Graduate Admissions


MDes in Design
MFA in Art

MFA in Art

MFA Application deadline: January 6, 2021

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.

Learn more about our MFA Program
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
    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.
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 (Skype, Google Hangout, etc.) in mid-February. Final candidates will be determined after the interview process, and admission decisions will be announced mid-March.

Please contact Stamps Admissions Staff for assistance.