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MFA Art Practice Admission

Stanford University is committed to building a diverse student population. To that end, we encourage applications from students of all ethnic and economic backgrounds.

University Application Materials

The application  for admission  as well as general information about applying is available from the Graduate Admissions website, please visit  to Graduate Admissions to apply. Prior to applying you must first determine if you are eligible - application eligibility (undergraduate degree requirements)

Prospective students may begin to apply late September (please verify this date on the Graduate Admissions website).   The following documents are required by the university and can not be waived,  please click on the links for more detailed information about each:

  • GRE scores (required for ALL applicants; scores expire after five years. Please see Required Exams for more information)

  • Three letters of recommendation

  • Transcripts (upload one scanned version of your official transcript(s) in the online application. Do NOT follow the Graduate Admissions instructions to send hard copies of your transcripts to the Art & Art History Department; hard copies will be required ONLY if you are admitted. Please see Transcripts for more information and guidelines on submitting official transcripts).

  • Statement of Purpose - Important: You must indicate in the first sentence of your SOP the name of the program to which you are applying and the area you wish to study (e.g. MFA in Art Practic – Painting)

  • Application fee

  • TOEFL scores (required when first language is not English; IELTS is not accepted. Please see Required Exams for more information, including the minimum TOEFL requirements.)

  • Complete online application

* Please note - application materials will not be returned nor released to another institution, please keep a copy for your own record.*

Portfolio Requirements

In addition to the university application materials (above), applicants are required to submit a portfolio.  All applicants are expected to have a substantial body of work represented in their portfolio, which is the most important part of the application, and should give evidence of the applicant’s maturity, imagination and skill.  Your portfolio should be submitted through Slideroom, at Please follow the instructions on how to upload your portfolio (online tutorial provided).  You must submit 20 images, and a pdf of your image list. There is a $10 fee.


For all mediums you must include a typed list identifying works by date, medium, size, title and other information as appropriate. Also include any special viewing information on this list. This should be submitted as a pdf file, along with your portfolio.

  • Still Images.  Images should be sized at 1024 x 768 @ 72 DPI.  Limit the total number of still images to 20.
  • Audio & Video. Limit the total time-based media selection to 10 minutes, cued to your preferred 5 minutes.


For admission for Fall 2016, the application deadline is Tuesday, December 8, 2015.

  • All materials required to be submitted electronically must be uploaded by 9pm Pacific Time on the application deadline date.

Selection Process

The application review takes place between mid-February and mid-March; applicants are notified by mail of their status by March 15th. Accepted students are admitted for the following Autumn Quarter; no applicants for mid-year entrance will be considered.  You will be contacted via e-mail regarding your application status after the deadline; please do not contact the department.

Applicants who are chosen as finalists will be required to travel to Stanford for an interview conducted by a faculty and student committee. 

Start Your Application