Department of Art & Art History

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Visual Arts Complex
Visual Arts Complex

MFA Application Information

Application Deadline:

January 10, 2018 (domestic) 10pm MST
December 1, 2017 (international) 10 pm MST

Applications received after this deadline and incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Notifications regarding admission decisions will be sent to students via email by April 15.

International Applicants, please visit the International Graduate Admissions webpage before you apply.


Graduate School Admission Application

Please review the Graduate School’s minimum admissions requirements, and prepare your supporting documents before beginning your application. You will need to upload and submit all of the documents at the same time. The application requires the following supporting documents:

  1. Personal Statement –  This is where you describe the goals and objectives you would like to reach while in our graduate program (double-spaced).
  2. Artist Statement – This is where you describe yourself as an artist (uploaded in the “additional information” section of the application [double-spaced]).
  3. 3 Letters of recommendation – collected through the Graduate School Application process. You will be asked to provide a valid email address, as well as other information for three recommenders. Refer to the Graduate School Frequently Asked Questions page for more information about the process.
  4. Transcripts-  For review and decision purposes you are required to upload an unofficial copy of your transcript(s) in the online application. We require one copy of the scanned transcript from each undergraduate and graduate institution that you attended. This includes community colleges, summer sessions, and extension programs. While credits from one institution may appear on the transcript of a second institution, unofficial transcripts must be submitted from each institution, regardless of the length of attendance, and whether or not courses were completed. Failure to list and submit transcripts from all institutions previously attended is considered to be a violation of academic ethics and may result in the cancellation of your admission or dismissal from the university. ONLY after you are recommended for admission will you need to provide official transcripts.
  5. Resume– The graduate school requires all graduate applicants to submit a resume. This will be useful for our department to match employment opportunities with your specific skill sets. Please make sure to list any experience you have with the following: wood shop/metal shop equipment, drywall repair, construction, video editing, graphic design, teaching, customer service, catalog and database management. Please list how much experience you have with each program in the Adobe creative suite and all software and hardware proficiencies.
  6. Digital Portfolio– please see submission information below.
  7. Application Fee – A $60.00 non-refundable application fee ($80 for international applicants) must accompany each application for CU-Boulder graduate degree programs. The fee must be paid online with a credit card, in order to complete the application.

Click here to start your application!


MFA Areas (sub-plans)
In the “Program Details” section of your application, please specify the area of your primary interest (“sub-plan”). Within the Department of Art & Art History are the following areas of concentration:

  • Ceramics
  • Painting & Drawing
  • IMAP-Photography
  • IMAP-Video
  • IMAP-Digital
  • IMAP-Integrated Arts
  • Sculpture & Post-Studio Practice
  • Printmaking
  • Film

If you want your application to be reviewed in more than one area, you will still have to check one sub-plan on your online application form. Please upload a separate letter of intent in the digital portfolio section for each additional area that you would like to apply to and notify the Graduate Program Coordinator at

Graduate School Application Resources:

Digital Portfolio Submission

General Portfolio Submission Guidelines:
The portfolio should consist of 20 media items (images, video, sound files, etc. as is appropriate to represent your artistic practice) must be submitted with your graduate application. You must upload a PDF table of contents page for your portfolio. Number each item in your table of contents and include the title, medium, size, year, and a brief description of the work. Make sure each item is correctly labeled in the details also by clicking “Edit Details” after you upload your files.

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Video, Audio, and Web Content:
For moving image work you need to upload a 3-minute clip for each work, and include the link to the completed work, if applicable, in the description section and the table of contents PDF page. If your video is password protected, make sure you include the password in the description section. For other content requiring an external link, please upload a screenshot or image, and include the external link in the description section and the table of contents PDF page. Please double check that all links are intact and functioning before submitting.

Preferred file formats include .jpg for images, .mov and .mp4 for video, and PDF for text documents. For any other portfolio-related questions feel free to contact the Graduate Program Coordinator at

*You do not need to click on “Representative Work”.

Financial Support:
Fellowships, Graduate Assistantships (GA), and Graduate Part-Time Instructor (GPTI) appointments are available as forms of graduate student support. There is no separate application for financial support but the applicant’s interest in a part-time teaching (GPTI) or non-teaching (GA) position may be expressed in their statement of goals and objectives. There may be additional opportunities for employment in the department, so it is important you detail your skill sets and work experience in your resume as part of the graduate school application. Non-departmental financial aid at CU-Boulder is handled through the Office of Financial Aid,  303-492-5091.

For the academic year 2017-18 we were able to offer 20 (40%) GPTI appointments and 17 (25%) GA appointments for MFA students. Both GPTI and GA positions come with an 80% health insurance waiver for the CU Gold health plan, tuition remission waivers for 5 credit hours for the GA, and 8 credit hours for the GPTI, as well as a stipend of $10,099 for the year for GAs and $18,676 for GPTIs for the year. For the 2017-18 academic year all MFA students had at least one of the graduate appointments listed above.

*The funding statement above reflects numbers for the AY2017-18 term. Generally, stipends will increase each year. Stipend amounts for AY 2018-19 should be available by late April.

*excludes Film MFA students. For information about funding available for the Film MFA, please see the Film studies website or consult the director of graduate studies for Film.

Credit Transfer
We accept up to 18 applicable graduate-level credit hours from other universities and colleges, if such credits have not been used for any other degrees. If you have such unused, applicable graduate-level credits, you will be able, usually in the second semester of your studies, to submit a transfer of credit form, attaching official transcripts from other institutions. The form and transcripts will then be reviewed by your academic advisor, departmental Curriculum Committee, and the Graduate School.

*Notifications regarding admissions decisions will be sent to students through the graduate application portal by April 15th.


If you have any questions about the application process or portfolio requirements, please contact:

Catherine Cartwright
Graduate Program Coordinator
+1 (303) 492 – 2419

For Film inquiries please contact:
Associate Director for Grad Film
Jeanne Liotta

Department of Art and Art History
University of Colorado, 318 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0318

Helpful Links:
Graduate Admissions:
Application Requirements:
Application Process FAQ:
Art & Art History Programs Overview:
International Applicants:
International Student and Scholar Services:
Grad Awards & Grants:
National Fellowships:
Work Study: