Admission to the program is on a highly selective basis. Candidates must present work that suggests the capacity for sustained inquiry and growth; through their transcripts and essay they are also expected to demonstrate a well-developed ability to deal with ideas in the visual arts. A broad preparation in the history of art is valued as well as a clear indication of the candidate's capacity to profit from being at a major research institution.

The application process for admission and financial aid for all graduate programs in the Humanities is administered through the divisional Office of the Dean of Students. Please visit the Application for Admission and Financial Aid for instructions and deadlines.

Prospective students will find many of their questions answered on the Admissions Policy page and the Admissions FAQ page. Please also see DOVA's FAQ page. Further questions pertaining to the online application, test requirements, or letters of reference should be directed to the Humanities Division. Please refer to the contact information on the Humanities Division Admissions and Financial Aid page.

A recording of DoVA's virtual MFA Information Session from October 24, 2023 can be viewed here. To access the presentation slides on their own please follow this link.

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Supplemental Material


Portfolios are submitted online as part of the online application. Information about file types supported and other instructions for uploading digital portfolios can be found on the application.

Artist's Statement:

The application should also include a one or two-page artist's statement that includes discussion of such questions as sources of influence, character of the inquiry, and some suggestion of future directions the candidate wishes to explore.

Letters of Recommendation:

Also required are three to four letters of recommendation. Please see the application or contact the Humanities Division for more information about submitting letters of recommendation.

Test Requirements:

GRE scores are not required for admission to Visual Arts. 

All applicants for whom English is not a primary language may be required to submit current scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). A complete description of the English proficiency policy may be found at this website, and questions about the English proficiency requirement should be directed to

The minimum required scores for admission to DoVA are 90 total on TOEFL and 7.0 on each subsection (7.0 total) on IELTS.

Please contact the Department of Visual arts with any questions about the MFA program or to schedule a visit: Questions pertaining to the application should be directed to