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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 traditional studio areas of painting, printmaking, sculpture, drawing and digital media.

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. Applications are sent to the University Graduate School, not directly to the Department of Art. 

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

Students apply to the M.F.A. program at Maryland in one of the following areas of concentration:

  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Digital Media/New Genre


  1. 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.
  2. General graduate admission application forms can be requested from the Enrollment Service Operations, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, 20742, or by calling (301) 405-4198. An application for admission with transcripts should be sent directly to the Graduate School. Please note that applicants are solely responsible for making certain that their transcripts have, in fact, been received.
  3. All application submissions MUST arrive to the department by February 3. Students are only admitted for the fall semester. Three letters of recommendation and documentation of your best work (see requirements below) should be sent to:
    • University of Maryland
      Enrollment Service Operations
      Application for Graduate Admissions
      0130 Mitchell Building
      College Park, Maryland 20742-1311
  4. Applicants are solely responsible for making certain that all letters of recommendation arrive on time. The Graduate School strongly encourages applicants to use electronic letters of recommendation. Submitting electronic letters significantly reduces the processing time of your documents.
  5. 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.
  6. Upon acceptance of admission, the student should notify the Department of Art and schedule an appointment to meet with an advisor 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. Studios will be assigned by August 15. Check with the graduate administrator after this time to obtain an assignment.

Application Materials

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.

General Application Requirements
To apply to the M.F.A. program, applicants must 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 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 goals, 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

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