November 9, 2016

Call for applications: Master of Fine Arts in Visual Art

Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis
Holly McGraw (MFA16), Shady Lady: Green Bay and Shady Lady: Washington DC, “Shady Ladies” series.

The MFA Program in the Graduate School of Art at Washington University in St. Louis is currently accepting applications for Fall 2017; the application deadline is January 15, 2017. The program offers a two-year, critically engaged, studio-based experience that supports the production of original creative work while challenging the conventional and habitual. As part of a tight-knit community, students investigate the relationship between idea generation and production while exploring the conceptual underpinnings of their work. The program provides a forum for collaboration and both discipline-specific and interdisciplinary study, while offering the resources of a tier one research institution. Experimentation with an array of media, production methods, and distribution strategies is strongly encouraged. While individual advising, panel reviews, and critiques with external critics support studio-based work, graduate seminars provide the opportunity for students to study theory through the lens of practice. In addition, as part of a robust thesis seminar, students are mentored in their writing and studio-based research. Thesis work is featured each spring in a curated exhibition at the University’s Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum.

The MFA program prepares students to consider the variety of positions that they might assume in the art world. This includes ways in which they might incite progressive social change or address social or ecological issues, as they embrace their roles as global citizens through avenues such as community engagement and study abroad. The program also provides exceptional opportunities for students to expand their intellectual and creative reach by offering an intensive Sommerakademie program in Berlin and annual field trips to major cultural centers, such as New York, Los Angeles, and Marfa, Texas.

Online application

Faculty, visiting artists, & critics
Program faculty are nationally and internationally recognized and represent a broad spectrum of contemporary practices that range from time-based media work and performance, to painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, installation, and public interventions. Their work addresses a rich array of conceptual territories and topics that range from social justice, race, and gender to globalism, the environment, new advances in science, and material culture.

The school also brings nationally and internationally recognized artists, designers, architects, historians, and critics to campus, promoting new ideas in practice, theory, technology, and society. Invited speakers often participate in graduate studio visits, conducting one-on-one reviews of work. External critics and distinguished guests review the annual MFA exhibitions and also conduct studio visits throughout the academic year.

Scholarship & financial assistance
The Graduate School of Art offers substantial need-based financial aid assistance, as well as merit-based scholarships. In addition, University-wide fellowships and scholarships are available, including the Spencer T. Olin Fellowship for Women, the Chancellor’s Graduate Fellowship, and the McDonnell International Scholars Academy.

Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts
The Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts is an interdisciplinary and diverse community of artists, architects, and designers. Our unique structure, which brings together the academic units of Art and Architecture along with the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, allows us to build an interdisciplinary environment that fosters collaborative creative activity, research, and exhibitions aimed to address the various challenges of our time.

Admissions decisions are based on the applicant’s portfolio, academic records, statement of objectives, and references. Students may be admitted to the MFA program upon completion of the BFA degree or equivalent academic preparation.

All application materials must be received by January 15, 2017. To apply online, visit:

To download the application instruction sheet for our current admission cycle, visit:

Email Patricia Olynyk, Director, Graduate School of Art with specific questions: [email protected]

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