October 6, 2022

Call for applications

Cranbrook Academy of Art

Courtesy of Cranbrook Academy of Art. Photo: Brian Kovach.

Cranbrook Academy of Art is a dynamic community of architects, artists, and designers working together to shape the future of visual and material culture. Ranked as one of the country’s top graduate-only programs in art, architecture, and design, Cranbrook is a place for students who are self-directed and driven to work outside of the confines of traditional academic programs. The New York Times has called us the last remaining utopian art school in the country, and a look at our alumni roster demonstrates that we continue to produce leaders at a rate that far outpaces our size.  There are few creative communities in the world that do not share a Cranbrook connection, and our two-year MFA program positions our graduates for advanced work in art, architecture, and design and provides connections that last a lifetime.

Part of the larger Cranbrook Educational Community, the Academy of Art is situated on a 300-acre campus located just outside of Detroit, allowing students to participate in the artistic pursuits of the city.  Founded by George G. Booth and designed by Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen, Cranbrook is a community of educators, artists, architects, and designers, living and working together. Listed as a National Historic Landmark, the highly celebrated campus continues to inspire people today through its remarkable beauty and sense of purpose.

At its core, Cranbrook is a truly radical experiment that hinges on the belief that extraordinary things can happen when people are given time and space to explore their work in a supportive and inclusive community.  The program itself takes the form of lectures, discussions, workshops, student-initiated symposia, critiques with visiting curators, dinners with guest thinkers, and informal debates in the department kitchens. The Academy is free from conventional classes and instead of a fixed curriculum, we offer a completely unscripted approach to graduate education that centers the questions and interests of artists who choose to come here as they strive to make sense of an ever-changing world. 

The Academy is comprised of up to 150 graduate students working in eleven disciplines: Architecture, 2D Design, 3D Design, 4D Design, Ceramics, Fiber, Metalsmithing, Painting, Photography, Print Media, and Sculpture. The Artist-in-Residence and Head of each Department (faculty) is the single leader of their program areas and is given the autonomy to determine the department’s pedagogy and direction, which is intentionally nimble. The structure of the Academy allows for interdisciplinarity and substantial input from students, from helping to identify visiting artists and critics, to shaping the critical discourse of each department. Academy-wide seminars in critical studies and professional practices, and an international roster of invited artists, designers, and thinkers further enrich the experience of studying at the Academy. Cranbrook's extensive facilities make this an ideal place to embark on your professional career, from private studios to shared fabrication and digital labs, a student-run exhibition space, publishing opportunities, and access to the renowned Cranbrook Art Museum.

Nearly 80 percent of Academy students receive some form of financial aid in the form of gifts and scholarships to assist with the cost of study. Financial aid at Cranbrook is available in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, and Federal Work Study.  We also offer numerous partnerships with residency programs and design studios to further expand opportunities for our students to launch their careers. Cranbrook is thrilled to announce a recent initiative that created also offers up to ten full-tuition fellowships for students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups from diverse backgrounds as part of its newly established Gilbert Fellows program, intended to expand and create new pathways for inclusion, diversity, equity and access to graduate education.

If you feel this is the right environment for you, we welcome your application to join our community. There simply is no other school—no other place—like this.

Apply now. Applications are accepted now through February 1, 2023. Questions? Email us at caaadmissions [​at​]

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