Master of Fine Arts in Visual Arts

Applications for Fall 2020 admission will be accepted now through January 3, 2020; Portfolios and supplemental materials are due by January 10.

The MFA program was established in 1960 as the first non-disciplinary specific fine art graduate program in the USA. This 2-year, full-time, 60-credit degree program offers seminars in painting, sculpture, photography, media, printmaking, and art theory as well as independent studies with faculty members. The MFA Program in Visual Arts does not require the declaration of a concentration area, thereby cultivating and encouraging a spirit of exploration and experimentation within our graduate population. Students are free to take any of the graduate classes offered in each semester, regardless of class year or self-identified areas of concentration. Activating the full breadth of resources within a major public research university, students may also take courses in other departments and schools at Rutgers.


In line with the school’s belief that graduate study in art should be accessible to students from a diverse range of backgrounds, all incoming graduate students are awarded a fellowship the equivalent of full out-of-state tuition in the first year and full in-state tuition for the second year of the program (International students continue to receive out-of-state tuition in their second year).  Additional financial support comes in the form of a host of Department jobs that support its operations. Students are responsible for covering all additional University fees including health insurance, campus fees, housing, and materials.


We do not offer traditional Teaching Assistantships. Graduate students interested in gaining teaching experience can do so via a for-credit, semester-long teaching mentorship under Faculty supervision. Upon completion of the mentorship, students become qualified for teaching assignments as Part-Time Lecturers.

Cultivating a tight community between our graduate and undergraduate populations is of great importance. This is nurtured through The Mentorship Program in Visual Arts which partners graduate students with undergraduate thesis students. The program fosters guidance and support for undergraduates during their senior year, deepening artistic dialogue and strengthening connections across the diverse student body.

NOTE: Graduate teaching positions or continuous teaching assignments are not guaranteed; Opportunities are contingent on faculty recommendation, experience, expertise, and position availability.


All graduate students receive sizable, private studios with 24-hour access and permissions to all facilities, labs and shops for the duration of their studies.

Faculty reviews of student work occur throughout the program. An initial critique takes place during the MFA First-Year Review Exhibition in the Mason Gross Galleries at Civic Square, followed by an individual studio review at the end of the first year. A written thesis statement and participation in the MFA Thesis Exhibition with faculty review are requirements in the second year for graduation. Students follow up their Thesis Exhibitions with a student organized group show in New York City.

While many graduate programs host Visiting Artist Series, our Program is student selected and organized. Each semester, a roster of approximately 10 artists, curators, writers, critics and/or administrators across disciplines visit for daytime individual studio visits and evening public talks. For a complete list of Visiting Arts from 2012-present, click here.

Notable MFA alumni include Alice Aycock, Matthew Day Jackson, Amy Feldman, Raque Ford, Mary Howard, Paddy Johnson, Jennie C. Jones, Clifford Owens, William Pope L., Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz, Charles Ray, Lucas Samaras, Juan Sanchez, Mimi Smith, Keith Sonnier, Joan Snyder, and Wendy White.

Check out the Grad Blog!

For more information on the MFA program, contact the Graduate Program Coordinator.