November 22, 2021

Call for 2022 graduate program applications

Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts

Sandy Williams IV, Melting Monuments III (Lee), 2020. Digital print on aluminum, 16 x 9 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

Left: Raul Aguilar Canela, Cry, 2020. Oil, inkjet print and glue on cotton, 16 × 12 inches. Right: Raul Aguilar Canela, Anger, 2020. Oil, glue on cotton, 16 × 16 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

Coco Klockner, Silence of the Lambs (1991) as Audience, 2019. Aluminum, acrylic, steel, carpet, five-gallon bucket, plasticine, chicken wing, washmaids' rags, fluorescent fixture, 4-channel audio (12 feet 17 inches), 12 x 16 x 8 feet. Courtesy of the artist.

Luis Vasquez La Roche, Elizabeth/elizabeth, 2018. Installation (glitter), 9 x 34 feet. Courtesy of the artist.

Martha Glenn, Earth Tone Sigh Spell, 2021. Installation, various materials. Photo: Martha Glenn.


The VCU School of the Arts graduate program offers an affordable opportunity for artists to develop their practice through intensive studio practice, critique, immersive seminars in theory and criticism, and teaching experience. As a top art and design graduate school, we are dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic community committed to working in an inclusive environment. We strongly encourage MFA applications from all racial, ethnic, gender, and social identities.

VCUarts graduate programs are collaboratively directed by an accomplished faculty whose creative work and pedagogical approaches transcend disciplinary boundaries. The rigor of graduate work is upheld within a supportive environment that allows oneself to fully feel, examine, question and doubt—while also producing work that variously prompts new insight, challenges perceived proclamations and/or calls attention to pressing contemporary issues and their deeply historical roots.

Artmaking, scholarly research, creative performance—these are simultaneously private endeavors and means to connect. Resonant connections arise from an annual roster of acclaimed visiting artists and guest speakers, as well as alumni across the country and around the globe.

We believe artists have prescience, are engaged in displacing the legacy of colonialism, and question how to live and work in the present moment while shifting through the debris of the past and the precarity of the planet. Richmond, Virginia, is an excellent basis for research. It is one of the region’s most culturally vibrant cities and a vital part of the graduate experience. The city is home to the Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, numerous galleries, and performing arts venues. It’s also a quick trip to Washington, DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City.

Funding and Teaching Assistant opportunities
Applicants, including international students, are eligible and considered for graduate teaching and research assistantships. In addition, VCUarts offers a number of professional development opportunities including travel and research grants.

Please see the VCUarts website for more information and application details, or contact artsgrad [​at​]

Graduate Departments: Craft/Material Studies, Kinetic Imaging, Painting + Printmaking, Photography & Film, Sculpture + Extended Media, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Art History, Art Education.

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