The MFA program at UNC-Chapel Hill is highly selective. An average of 6 to 8 openings are available each year. Successful applicants demonstrate an ability to carry out mature creative work, as well as a present a strong educational background and maturity of life experience to chart new directions and possibilities for art making.
A bachelor’s degree, which may be in any field, is required. Students who do not have a bachelor’s degree in art should have at least one basic level and one intermediate level course in art history in preparation for the graduate-level course work in art history required of MFA students.
Applicants to the MFA program are not required to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is committed to equality of educational opportunity and does not discriminate against applicants, students, or employees based on race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, or disability.
Potential applicants who wish to meet with the Director of Graduate Studies in advance of application should send 5-10 jpeg images or other digital documentation, along with contact information, to the Director of Graduate Studies for Studio Art (contact information is included in Administrative Staff & Contacts). The DGS will then contact those applicants whose work qualifies them for further consideration.
The deadline for admissions applications may be found on the graduate school website here. Due to the considerably large volume of applications received just before this deadline, we encourage early submission of application materials to expedite and facilitate processing.
The Department of Art reviews applications once a year for fall admission. There are no spring admissions. The department will consider only complete applications as outlined below. Portfolios of those admitted become the property of the Department of Art and are retained in the student’s file.
Required Application Materials
A complete application consists of the following materials:
Visual Materials for Creative Review, uploaded to https://unc.slideroom.com. There will be a small processing fee from SlideRoom to use their service.
The materials below, uploaded directly to the Graduate School via your Online Application.
Unofficial Transcript from each university attended
Email addresses for three recommenders
Statement of Purpose
A copy of your most recent Resume
Payment of a non-refundable Application Fee
Creative Work Review
A Portfolio of Visual Materials for Creative Review must be uploaded to https://unc.slideroom.com. See the site for details of acceptable file formats.
Submit a maximum of 12 images.
Video, sound and animation may be submitted.
Provide an image for web-based work and include a URL in the file’s Description field.
For each uploaded image, you should provide a short description of the work beyond its title, year, medium and dimension. Your description should be no longer than 75 words.
Letters of Recommendation
Letters of Recommendation should be secured from individuals who can speak to the quality of your artwork as well as to the impact that graduate study would have on your artistic and professional development. Their assessment should include any character evaluation that would shed any light on your assets and ability to be a contributing member to the MFA program at UNC. On your application you will provide email addresses of three recommenders who will be contacted directly and asked to submit your letters.
Statement of Purpose
The Statement of Purpose is your Artist Statement. It should succinctly outline your creative motivations, interests and intentions as reflected in the work that you submit for review. You may include any particular reasons that have led you to UNC-Chapel Hill as a place for graduate study. This document should be approximately 1 page or 500 words.
For Further Information:
Student Services Assistant
Department of Art