Frequently Asked Questions

What is the application deadline?

The most up-to-date information about deadlines can be found on the online application, which is managed by the Humanities Division.

Do you have rolling deadlines? Can I apply for the Spring quarter?

We do not have rolling deadlines; instead, we accept students once a year for the Autumn quarter.  

Is it possible to do your program part-time, in the evenings, and/or over the summer?

MFA students must be in full-time residence during the Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters for the full two years of the program. MFA students do not take classes over the summer. While we do offer some evening classes, it is not possible to complete our program through evening classes alone.

We are not able to accommodate part-time students in the MFA program at this time. However, part-time students may apply to take classes in our department via the Graduate Student-at-Large program.

How many students do you accept each year?

We usually admit eight students per year. 

Do you require the GRE?

We do not require GRE scores for admission.

What are the English language test requirements for international students?

Please see this website for detailed information about minimum scores and how to submit results. Information about waiving the English language test requirement is also available on the OIA's website.

What kind of financial aid is available?

All students who apply to the program are automatically considered for fellowships. Please see the Financial Aid page for more details.  Students who wish to apply for loans should fill out a separate application through the Student Loan Administration. Teaching Assistantships are also available -- see the Financial Aid page for more information.

Are international students eligible for fellowships or loans?

All of our MFA students are eligible for fellowships. Please see the Financial Aid page for more information about the fellowships we offer.

International students who wish to apply for loans should consult the Office of International Affairs.

Do you provide studio space for MFA students? What other facilities can students use?

Yes! All of our MFA students have private studios, as well as some shared workspace. Our department is housed in the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, which includes a wood and metal shop, a gallery, several theaters, music practice rooms, a costume shop, and more! 

The Logan Media Center has a wide array of equipment for student use; visit their website to see a list of available equipment, or contact them with questions. MFA students also have access to the Hack Arts Lab and the Weston Game Lab. The Logan Media center also maintains DoVA's wet darkroom, with black and white and color processing. 

Where can I view student work?

You can view images of student work from recent thesis exhibitions. You can also link to the websites of current students and recent alumni. By far the best place to see student work is live and in person at our MFA critiques. Critiques are open to prospective students and take place in early October, early December, mid-March, and early June — contact the department if you'd like to attend.

In the meantime, we invite you to watch a video about our department produced by 2014 MFA alumnus Danny Volk. We also encourage you to visit Danny Volk's YouTube channel to see interviews with various luminaries of the Chicago arts community, including many DoVA faculty and alumni.

What kind of career advising and support do you offer?

The University of Chicago offers career support through UChicagoGRAD. Current graduate students and recent alumni can take advantage of their services, which include resume help and internship/externship placement. The Graduate Student Affairs staff are also available to work with MFA students to find outside grants and fellowships to help fund their professional goals. Graduate Students are also encouraged to take advantage of the services offered by the Chicago Center for Teaching.  The CTL offers course design assistance, workshops on teaching, and individual job talk consultations for graduate students who are interested in pursuing a career in higher education.

Is Graduate Student Housing available?

Yes indeed. The University of Chicago offers a number of options for housing, including some apartment buildings on or near campus.  Visit the Residential Properties website for more information. You can also find general information about life as a graduate student, including information about Hyde Park, on the UChicagoGRAD website.

What are tuition costs? 

Please see the Financial Aid page for information about tuition and fees.

Can I come and visit?

Yes, absolutely. Please contact the department to arrange a tour and visit.  We'd love to show you around our facilities in the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts and answer your questions about the program. Tours of DoVA and our facilities are by appointment only.

If you would also like a tour of the campus, tours are offered by UChicagoGRAD and led by current graduate students. Walk-ins are welcome, but they ask that you please register in advance.  If you have additional questions or need special accommodations, please feel free to write to a tour coordinator at