Art, MFA

Home / Degree Programs / Art, MFA

Join one of the 15 top-ranked art schools in the nation. Supporting a diverse community of artists and scholars, Herberger Institute's MFA program ranks No. 15 in the nation (U.S. News & World Report) and fosters global relevance, leadership, social responsibility and self-expression.

The ASU School of Art's MFA program provides artists with both a formal and a conceptual foundation in contemporary art. Situated in the context of a public research university renowned for innovation, students work closely with distinguished art faculty to develop the skills to produce culturally relevant work and sustain a lifelong creative practice. Students are encouraged to work across disciplines and also select a focus from a range of media including animation, ceramics, intermedia, metals, painting and drawing, photography, printmaking, sculpture, textiles and woods.

In addition to the expansive curriculum, students benefit from a visiting artist and scholar lecture series, professionalization workshops, teaching opportunities and pedagogical training. Students also supplement their arts curriculum by taking advantage of the vast resources afforded by a Research 1 university, engaging with world-renowned researchers or taking courses in a variety of departments. The ASU Art Museum offers vital opportunities for students to learn from and connect with artists and curators.

Graduate students are provided world class studio space at Grant Street Studios ( located in the cultural hub of downtown Phoenix. This facility is also home to two galleries and enhanced resources, including a common wood shop, printmaking presses, photography darkroom, ceramics kilns, computer lab and 3D print lab. Students also have access to the vibrant community of museums, galleries, businesses, and cultural organizations in Phoenix as well as in nearby Los Angeles, Santa Fe and Denver.

The Master of Fine Arts program culminates in a solo thesis exhibition in one of the School of Art's galleries (Step Gallery, Northlight Gallery, or Harry Wood Gallery). In addition to being one of few tuition funded three-year Master of Fine Arts programs nationally, students also benefit from various funding opportunities including teaching assistantships as well as scholarships and awards supporting student travel and research. Special initiatives in the School of Art add dynamic opportunities for the professionalization, collaboration and immersive learning essential to being an artist in the 21st century.

At A Glance

Art, MFA

Plan of study

The Plan of study is the required curriculum to complete this graduate level program.

View Plan of Study

Degree requirements

The 60 hours of graduate credit are subject to committee approval and must include:

ART 680 Practicum, resulting in an MFA exhibition (10-15 credit hours)
graduate studio (18-27 credit hours)
graduate-level academic coursework (at least 6 credit hours)
graduate-level ART seminars (9-18 credit hours)
required courses in contemporary art theory (3) and cross-practice critique (3) (6 credit hours)

Admission requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 ="A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. current resume or curriculum vitae
  4. portfolio
  5. statement of intent
  6. three letters of recommendation
  7. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English (regardless of current residency) must provide proof of English proficiency.

Admission is a two-step process. Although applicants fill out one application through the online graduate application process, they must be admitted into both the MFA program and to the Graduate College.

The portfolio should be 20 images, sized with a maximum dimension of 1024 pixels; video files less than 60MB each; and accompanied by an image list and the statement of intent (this is not to exceed 1,000 words) that addresses the applicant's artistic interests, reasons for applying to graduate school in general and the ASU School of Art in particular as well as professional goals.

The three letters of recommendation should be from faculty members with whom the applicant has studied or from recognized professionals in the field. All the instructions for letters of recommendation must be followed when submitting them with the application to the Graduate College.

The method for submitting the resume or vitae, portfolio, statement of intent and letters of recommendation is online via SLIDEROOM: Applicants may upload images (.jpg), video (.mov, .wmv, .flv), music (mp3) or PDF documents.

Applicants should see the program website for application deadlines.

Information about this program

Visit the School of Art website for full details.