The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Graduate Programs


The MFA program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is three years. We accept approximately 6 new students to the program every year. 


Applications for admission to the MFA in Studio Arts are reviewed from November 1-December 1, 2023.

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:

1. Resume or Curriculum Vitae 

2. Creative Work Statement that includes the following: (maximum of 600 words)  A description of your current practice(s) and what other fields of inquiry inform it. Why you are pursuing an MFA and what  you hope to achieve while at UMASS.

3. Personal Statement that includes the following  (maximum 600 words) A discussion of your background and lived experiences. What you have been doing since completing your undergraduate studies that has led you to want to pursue an MFA at this time.

4. Two Letters of Reference. Your references will be contacted by email with a link to upload their letter.

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 November 1st.

Guidance for submitting your portfolio

Still Images in digital format: Please provide the title, year, medium, and size for each artwork. If you are submitting images documenting installations, performances, and project-based works please include brief descriptions.
Time-based work: When uploading media files please include the title, year, duration of the work (in size field), and a brief description. Please submit no more than three minute excerpts for each work. 

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

Decisions A short list of applicants will be invited to an interview via video con­fer­ence in mid-January. Final can­di­dates will be deter­mined after the inter­view process, and admis­sion deci­sions will be announced mid-February.

The department will hold a virtual information session in November 2023. Please check the website in mid October for a specific date and time and then send an email to Susan Jahoda to register. To tour the department or for questions please make an appointment by emailing Professor Susan Jahoda,


The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is optional as part of the application for an MFA in Studio Arts.

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

Additional Resources

The 2023-24 MFA Handbook is available to download here and provides detailed information on the MFA program, including specific questions about financial aid. 


The MA in Art Education program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst provides students opportunities to advance their practice as artists, teachers and researchers. The 36-credit program consists of advanced and extended study in studio arts, art history, education and Art Education. The MA Art Education program emphasizes critical examination of Art Education research, curricula in schools, and professional practices. The curriculum is developed from: studio art experience and practice; art history and criticism; and research, literature, and theory in the fields of art education and education.

MA program requirements include required coursework in Art Education Curriculum, Art Education Research and advanced electives in Studio Arts, Art History, and Education. Additionally, completion of a substantive independent research project, related to contemporary Art Education and demonstrating systematic definition and investigation is required. Students can take upper level electives in departments across the university campus, as well as Smith College, Hampshire College, Mt. Holyoke College and Amherst College.


All coursework counted towards the MA degree must be at the graduate (500 to 700) level. A minimum of 12 credits must be at the 600–level or above. The total independent study credits should not exceed 6 credits unless approved by the Art Education Program Coordinator and the Graduate Program Director.

Up to six credits may be transferred from other institutions and/or from non-degree status at this University, to total 12. Such credit must be graduate level and must be approved by both the Graduate Program Director and Graduate School.

Independent study credits are not accepted for transfer into the program unless approved by the Art Education Program Coordinator and the Graduate Program Director.


Admission to the MA Program in Art Education requires a bachelor’s degree in studio art or art education or the equivalent based upon faculty review. Art and art history coursework should total at least 35 credits. The minimum undergraduate GPA required is 2.75, cumulative. Admission preference is given to applicants' with demonstrated interest in Art Education, teaching experience and strong studio portfolios.

The application, two letters of recommendation from previous professors and/or professional employers or colleagues, portfolio of studio work, and transcripts should be submitted to the Graduate School.


Art Education MA applicants must submit a portfolio of 15-20 recent art works, uploaded with their application or by submitting a .pdf, with your name in the title of the document to Please include the following documents with your application:

  • Resume
  • Artist Statement - as a piece of "other relevent information"
  • Slide Script listing: title, date, medium, dimensions (H x W x D) and description if needed
  • Portfolio: 15-20 images or up to 10 minutes of video (total running time)

To apply, go to the Graduate School Application page and click "Apply Now" under "Quick Links".


JANUARY 15TH – Applications & Portfolios (no rolling admissions, Fall admission only)


Applicants should check with the Office of Graduate Admissions for updates on tuition and fees.


The MA program in Art Education requires 36 credits. The majority of coursework should be designated as Art, Art Education, or Art History. Additional courses may be necessary, depending on the candidate’s previous education.

Art History 3
Art, Art Education and Art History Electives 12
Art, Art History, and Education Electives 9
Professional Credits (Educ 560) 3
Art Education (Art 792L, Art 792M, 792N) 9
TOTAL 36 credits


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

Please contact the Department of Art Office at  413-545-8975 regarding any questions about the portfolio or the Art Education Program, or email Art Department.