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 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.

Can you look at my portfolio before I apply?

In order to create an equitable environment for all applicants, we do not review applicant work outside of the application process.

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?

Unfortunately, we are unable to honor any requests for application fee waivers. We understand that graduate study is a big financial commitment on the part of students and their families, and that application fees can accumulate rapidly. The admissions process incurs many expenses on behalf of the School, as well. Much of our application fees go to SlideRoom, who charge us for their application management and hosting services, thus making it financially difficult for us to waive the fees. We feel that, when put in comparison to comparable MFA programs whose fees are closer to $100, Carnegie Mellon’s MFA fee of $68 is a more modestly priced application.

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 Assistant Director, Julie Azzam at jazzam@cmu.edu

Will you be conducting on-site interviews for finalists?

No. We understand that traveling may impose an undue hardship on prospective graduate students. We conduct Zoom interviews with prospective finalists.

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.

Please also mark your calendars for our virtual MFA Open House on Thursday, November 16, where you may meet the Program Director, Core Faculty, and current graduate students, and take a virtual tour of the Hall of Arts studio facilities. You may sign up for the Open House here

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 tuition relief. The minimum tuition assistance given to students covers approximately ⅔ of their total tuition costs, and the maximum tuition assistance given covers a student’s tuition completely. Additional support in the form of smaller grants for research, resources, and travel are also available to graduate students once enrolled.

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

Your application for admission is your application for all merit-based financial assistance. You do not need to complete an additional application. 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.

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 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.