Graduate Admissions: Art

In addition to the general requirements of the Graduate School at Cornell University, the Department of Art has specific requirements for the Master of Fine Arts degree. The deadline for receiving application materials to the M.F.A. program is January 7. All materials must be postmarked by that date. There is no spring semester admission.

  • Applicants must have a four-year bachelor's degree, but it does not have to be related to art.
  • The M.F.A. program does not accept transfer credits from other institutions.
  • Three recommendations
  • Resume and statement of purpose
  • Interviews are not required as part of the initial application process; however, shortlisted candidates will be asked to interview either in person or via Skype. Applicants interested in meeting with a member of the art department faculty should contact the faculty directly. Students interested in arranging a tour of the campus should contact the Academic Programs Administrator at (607) 255-6730. Learn more about visiting the campus here.
  • GRE scores are not required for admission to the M.F.A. program. Applicants who have already taken the GRE are welcome to submit scores with the application. For those seeking financial assistance other than that offered by the Department of Art or Cornell University, it is recommended GRE scores be submitted.
  • The TOEFL exam is required for non-native English applicants. Foreign applicants whose native language is not English but who have studied full-time for two or more years at a college or university where English is the language of instruction, located in a country where English is the native language, are exempt from this requirement. All other foreign applicants must submit TOEFL scores.
  • All applicants must submit a portfolio with their application. The portfolio should consist of no more than 20 electronic files. These may include any combination of still images, videos, URLs, sound-based work, web-based work, or other work. Directions for properly preparing these materials follow. Please follow these instructions exactly. Submitted portfolios that do not conform to the instructions below will not be reviewed. Portfolios are to be submitted through SlideRoom.

    • Still Images: Still images must be in JPEG or TIFF format with maximum dimensions of 1280 x 1024 at 72 dpi. No image may exceed 1024 pixels in height (including portrait images) or 1280 in width (including panoramic images). File sizes larger than 4 MB will neither be opened nor reviewed.
    • Videos: Video, video installation, performance, kinetic sculpture, and/or gaming/interactive work are also to be submitted through SlideRoom, which accommodates links from YouTube, Vimeo, and SoundCloud. Each video should be no longer than five minutes in length. Please note that each video is to be considered as one file within the twenty-file requirement.
    • Web-Based Work: Web-based work submitted for consideration must be uploaded and operative on the World Wide Web for the duration of the application process (until you are notified of acceptance or rejection). Please note that each URL is to be considered as one file within the twenty-file requirement.
    • Sound-Based Work: Sound-based work should be submitted in AIFF or MP3 format. Each selection should be restricted to five minutes. Please note that each sound file is to be considered as one file within the 20-file requirement.
    • Other: For any work you may wish to submit that does not fall into the above categories, please contact the Academic Programs Administrator at (607) 255-6730.
  • Applicants are notified of acceptance by telephone. This is followed by a written confirmation sent via U.S. mail. Notifications is usually received in late March or early April.