October 17, 2019

Fall 2020 MFA applications

Carnegie Mellon University College of Fine Arts

MFA Integrative Seminar. 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. Ranked the sixth best graduate program in art by U.S. News and World Report, we view art making as a vital social, critical, and intellectual pursuit. 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 what it means to be an artist and to make art within our contemporary condition.

With four core faculty members committed to a cohort of 18 graduate students, and an additional 17 tenure and tenure-track professors within the school, the MFA program fosters intensive intellectual relationships with each of our Masters candidates. The program will be housed in a new, significantly expanded facility opening this fall.

New graduate studio complex
The new 10,000 square foot graduate facility transforms the experience of MFA students at CMU, helping to create a cohesive community with many opportunities for both structured and organic collaboration. Generous, naturally-lit individual studios support a wide-range of artistic practice, from large scale sculpture and painting to experimental animation, creative coding, and more. The facility also includes a spacious grad-only kitchen, a dedicated seminar room, and a large flexible-use space that will support varied coursework, group critiques, roundtable seminars, and public programming.

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 and upcoming visitors include artists and writers such as Ian Chang, A.L. Steiner, Wangechi Mutu, Zoe Leonard, Huey Copeland, and Malik Gaines.

Financial support
The School of Art provides generous tuition support for all its MFA students, regardless of their background or citizenship status. Each admitted student receives a fellowship, which ranges from covering a minimum of two-thirds of tuition to full scholarships. MFA students also have considerable funding available to travel, research, produce work, attend conferences, and collaborate across the University.

Graduate Assistantships
All MFA students serve as Graduate Assistants (GAs) for each of the six semesters in which they are enrolled in the Program. The GA experience affords MFA students opportunities to develop university-level pedagogy and curricula within the context of a research university, and to further advance their own understandings of contemporary art making within an academic environment.

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.