Photograph by Peter Yankowsky
The preferred undergraduate degree for admission is the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA). However, applicants holding the BA, BS and other bachelor’s degrees are eligible to apply if they have minimum of 40 hours of undergraduate studio credits, equivalent commensurate professional experience, or other equivalent studio arts achievements.
Special Notice: Graphic Design applicants are required to have 2 years professional experience before applying to that program.
All applicants are required to meet the Office of Graduate Studies' standard of a grade point average of 3.0 or better on the last 60 hours of undergraduate work.
International applicants to the MFA program are required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores as part of their applications. Exceptions are applicants who are from the following English-speaking countries:
- New Zealand
- British Caribbean Islands
- Canada (except French-speaking areas)
- United Kingdom
As required by the Department of Art in order to be considered for the MFA program, applicants must achieve a minimum or higher total TOEFL score of:
- 550 for paper-based testing
- 213 for computer-based testing
- 80 for internet-based testing
The Office of Graduate Studies will also accept the minimum academic IELTS score of 6.5 for admission to MU.
The application process has two steps.
Step 1 is to submit your application to the Office of Graduate Studies. Applications must include:
- A cover letter statement of intent
- Official transcripts/mark sheets from each college or school of art attended.
- A current resume
- Artistic statement
- Three (3) letters of recommendation
All documents should be submitted within the Graduate School’s online application system: http://gradschool.missouri.edu
Step 2 is to submit a digital portfolio representing your recent creative work to the Department of Art.
For complete information, see the MFA Admissions Instructions.
Submitting materials 2 weeks in advance of the deadline will ensure that a complete file arrives in time for the admissions review process.
• Fall Semester deadline: January 1st
• Spring Semester deadline: September 1st
Special Notice: Deadline for MFA applications on January 1st is being extended to January 15th. However, please note that those wanting to compete for A&S Graduate Fellowships still need to apply by Jan 1st.
Degree Media Areas
Ceramics, Drawing, Fibers, Graphic Design, New Media, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, and Interdisciplinary
The MFA program consists of 60 credit hours. The degree includes 18 credits in the major area, 15 credits in Practice and Critique (group classes with all MFA students enrolled), 6 credits of Art History, 2 credits of First Year Seminar, and a minimum of one 1 hour of MFA Research hours (Thesis Documentation). The course of study is rounded out with 18 elective credits (up to 9 of which may be taken in the major area). Graduate level courses are primarily at the 7000/8000/9000 level. Fifteen of the 30 hours minimum must be selected from courses numbered at 8000 and/or 9000 levels, no more than 40% of the 30 hours credit requirement can be satisfied by Research, Readings and Problems courses. No credit is given for courses at the 4000 or below levels. A minimum residence of two years is required for the degree. The degree will not be granted solely upon the completion of the prescribed number of credit hours and the residence requirement but rather as the student attains a high level of creative achievement as determined by the student's graduate committee.
Graduate Program brochure (pdf opens in new window).