When can I apply for admission to the MFA program?

Applications to the MFA program will be available on September 1. You may apply as soon as the application is available.

When are applications to the MFA program due?

Applications are due by 11:59 pm (Eastern Standard Time// New York time) on January 16, 2023. You may begin working on your application in advance, save it, and complete it at a later date. Please make sure that you submit the application for consideration on or before 11:59 pm (ET) on January 16, 2023.

I am not sure this Program is a good fit for me. Can you review my portfolio and tell me if I am a good candidate for admission? 

Unfortunately, due to the high volume of applicants we receive, and the smallness of our Program, we are not able to perform portfolio reviews, but we invite you to look at our Program’s website, current student profiles (here), and check out a recording of the November MFA Open House session (here; use passcode: : jJ%=T?8g), to learn about the Program and make an educated decision on whether it is a good match for you. 

I did not receive my Bachelor’s degree but I am an accomplished artist. Can I still apply to the MFA Program? 

Currently, all applicants need a Bachelor’s degree in any field in order to apply for the MFA Program. 

I have a Master’s degree or terminal degree in another field. Can I apply? Is the application process different for me? 

All applicants need to go through the same application process, regardless of prior study and/or graduate-level degrees obtained. More information on what you need to apply can be found here

What is the minimum TOEFL, DuoLingo, or IELTS score?

The minimum TOEFL score is 25 in Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking, with a total score no less than 100. The minimum IELTS score is 7.5 (overall score). The minimum DuoLingo score is 125. 

What is the TOEFL code for the School of Art?

Our TOEFL code is: 2074.

I am an international student who has previously studied and/or lived in the United States. Do I still need to take the TOEFL exam? 

All students whose native language is not English are required to submit TOEFL, DuoLingo, or IELTS scores with their application, regardless of prior study in English-speaking countries or citizenship status. 

Why does your program insist on language assessment tests when other programs do not? Why are your score requirements so high? 

There are many reasons for this, including a larger University requirement, which we cannot get around. The MFA Program requires all students to take several academically-rigorous courses in critical studies and writing, and a high level of fluency is required for students to do well in these classes. In addition to this, the MFA Program is situated within the larger context of a research university, and students are required to take at least 1 elective course outside of the School of Art. Many of our students engage even more heavily with other academic Programs in addition to Art, and having a high level of language proficiency aids in student success in these realms. 

Did you receive my transcript, letter of recommendation, and/or language assessment score? 

We appreciate you following up to see if we have received your transcript(s), letter of reference, and/or your TOEFL, IELTS, or DuoLingo scores. Retrieving and cataloging these documents take time; we will reach out to you if anything in your application is incomplete. 

How many graduate students are currently enrolled in the program? How many students are accepted each year?

We typically have 18 graduate students enrolled in the program. Each year the program accepts no more than 6 students.

Where do I send my transcripts?

Official transcripts may be sent electronically to MFA Admissions (MFAadmissions@andrew.cmu.edu) or by mail to the following address:

Carnegie Mellon University
School of Art Graduate Admissions
College of Fine Arts 300
5000 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Can I send my transcripts electronically?

Yes. We do accept electronic transcripts. Please contact your university’s Registrar to request an official transcript be sent to Graduate Admissions at the School of Art. If you need to list a specific electronic recipient (i.e. an email address), you may send your transcripts to our admissions office: MFAadmissions@andrew.cmu.edu

Can I apply for an application fee waiver?

Yes. We have a limited amount of fee waivers available; interested students should send a paragraph detailing the reasons for requesting a fee waiver to: mfa-inquiries@andrew.cmu.edu

I need help with or have a question about the application. Who should I contact?

For procedural questions about completing the application, please visit the Admissions page. For individual questions, you may contact the MFA Program at mfa-inquiries@andrew.cmu.edu

When will I hear a decision on my application? 

We aim to make decisions on applications by late March or early April.

Do you hold interviews? When are interviews? 

We interview finalists via Zoom. Interviews last up to 30 minutes each. These interviews will likely take place by late February. 

How are interviewees notified? 

We will email you at the email address you included in your application to set up an interview date and time. 

Can I take a tour of the School of Art or visit a class?

In person tours are offered on select dates from September through January. During the Fall, we will also offer an online tour and information session on a monthly basis. For exact dates and information on how to register for an in-person or online tour, see our Visit page.

What facilities, equipment, or technology are available to graduate students?

Each graduate student will be given a private studio, to which they will have 24-hour access. All graduate students have 24-hour access to workspaces that include: digital fabrication labs, printmaking and sculpture shops, and painting and drawing studios. For more on specific equipment, see the School of Art facilities page.

Do all graduate students have private studio space?

Yes, all graduate students have private studio space that they may access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

When will I be notified about a decision on my application?

Due to the fact that we receive a high volume of applications and take care to review them thoroughly, this process can take some time.

Do I need to submit GRE scores with my application?

No, you do not need to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores with your application.

What financial assistance is available to graduate students?

All graduate students receive financial assistance in the form of full tuition scholarships, so students do not pay anything towards tuition. Additional support in the form of smaller grants for research, resources, and travel are also available to graduate students once enrolled.

Do you offer stipends or grants that cover cost of living expenses? 

We do not offer stipends. All students are responsible for covering their cost of living expenses. The University does offer various grants that go towards student research and travel expenses associated with the production of student artwork. More information on that can be found in our MFA Open House recording (here; use passcode: jJ%=T?8g). 

How do I apply for financial aid within the School of Art?

Since all students will receive the same financial support in the form of full tuition coverage, there is no additional financial aid application necessary. For more information on more general forms of financial assistance, please visit Carnegie Mellon’s Financial Assistance page.

Do graduate students teach?

All graduate students in the MFA program complete Graduate Assistantships. The Graduate Assistantship offers a variety of opportunities to develop teaching and other professional experience by working with a member of the art faculty or staff. Graduate Assistants are expected to work 8 hours per week.