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Graduate Admissions

The Department of Art offers a program of graduate study leading to a Master of Fine Arts degree. The graduate faculty consists of active professional artists specializing in the studio areas of painting, printmaking, sculpture, drawing, digital media, and hybrid practices. 

All applicants to the M.F.A. program must submit a portfolio of recent work. This portfolio should demonstrate a cohesive body of work on the part of the applicant and should convey to the faculty a strong sense of the conceptual, formal and theoretical issues being explored by the applicant. Above all, we are interested in applicants who display a strong understanding of contemporary art practices, both in the way they approach their primary medium (painting, sculpture, etc.) and in the conceptual and formal issues being explored in the work. 

Campus Visits
Potential applicants may arrange to visit the department for individual tours at any time during the academic year (September-May). To arrange a visit, contact  Shannon Collis

Applying to the M.F.A. Program

Application Requirements 

An undergraduate degree with a major in art from an accredited college, university or art school, or its equivalent, is encouraged, but not required, for admission to graduate study in the Department of Art. The applicant should have a minimum of 30 credit hours of undergraduate work in studio art courses and approximately 12 credit hours in art history. Other humanities courses should be a part of the candidate's undergraduate preparation.

Application Materials

To apply to the M.F.A. Program, applicants must complete (1.) the Graduate School application available online at Applicants must also submit (2.) a portfolio of images/media via Slideroom:

Application Deadline: February 2, 2024 

Portfolio Submission for M.F.A. Application
All portfolio submissions are done through; submissions can be completed here:

Applicants should submit 20 images of recent work and/or up to 10 minutes of video documentation of time-based or performance-based work. Please include dimensions, date and media for each image.

Submission of Websites or Software
The following requirements apply to website and software submissions:

Through Slideroom, submit screenshots of software or web-based artworks and supply a URL for the online project or software download.

Graduate School Application
To apply to the M.F.A. program, applicants must also complete the Graduate School Application, available online at, and submit the requisite application fee.

Required Application Materials

  • A completed application form
  • A non-refundable application fee of $75
  • One complete set of official transcripts reflecting all undergraduate and graduate work, completed or in-progress
  • A Maryland in-state status form (for those who wish to apply for Maryland resident status)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose, research interests and experiences
  • If at any time you wish to check on the status of your application materials you may do so by visiting

All decisions made by the Graduate Review Committee of the Department of Art are final. Please be assured that each applicant receives thorough consideration by every member of the committee. All aspects of the application will be reviewed, including the slide portfolio, statement of purpose, academic strength, art related background and recommendations.

Upon acceptance of admission, the student should notify the Department of Art and schedule an appointment to meet with the graduate director and make initial plans for a course of study. This may be done by phone or upon arrival prior to the beginning of the semester. General information is available from the graduate administrator. 

Fellowships, Assistantships & Financial Aid

The Department of Art offers numerous fellowships and graduate assistant positions. These positions and awards carry with them full or partial tuition remission as well as an annual stipend. Admission to the graduate program is a prerequisite for the award of a teaching assistantship or fellowship. Please make certain that all required documents for your application for admission, as well as the appropriate application for financial aid, have been submitted. Some awards are made on the basis of the applicant's academic merit (GPA), others on the basis of need or ability to contribute to the program.

The University of Maryland recognizes the high cost of education and makes every effort to offer financial assistance to qualified students through a variety of programs. There are three campus units which administer the primary forms of financial support: The Graduate School, the individual department and the Office of Student Financial Aid. The Graduate School processes applications for University of Maryland fellowships and Maryland State Diversity Grants. The diversity grants are offered only to students who are Maryland residents. Applications are made directly to the Graduate School and not to the department. The individual programs (departments) award graduate teaching assistantships and nominate students for graduate fellowships.

The Office of Student Financial Aid processes College Work-Study and National Direct student loans.

Contact the Director of Graduate Studies

Shannon Collis

Associate Professor, Art

1M326 Parren J. Mitchell Art-Sociology Building
College Park MD, 20742