Book Arts Certificate Program

Minnesota Center for Book Arts plays a leading role in training and supporting the next generation of book artists.

MCBA offers two Certificate programs of study, to recognize dedicated adult students who complete significant coursework in the book arts and demonstrate knowledge and proficiency across book arts disciplines.

The Core Certificate in Book Arts is designed to recognize the achievements of a student who has attained a broad knowledge in the fundamentals of book arts, as well as a more in-depth understanding in one or more areas or techniques. Students must complete a uniform Core Curriculum, as well as a number of elective courses within defined categories.

After earning the Core Certificate, you may choose to pursue an Advanced Certificate in Book Arts. The Advanced Certificate is designed to recognize and support the work of individuals who choose to seriously pursue advanced-level independent projects in one or more areas of book arts.

One key benefit of pursuing a Certificate program is eligibility for an Early Registration discount for workshops. Upon earning a Certificate, students will qualify for a number of additional benefits, ranging from enhanced studio access to teaching and exhibition opportunities.

Credit hours and categories for current class and workshop offerings are listed on MCBA’s class schedules (both online and print). MCBA Teacher Workshops are also eligible for credit toward the Certificate.

Coursework toward these certificates must be completed over the span of no more than five years. New enrollees can receive up to 25 hours of retroactive credit for classes taken no more than five years prior to the date of their certificate application. Scroll down for assistance in determining retroactive credit hours and categories for workshops and classes taken in prior years.

If you have questions about the Certificate programs which this webpage and the accompanying forms do not address, please email

To view PDFs of our recent newsletters, complete with class listings and certificate information, please visit our Newsletters page.

Certificate Enrollment form
Download (PDF format)

Core Certificate Tracking form
Download (PDF format)

Advanced Certificate Tracking form
Download (PDF format)

If you have any trouble with the downloadable forms, or need hard copies mailed to you, please contact

Retroactive Credit Guides

Certificate enrollees may apply for retroactive credit for classes and workshops completed at MCBA up to 5 years prior to their enrollment, pending review, verification and approval by the Artist and Adult Programs Director.

Core Certificate graduates

Advanced Certificate graduates

Application Process

Once a student has completed 25 hours of classes at MCBA, s/he must register for the certificate with MCBA’s Artist and Adult Programs Director using the Certificate Enrollment Form (found in the Forms section below). Upon completing registration, the student will be eligible for Early Registration discounts for classes toward her/his certificate (one key benefit of pursuing the certificate).

In addition to completing 25 hours of classes at MCBA, students are expected to be active members of MCBA at the time of enrollment and throughout the program. For membership information and to become a member of MCBA, visit our membership page.

Students will be expected to track their own progress toward their certificates, using the Core Certificate Tracking Form and/or the Advanced Certificate Tracking Form (download from Forms section below). These Tracking Forms ask students to log the classes they take in fulfillment of requirements, and to obtain teacher signatures confirming their successful completion of those classes. Students may submit their Tracking Forms to the Artist and Adult Programs Director to obtain retroactive credit for classes taken up to 5 years prior.

Once a student has completed the required class hours for the MCBA Certificate, s/he must submit her/his Certificate Tracking Form to the Artist and Adult Programs Director. Certificates will be awarded once a year, in the spring. Students will receive written approval on the completion of their certificates no more than a month after the submission of their paperwork.
Benefits of Enrollment

MCBA certificates denote recognition of proficiency in core and/or advanced book arts practices, and entitle students to the following benefits:

  • Certificate graduates and students enrolled in the certificate program will receive early registration discounts for classes for which they register at least three weeks in advance
  • Certificate graduates and students will be eligible to participate in MCBA Community Shows in the gallery spaces within the Open Book Building
  • Certificate graduates will be listed on MCBA’s website
  • Certificate graduates may also be eligible for teaching opportunities and/or referrals from MCBA

Curriculum: MCBA Core Certificate in Book Arts

Curriculum: MCBA Advanced Certificate in Book Arts