University of Massachusetts Amherst

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MFA in Studio Arts Admissions


The Master of Fine Arts Program in Studio Arts at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is an ideal program for college graduates whose goal is a career in art and wish to remain immersed in or return to an academic setting with opportunities for interaction and critique with professional artists and like-minded peers. 

The UMass Amherst MFA program in Studio Arts is a three-year program in studio-based work and critical thinking.  The program seeks to nurture committed studio practice through ongoing critique from and dialogue with faculty and plentiful opportunities to exhibit work on campus.  Throughout the program our MFA students are mentored to thrive as professional artists, and through assistantships and classroom instruction graduate from the program with the skills and credentials to work as professional artists and teach at the college and university-level.

The Master of Fine Arts Program in Studio Arts is highly selective and accepts candidates through an annual application process.  We do not have a rolling deadline.  All applicants must hold an undergraduate degree or be in their final year of an undergraduate degree program before applying.

Interviews are not required, but we do welcome visitors.  To tour the department, please make an appointment by writing or calling (413) 545-6937.


Applications for admission to the MFA in Studio Arts are reviewed 

  • December 1 - January 15

Application to the MFA program in the Department of Art is a three-step process:

STEP 1: Apply to the University of Massachusetts Amherst

Fill out an application to the University of Massachusetts Amherst Graduate School, where you will upload the following documents:

  • Resume or CV 
  • Personal Statement
  • An Artist's Statement as a piece of "other relevant information"
  • Letters of Reference


STEP 2: Transcripts

Transcripts can be sent to the graduate School electronically, or sealed official undergraduate transcripts should be mailed directly to

University of Massachusetts
Graduate School Admissions
514 Goodell Building
140 Hicks Way
Amherst, MA 01003-9333

STEP 3: Submit Your Portfolio

Please submit 20 images using our SlideRoom page. Please note that Slideroom will not allow applications until December 1st.

Application period begins December 1 and closes January 15. Late applications will not be reviewed.


The MFA program in Studio Arts requires 60 credits. The majority of coursework should be studio electives and independent studies at the 500 level and above. In addition to these, requirements in Art History, Visual Culture, Graduate Seminar, TA Workshop, and successful completion of the 18 credit MFA Thesis Project must be met.

Sample MFA in Studio Arts credits

Art History



Visual Culture



Graduate Seminar



Studio Electives



Independent Study*



TA Workshop   2
MFA Thesis Project   18



60 Credits

* up to 21 independent study credits may be applied toward graduation


The Graduate Record Examination is not required as part of the application for an MFA in Studio Arts.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language is required of applicants who are not native English speakers.

For questions concerning graduate admissions please contact UMass Art Department Graduate Program Director, Professor Young Min Moon.