November 14, 2017

Accepting MFA applications for fall 2018

Carnegie Mellon University College of Fine Arts

MFA critique at Powder Room, the off-campus MFA gallery. Courtesy Carnegie Mellon School of Art.

The MFA program at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Art is an interdisciplinary, experimental, research-based program that provides its students with a challenging and supportive context in which to expand and develop their work and thinking as artists. As a top-ten-ranked graduate program, we view art making as a vital social, critical, and intellectual pursuit. With four core faculty members committed to a cohort of eighteen graduate students, and an additional sixteen tenure and tenure-track professors within the school, the MFA program fosters intensive intellectual relationships with each of our masters candidates. Graduate students are encouraged to employ a comparative and intersectional approach to critical and cultural theories, and to allow this inquiry to inform and expand their notion of what it means to be an artist and to make art within our contemporary condition.

Student to faculty ratio
Graduate students work with highly active faculty members who possess a diverse set of expertise and who engage intensively with student work. The cohort is limited to 18 students, ensuring each student has extensive support and mentorship.

True interdisciplinarity
The interdisciplinary structure of the program supports artists working across all mediums to foster relationships between artistic practices within the School as well as bridging methodologies throughout the University. In addition to generous time afforded for individual studio development, graduate students take advantage of a wealth of electives, visiting lecturers, cutting edge technologies, grant opportunities, funded external advisors, and much more.

Art and research
The program is unique among its peers for being one of the top-ranked programs in the country situated within one of the top-ranked research universities in the world. MFA students have the opportunity to study with faculty and engage with research across the university’s leading fields of Human-Computer Interaction, Robotics, Linguistics, Philosophy, Architecture, Drama, and myriad other disciplines and dialogs in the humanities and sciences.

Three-year structure
The MFA program’s three-year structure is designed to provide the time, resources, and support for in-depth multidisciplinary research, the development of new technical and conceptual skills, and the possibility of radical shifts in the materials, themes, and processes of one’s practice.

Visiting artists
The School of Art’s Visiting Lecture Series brings highly acclaimed international artists, writers, and critics to the school throughout the year, who interact with graduate students through studio visits, workshops, and informal engagements. Recent visitors include artists and writers such as Ian Chang, A.L. Steiner, Wangechi Mutu, Petra Cortright, Huey Copeland, and Malik Gaines.

Public sphere
The program challenges artists to recognize social context and civic engagement as paramount within contemporary art and encourages graduate students to constantly reimagine the artist’s role in society by using their work as a critical position within the larger social, cultural, and political discourses of our time.

Financial support
The School of Art provides generous tuition support for all students and additional funding opportunities for research, conferences, and collaboration across the University.

For more information, and to apply to the program, visit

Thank you!

An email with a confirmation link has been sent to the email address you entered. To complete your subscription, click this link.