Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Art Studio

Our Graduate Degrees

Program Overview – Minimum Total Hours: 60

Department of Art

The study of art encompasses a variety of media to express human thoughts, interests, attitudes, emotions and ideas. UNM’s Studio Art program offers seven different areas of concentration: painting & drawing, photography, ceramics, sculpture, printmaking, experimental art & technology, and art & ecology.

The MFA is a terminal degree in studio art. Its primary emphasis is on the creative aspects of an individual’s work. The program requires three years of intensive study and research beyond the bachelor’s degree (48 hours coursework & 12 hours dissertation). Although the formal requirements for the degree are in some respects comparable to doctoral degrees in other fields, the scope and objectives of the MFA are uniquely different. As such, the MFA degree represents strong creative attainment in studio art, an assured grasp of an area of concentration, a sound knowledge of critical and historical artistic thought, and demonstrated expertise in conceiving and executing a significant body of creative work.

The program requires a concentration on the creative aspects of the studio work culminating in a dissertation, which entails planning, installing and documenting a solo exhibition of the student’s own creative work, producing a catalog, and giving an oral public presentation.

MFA Art Studio Admission Requirements

The deadline for graduate applications to the MFA program in Art Studio is always January 15th for the following fall. We do not do a Spring admissions process. All application materials must be received in the Department *by the deadline*. Late items are the responsibility of the applicant, and may disqualify your file from consideration.

Apply online, at

Applicants will be notified by mail of the admissions decisions in February.

If you have questions during the application process, please email or call the Graduate Advisor, Kat Heatherington, 505-277-6672 (Monday-Thursday, 9-5).

MFA students must apply to one of our content areas: Art & Ecology, Ceramics, Experimental Art + Technology, Painting/Drawing, Photography, Printmaking, or Sculpture. Once in the program, you will have the opportunity to create artwork in any media, but you must choose an area to apply to. Your application will be reviewed by the faculty of that area.

Application Procedure:

Eligibility: A prospective student in the graduate studio program must have completed an undergraduate degree. Some academic background in art studio and art history is recommended; however, the portfolio and letter of intent are weighted more heavily in the application process.

ALL application materials must be submitted to the Department Graduate Office by the January 15th deadline. Incomplete or late application packets will not be processed. The GRE is not required for admission.

To apply for the MFA program, you need to submit:

• Online application, $50 fee, pay with a credit card.
• Letter of Intent (see guidelines below)
• CV or Resume
• Artist Statement (no more than one page, under the “writing sample” section of the application)
Three (3) letters of recommendation
• Official transcripts from every college or university you have attended, whether you earned a degree there or not. (Unofficial transcripts can be uploaded during application; official transcripts must be mailed to the Graduate Admissions Office at University of New Mexico, 1155 University Blvd SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106).
• An image portfolio, consisting of 15-20 images that best represent your work. Images should be compiled into a single PDF, PowerPoint, or website link, and uploaded during the application process. (to submit a video, upload to Vimeo and include the link).
Note: The Art Studio programs in Printmaking, Experimental Art + Technology, and Art & Ecology, and the Art History programs in Art of the Americas and Art of the Modern World (both MA and Ph.D.) are recognized by Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE) for inclusion in their Out-Of-State Programs at In-State Tuition. Qualified residents of the 15 participating states in the commission may enroll at reduced tuition rates in these three programs.

Special Note for Fulbright and Project 1000 applicants: if you are applying through an outside agency such as Project 1000 or Fulbright, it is your responsibility to ensure that all materials are sent to the Department of Art and Art History, not to the Admissions office. The Department is not responsible for materials that are not received before the January 18th deadline. We strongly advise sending a duplicate copy of all materials directly to the department, and not relying on the Admissions office to provide them.

International applicants: Please see to complete the international application in addition to the departmental application. International applicants go through the same process as domestic applicants, with a few additional steps, including English language exam scores, certified translations of transcripts, and financial paperwork related to applying for a United States student visa.

Art Graduate Programs Coordinator

Kat Heatherington
(505) 277-6672

The deadline for graduate applications to the MFA program in Art Studio is always January 15th for the following fall.

Contact the Department of Art

7 + 11 =

How to Apply

• All students must be admitted to the University, whether as an incoming freshman, transfer student, or non-degree student. Apply online through the Admissions Department at UNM

•After meeting all CFA admission requirements, students must apply to become a declared major.

Academic Advisement

The College of Fine Arts Student Success & Advisement Center is committed to serve the UNM community with compassion, guidance, and respect as we promote academic excellence.

To speak with a CFA advisor, please call (505) 277-4817.