How to get into an MFA art program?

How to get into an MFA art program

If you are planning to pursue an MFA in art, you might be wondering how to get in. There are several factors you need to consider, such as your geographical location and your loved ones’ opinion of where to attend. You should also consider whether you want to enroll in a private art school or a traditional university. If you want to pursue a career in art, you might want to consider teaching instead of practicing as a professional artist.


Requirements to get into an M.F.A. program vary depending on the school, but they usually require an undergraduate degree in art or design and a minimum 3.0 GPA on the last two years of upper-division coursework. You also need to have taken several courses in art history as part of your undergraduate degree. In addition to an undergraduate degree, you must submit a portfolio of work that showcases your conceptual and technical competence and shows potential for success.

The most important tip when approaching an application is to follow instructions carefully. Make sure to read the entire application twice. You will be able to better understand yourself by answering questions like “Why do I want to be an artist?” and “What do I hope to gain from the program?” Be sure to list artists you admire and your favorite works. This application process can also help you narrow down your college options.

MFA art programs expect their students to have a high level of professional competence. They will have significant amounts of studio art and design experience, and they should have the ability to present their work in an effective manner. Additionally, they should have the necessary exhibition facilities to evaluate the artistic development of their students. Some degree-granting institutions even offer off-campus exhibition space for their students. These are important considerations when applying to an MFA art program.

Financially preparedness for art school is essential. Scholarships, loans, and work-study programs are all options for financial support. Leaving school with debt is stressful, and having too little money to cover tuition can be debilitating. Luckily, there are many ways to get funding for your education and pursue your artistic goals. So, be sure to check out all of the financial aid options available to you.

Financial aid

There are many different ways to receive financial aid for an MFA in the arts, including scholarships and grants. In California, for example, tuition is $16,898 per year for a resident and $32,000 for a non-resident. Approximately 100 percent of incoming MFA students receive some form of merit-based support. In addition to applying for scholarships, students can apply for teaching assistantships or other forms of financial aid.

Financial aid is available for a wide variety of programs, from adult students to students enrolled in MFA Studio Art Classes. Eligibility depends on the number of dependents, family size, and total annual household income. To be eligible, total household gross income cannot exceed 50% of the median state income, as determined by the EEC. Students with a family income of under $47,000 may qualify for full financial aid.

The School of the Arts offers fellowships to incoming MFA students based on their application materials and demonstrated need. Applicants must also show commitment to serving the School through a service opportunity, such as teaching or a research assistantship. Fellowships and assistantship awards are renewable for the second year, although students must reapply for loans each year. If financial aid is not an option, students may defer one year and consult with the MFA chair to apply for loan assistance.

There are several scholarship opportunities for those seeking an MFA in the arts. Scholarships can be offered for tuition costs, as well as travel expenses. Many programs also offer work-study opportunities, as well as an opportunity for graduate students to get a job while studying. Applicants must apply for the program before January 25. Financial aid to get into an MFA art program is often available to artists, but not all applicants are eligible for them.


There are many different things you can do to make the process easier. You should begin by seeking out recommendations from people who know your work. These references should be people in the art world or artists. However, there are some schools that allow recommendations from previous employers or colleagues. A recommendation from an artist will be especially valuable. Listed below are some of the most common ways to get a recommendation for an art school program.

Consider the art school’s reputation. While some MFA programs do not include components geared toward building an art career, many will have an active career center to assist students with grant applications and cover letters. Also, check with the graduate school’s admissions office about any deadlines. In addition, a university will usually have a career center where students can get help with other aspects of their education, like finding an academic position.

Look for a school with an interdisciplinary focus. Art schools may be best suited for people with a broad background in various mediums, but be sure to consider whether you’ll enjoy working with a particular medium. Look into the reputation of the faculty and check out former students. While there is no universal formula to success in this process, the more you prepare, the more likely you are to succeed.

The portfolio is the foundation of your application. The Graduate Division requires that you submit a sample of relevant written work, such as a statement about your artwork. This statement should be about 250-500 words. While it’s not required, it’s useful for faculty when evaluating your portfolio. If your artwork doesn’t meet the standards, the admissions board will be forced to reject your application. But don’t be discouraged – there are ways to improve your chances of being accepted.


Your portfolio should consist of at least six to eight finished works, and three to four pieces of your illustration process work. This work can come from a variety of sources, including conceptual/formal studies, life drawing classes, direct observation, and personal sketchbooks or journals. The pieces in your portfolio should be presented in digital form, and the application committee prefers to see them in an illustrator portfolio rather than a PowerPoint presentation.

While most art schools will want basic information about each selection in your portfolio, you don’t need to be too detailed. Include the medium and title of the work. You can also provide more information, but keep it brief. You may need to explain your work in person or through email, so you don’t have to memorize the details of every piece. Instead, revisit the process of making each piece, particularly if it’s an older work.

While preparing a portfolio, students should consider the specific requirements of each school and discipline. Some schools require a portfolio with three-dimensional pieces, or larger pieces if you’re submitting a hardcopy. Also, make sure to understand any requirements for presentation. You’ll want to use a simple, professional format that will allow the art school to easily view your work and transport it. If possible, have a portfolio review session with your undergraduate art professors.

In addition to the portfolio, the student must submit a statement of intent, a resume or CV, and an artwork sample. The work must be original and demonstrate an impressive level of craft. A portfolio is evaluated according to a rubric related to the course of study the student wishes to pursue. In general, a portfolio should include 12-16 pieces, demonstrating a range of skills in various mediums.

Application process

Students can also upload video or audio samples as part of their MFA application. For applicants in the traditional art disciplines, this is typically 20 images of work. For those applying in new media art, however, they can submit ten to thirty seconds of video. The total number of media uploads cannot exceed 20. To complete the submission, students must be familiar with the media they are applying to and be able to speak to their quality and potential.

The digital portfolio must include ten to fifteen examples of work, with each containing a title, medium, size, and date of creation. Applicants should note which sections of longer files are available for review. In addition to digital portfolios, applicants should send transcripts from previous art-granting institutions and other pertinent documentation. While submitting the portfolio, students should also consider whether they wish to submit a video or audio file.

A BFA in studio art or an equivalent degree is usually required to apply for admission. Applicants should also prove their proficiency in English before applying. Students may apply at any point in the year, but it is best to apply early if they plan to begin studying in the Fall. However, if you are applying for the Fall semester, you should note that application deadlines for Fall 2017 are February 1 and January 8.

The best way to increase your chances is to make sure you have a strong portfolio and apply to programs that match your goals. The most important thing is to make sure that you have a great portfolio and choose programs that will allow you to develop your talents and achieve your career goals. If you have questions, contact the advisor for your area of concentration to discuss your options. They should be able to help you. They can also help you choose the right MFA program.