-week residency program for freshman through senior high school students. Seniors who have already graduated are welcome to apply. Students accepted into the PCAL program will choose a studio major and also take a creative writing course as well as an intensive life drawing course. The program will help students discover first hand the commitment it takes to be an artist.

For more information or to request a brochure, call KCAI's School for Continuing and Professional Studies at 816-802-3333 or email pcal@kcai.edu.

Join us in summer 2015

  • Experience firsthand the commitment and focus it takes to be a full-time art college student
  • Work with instructors who are practicing artists and educators
  • Study within a college-like curriculum that will expose you to numerous new techniques and media
  • Explore new possibilities by working in well-equipped studios featuring specialized equipment
  • Live, learn, laugh and 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 in a public show
  • CD of life drawing and major studio work upon completion
  • Extensive professional practice components

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...)

2015 studio options (click to download a PDF syllabus)

On-campus housing

Students reside in the Student Living Center, along with resident assistants who are degree-seeking students at the Kansas City Art Institute. They will assist you with daily living needs, while also helping you find out what it means to be a full-time student at the Kansas City Art Institute.

Final exhibition

Students work will culminate in an all-program exhibition in various locations around the campus. All participants will share their work with each other as well as friends, parents, faculty and staff. Work from your life drawing class, major studio and liberal arts component will be displayed.

Wanted: responsible and alive!

Our expectation of PCAL students is that they will 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 designated in the handbook. Few exceptions will be made to this restriction.


Scholarships will be awarded to some students based on merit.  The application deadline to be considered for a scholarship is April 3, 2015. All PCAL applications will be considered for scholarships. Students that complete an application prior to the April 3 scholarship deadline will be notified regarding their admission, but will not be notified regarding scholarship status until the end of April 2015.

To apply

  1. Fill out our online application.
  2. Upload five digital images.
  3. Letter of recommendation from a teacher or qualified instructor familar with the applicant's abilities.
  4. Current high school transcripts.

Admission is granted on a rolling basis. You will receive a letter to notify you of your admission status approximately one month after your completed submission has been received.

Deadlines and schedule for summer 2015

  • Friday, April 3:  Application deadline to be considered for a scholarship
  • Late April: Scholarship award announcements will be mailed
  • Friday, May 1:  $300 non-refundable deposit due in our office (applications will be accepted after this date, based on space availability) 
  • Friday, June 5:  Remaining balance is due
  • Sunday, July 5: Check-in, orientation and program begins.
  • Saturday, July 18:  Parents Day (Parents can visit their student on campus)
  • Friday, July 24:  Last day of class and evening exhibition
  • Saturday, July 25: Students must check out before 10 a.m.

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Payment Options

1. Online

  • Go to lumen.kcai.edu/cps/
  • Sign In or Sign Up
  • Enter "deposit" or "tuition" in search field
  • Add to cart
  • Complete Payment

2. Send payment in full to:

KCAI - PCAL Program
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.

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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.

Summer and Fall 2015 classes

Download a summer or fall 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