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Graduate Admissions FAQ

Get answers to your questions about Stamps Graduate Program Admissions here. For additional information on our MFA program, please see the MFA FAQ page. If your question isn't answered here, let us know.

Please note that the MDes degree has suspended admissions for Fall 2022 and Fall 2023 and will relaunch admissions for Fall 2024.

Graduate Admissions

  • What if I have additional questions?

    Request information, schedule a visit, and learn about information sessions for our MDes and MFA programs.

  • How competitive is the admissions process?

    Admission acceptance rates are similar to other selective programs - around 10%.

  • How can I check the status of my application materials?

    As long as you officially click "Submit" by the deadline, Rackham will continue to process application materials (transcripts, recommendation letters, etc.).

    The best way to check to see if your materials have been matched to your application is to log into Wolverine Access, select the “Students” tab, then click on the “New & Prospective Business” link. Due to the high volume of documents received by Rackham, we ask that you allow 10 business days to view your application and materials.

    You can confirm the receipt of the following via Wolverine Access:

    • Test Scores

    • Transcripts from institutions that awarded the Bachelor's, Master's, Professional, and/or Doctoral degree.

    • Recommendations can be tracked through the online application system, ApplyWeb Account, activity page, or in your Wolverine Access account.

    Documents that will not be confirmed in Wolverine Access are:

    • Application PDF forms

    • Written Essays (Statement of purpose, creative statements)

    • Resumes / CVs

    • SlideRoom Portfolios

    • Transcripts for Community or Junior college, non-degree study, and/or study abroad coursework.

  • Will application materials be processed after the deadline?

    As long as you officially click "Submit" on your Rackham application by the deadline, Rackham will continue to process application materials (transcripts, recommendation letters, etc.) after the deadline.

  • Is an English proficiency test required of non-native English speakers?

    Yes. The University accepts scores from the following organizations: TOEFL, MELAB, IELTS and ECPE. If you are an international student who has completed an accredited undergraduate degree in the United States, you are not required to take the TOEFL. For more information, visit the Rackham website.

  • Can I visit the campus?

    In alignment with public health guidelines, campus information sessions, open house events, and tours will take place virtually: sign up for upcoming virtual events here.

  • Is the GRE required?

    No. If you have taken the GRE and would like to submit your scores, please feel free to do so, but they are not required.

Graduate Admissions: MFA

  • What kind of work would you like to see in my portfolio?

    The content of the MFA portfolio is entirely the decision of the applicant. The application committee looks for a strong body of completed work demonstrating a thriving, developed studio practice as well as potential in innovative areas of inquiry. As a general policy, due to the number of applications we receive, we do not provide individual online feedback or critiques of application portfolios.

  • What constitutes an established creative practice?

    Exhibitions, residencies, art commissions, site-specific work, performances, screenings, studio assistantships, grants, community projects and teaching experiences all constitute evidence of a creative practice.

  • The MFA application asks to describe outside interests and name external faculty. Please explain.

    As far as the Creative Work Statement essay is concerned, we are interested in learning about your interests outside of the Stamps School. The outside cognate is an important part of our program. As an art & design school within a major research university, we want to ensure that students take advantage of the extraordinary engagement with external departments and areas of study. All the external academic units at the university have faculty biographies listed on their web pages. Your selection of an external area of study and external faculty member does not constitute a "contractual" obligation. Your description should demonstrate an interest in an area that has connections with your work whether in a general nature or as a specialization. In our two year program, MFA students begin work with their outside cognate during the first semester.

  • Do I need to contact the three faculty I name in my application?

    It is not a requirement that you contact your potential faculty advisors. Some applicants are in touch with faculty and others are not during the application process.

  • Where can I find information about the MFA faculty?

    Information about our MFA faculty can be found online.

Graduate Programs: Finances

  • Can the program be completed while working full-time?

    No. The MFA and MDes programs are designed to be completed through full-time study for two years.

  • Are there teaching opportunities for graduate students?

    Yes. Stamps has a variety of positions open to graduate students. Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) positions are teaching positions. Graduate Student Staff Assistant (GSSA) positions are administrative in nature and may include work with our galleries, international programs, shops, or communications department. Graduate Student Research Assistant (GSRA) positions are academically relevant research based work pairing graduate students with full time faculty or staff.

  • Are there fellowships or teaching assistantships that defray tuition costs?

    Yes. Financial assistance is merit-based and very generous in comparison to many other graduate design programs. Students can receive full tuition, discretionary funds and other support through any combination of: Rackham Fellowships, Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) positions, Graduate Student Staff Assistantships (GSSA), and Graduate Student Research Assistantships (GSRA).

  • Can international students receive financial support?

    International students are eligible for exactly the same financial support as domestic students.