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The Department of Art offers a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program that focuses on the creative goals of the individual. Our aim is to guide each student to finding and developing a particular direction and language as demonstrated by a coherent and conceptually unified body of artwork. Through an intense studio-based practice, our graduates develop into professional artists and college level educators who will successfully contribute to the culture on a local, national and global scale through different fields in the visual arts.

Degrees Offered

Art, Master of Fine Arts

On Campus

Admission Criteria

  • Fall semester deadline (priority for campus scholarships): January 1
  • Fall semester deadline if seeking admission into the graduate program only: February 1
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0

Minimum English Proficiency Requirements

Test Type Total Score Reading Listening Speaking Writing
TOEFL Internet-based8017171717
TOEFL Paper-based5505252N/A52
IELTS Academic6.56666

*TOEFL is for students from countries where English is not the native language.

The preferred undergraduate degree for admission to the graduate program in visual art is the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (BFA). However, applicants holding the BA, BS or other bachelor’s degrees are eligible to apply if they have a minimum of 40 hours of undergraduate studio credits or an equivalent commensurate professional experience. Applicants for the Graphic Design Area are required to have a minimum of 2 years professional experience before applying.

Application materials are evaluated to determine if the applicant has the preparation and ability to pursue an advanced degree. Admission is based on the recommendations from the art department graduate faculty members representing each of the media areas. Some applicants, may be placed on a waiting list as alternates, then accepted if others decline their admission offers.

Required Application Materials

For the Office of Graduate Studies

  • Completed Graduate Studies online application
  • Unofficial Transcripts- As part of the application submission process, all applicants are required to upload unofficial copies of all post-secondary transcripts to the online application. Official transcripts are only required if accepted by the academic program.
  • Official Results of English Proficiency Exams (International applicants only)

For the Master of Fine Arts Program

Upload all of the following items to Graduate Studies Online Application system.

  • Cover Letter of Intent (stating the goals for pursuing the MFA degree)
  • Current Resume (exhibition, award, publications, artistic experience, etc.)
  • An artist’s statement
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation.
  • Application for GTA (optional but necessary for tuition waiver)
  • Digital portfolio: The application process requires a digital portfolio documenting 20 separate pieces of the applicant’s artwork. Applicants can document these works using twenty (20) to forty (40) digital still images and/or moving image files. Please limit submissions to a maximum of 2 images for any one piece of artwork. The artwork in the portfolio should represent your most recent and most accomplished body of work. The work should indicate your major artistic interests and creative direction. The work should demonstrate your creative ability and media competence. If you are requesting consideration for a teaching assistantship, a few of the images could be works that demonstrate your foundational mastery of a specific media area. Portfolios must be uploaded to the Portfolio section of the Graduate Studies online application. Portfolio guidelines are available at https://visualstudies.missouri.edu/art/grad/graduate-admissions