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Apply: MFA

MFA Appli­ca­tion dead­line: Jan­u­ary 62022

The admis­sions process for the MFA at Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design is highly selec­tive. Approx­i­mately 5 new stu­dents join the pro­gram each year. Appli­cants will hold a bach­e­lor’s degree, prefer­ably in art, and demon­strate the abil­ity to carry out inde­pen­dent cre­ative work. In addi­tion, they will have a strong edu­ca­tional back­ground, an inter­est in inter­dis­ci­pli­nary inquiry, and sub­stan­tive life expe­ri­ence to draw from in chart­ing new direc­tions for cre­ative practice.

Appli­ca­tion Instructions

Stamps grad­u­ate pro­grams are part of the Horace H. Rack­ham School of Grad­u­ate Stud­ies, and admis­sion to the Stamps School of Art & Design requires con­cur­rent admis­sion to Rack­ham. Appli­ca­tion mate­ri­als must be sub­mit­ted to both Rack­ham and the Stamps School as out­lined below.

  • 1. Submit the Rackham Graduate Admission Application Form

    Click here to start the Rackham Graduate Admission Application Form.

    The Application Form will require the following:

    • Creative Work Statement: We are eager to learn more about you and your creative practice. Provide a statement that addresses these three topics (600 words maximum):
      Creative Work: describe the form that your work takes and the motivations and influences that drive your work.
      MFA Expectations and Aspirations: explain why you are pursuing an MFA and what you hope to achieve during your MFA experience.
      Stamps School: describe the features of the Stamps MFA program that most interest you; name three Stamps faculty you would like to work with and why; identify what field(s) of inquiry outside of the Stamps School you want to engage while at Michigan, what faculty in those areas you would like to work with and why.
    • Personal Statement: This should be a discussion of the journey that has led to your decision to seek a graduate degree, in 500 words or less. How have your background and life experiences, including cultural, geographical, financial, educational or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan’s Stamps School? More information >
    • Official Transcript. More information >
      - All applicants must upload a scanned copy, front and back, of their official transcript/academic record issued by the Registrar or Records Office, to ApplyWeb for each bachelor’s, master’s, professional, or doctoral degree earned or in progress. The scanned copy of the official transcript is used for initial review by the graduate program faculty.
      - A downloaded transcript from your school portal or system is an unofficial transcript and not acceptable for review.
      - If you are attending or have graduated from a Non-U.S. institution, review the Required Academic Credentials from Non-U.S. Institutions for requirements by country.
      - We will require an official transcript be sent to Rackham only after an offer of admission is made.
    • Curriculum Vitae or Résumé. More information >
    • Three Letters of Recommendation. More information >
      Electronic submission is the highly preferred method to submit letters of recommendation. If your recommenders would prefer to use a paper recommendation form instead, click here for the form. This form and the accompanying letter should both be emailed to Stamps Graduate Admissions staff.
    • Evidence of English proficiency for students whose first language is not English. More information >
    • Required academic credentials from non-U.S. institutions. More information >
    • Nonrefundable application fee. More information >
  • 2. Upload a portfolio of work online through SlideRoom.
    • A primary criterion for admission to the MFA program at the Stamps School of Art & Design is the assessment of your portfolio by our faculty. Graduate applicants will submit a portfolio of no more than 20 examples of recent work using SlideRoom.
    • Your portfolio should represent your best work, consist of work done within the last five years, and demonstrate the current direction of your studio practice.
    • Each slide on Slideroom should be used for one image or one time-based work; do not upload files (jpgs or pdfs) with multiple pages or images.
    • Time-based samples should be no longer than five-minutes with web links to full-length versions if appropriate.
    • Please order your work chronologically with the newest work first, and provide complete descriptions that will help us understand the image.
    • Click here to start your SlideRoom portfolio.
    • As a general policy, due to the number of applications we receive, we do not provide individual online feedback or critiques of application portfolios.

Fre­quently Asked Questions

Visit the MFA FAQ for detailed infor­ma­tion on the MFA pro­gram, includ­ing spe­cific ques­tions about finan­cial aid, com­plet­ing your appli­ca­tion, and check­ing the sta­tus of your sub­mit­ted materials.

Note: GRE scores are not required. If you would like to sub­mit your scores, please feel free to do so, but they are not required.


After admis­sions mate­ri­als are reviewed, top appli­ca­tions will be inter­viewed via video con­fer­ence in mid-Feb­ru­ary. Final can­di­dates will be deter­mined after the inter­view process, and admis­sion deci­sions will be announced mid-March.