The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Prospective Applicants: Please note that during the upcoming admission cycle we will be admitting a reduced number of students. This is due to the several deferrals associated with Covid-19 during the previous cycle.

The Master of Fine Arts Program in Studio Arts at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is an ideal program for college graduates whose goal is a career in art and wish to remain immersed in or return to an academic setting with opportunities for interaction and critique with professional artists and like-minded peers.

The UMass Amherst MFA program in Studio Arts is a three-year program in studio-based work and critical thinking. The program seeks to nurture committed studio practice through ongoing critique from and dialogue with faculty and plentiful opportunities to exhibit work on campus. Throughout the program our MFA students are mentored to thrive as professional artists, and through assistantships and classroom instruction graduate from the program with the skills and credentials to work as professional artists and teach at the college and university-level.

The Master of Fine Arts Program in Studio Arts is highly selective and accepts candidates through an annual application process. We do not have a rolling deadline. All applicants must hold an undergraduate degree or be in their final year of an undergraduate degree program before applying.

Interviews are not required, but we do welcome visitors. To tour the department, please make an appointment by calling (413) 545-6937.


Applications for admission to the MFA in Studio Arts are reviewed

  • December 1 - January 15

Application to the MFA program in the Department of Art is a three-step process:

STEP 1: Apply to the University of Massachusetts Amherst

Fill out an application to the University of Massachusetts Amherst Graduate School, where you will upload the following documents:

  • Resume or CV
  • Personal Statement
  • An Artist's Statement as a piece of "other relevant information"
  • Letters of Reference

STEP 2: Transcripts

Transcripts can be sent to the graduate School electronically, or sealed official undergraduate transcripts should be mailed directly to

University of Massachusetts
Graduate School Admissions
514 Goodell Building
140 Hicks Way
Amherst, MA 01003-9333

STEP 3: Submit Your Portfolio

Please submit 20 images using our SlideRoom page. Please note that Slideroom will not allow applications until December 1st.

Application period begins December 1 and closes January 15. Late applications will not be reviewed.


The MFA program in Studio Arts requires 60 credits. The majority of coursework should be studio electives and independent studies at the 500 level and above. In addition to these, requirements in Art History, Visual Culture, Graduate Seminar, TA Workshop, and successful completion of the 18 credit MFA Thesis Project must be met.

Sample MFA in Studio Arts credits

Art History 3
Visual Culture 3
Graduate Seminar 12
Studio Electives 6
Independent Study* 16
TA Workshop 2
MFA Thesis Project 18
TOTAL 60 Credits

* up to 21 independent study credits may be applied toward graduation


The Graduate Record Examination is not required as part of the application for an MFA in Studio Arts.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language is required of applicants who are not native English speakers.

For questions concerning graduate admissions please contact UMass Art Department Graduate Program Director, Professor Susan Jahoda.


The MA in Art Education program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst provides students opportunities to advance their practice as artists, teachers and researchers. The 36-credit program consists of advanced and extended study in studio arts, art history, education and Art Education. The MA Art Education program emphasizes critical examination of Art Education research, curricula in schools, and professional practices. The curriculum is developed from: studio art experience and practice; art history and criticism; and research, literature, and theory in the fields of art education and education.

MA program requirements include required coursework in Art Education Curriculum, Art Education Research and advanced electives in Studio Arts, Art History, and Education. Additionally, completion of a substantive independent research project, related to contemporary Art Education and demonstrating systematic definition and investigation is required. Students can take upper level electives in departments across the university campus, as well as Smith College, Hampshire College, Mt. Holyoke College and Amherst College.


All coursework counted towards the MA degree must be at the graduate (500 to 700) level. A minimum of 12 credits must be at the 600–level or above. The total independent study credits should not exceed 6 credits unless approved by the Art Education Program Coordinator and the Graduate Program Director.

Up to six credits may be transferred from other institutions and/or from non-degree status at this University, to total 12. Such credit must be graduate level and must be approved by both the Graduate Program Director and Graduate School.

Independent study credits are not accepted for transfer into the program unless approved by the Art Education Program Coordinator and the Graduate Program Director.


Admission to the MA Program in Art Education requires a bachelor’s degree in studio art or art education or the equivalent based upon faculty review. Art and art history coursework should total at least 35 credits. The minimum undergraduate GPA required is 2.75, cumulative. Admission preference is given to applicants' with demonstrated interest in Art Education, teaching experience and strong studio portfolios.

The application, two letters of recommendation from previous professors and/or professional employers or colleagues, portfolio of studio work, and transcripts should be submitted to the Graduate School.


Art Education MA applicants must submit a portfolio of 15-20 recent art works, uploaded with their application or by submitting a .pdf, with your name in the title of the document to Please include the following documents with your application:

  • Resume
  • Artist Statement - as a piece of "other relevent information"
  • Slide Script listing: title, date, medium, dimensions (H x W x D) and description if needed
  • Portfolio: 15-20 images or up to 10 minutes of video (total running time)

To apply, go to the Graduate School Application page and click "Apply Now" under "Quick Links".


JANUARY 15TH – Applications & Portfolios (no rolling admissions, Fall admission only)


Applicants should check with the Office of Graduate Admissions for updates on tuition and fees.


The MA program in Art Education requires 36 credits. The majority of coursework should be designated as Art, Art Education, or Art History. Additional courses may be necessary, depending on the candidate’s previous education.

Art History 3
Art, Art Education and Art History Electives 12
Art, Art History, and Education Electives 9
Professional Credits (Educ 560) 3
Art Education (Art 792L, Art 792M, 792N) 9
TOTAL 36 credits


The Graduate Record Examination is not required as part of the application for an MA in Studio Arts.

Please contact the Department of Art Office at 413-545-6937 regarding any questions about the portfolio or the Art Education Program, or email Sohee Koo, Art Education Program Coordinator.