Master of Fine Arts

Admission Requirements

In addition to the School of Graduate Studies’ general admission requirements, the minimal admission requirements for the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Visual Arts degree program are:

  • An undergraduate bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university.
  • At least a 2.75 overall GPA and at least a 3.00 GPA for the last two years of undergraduate work; and/or a 3.00 GPA or better on all graduate coursework (all based on a 4.00 scale).
  • Satisfy the School of Graduate Studies’ English Language Proficiency requirements as published in the graduate catalog.

Additional Admission Requirements for the MFA in Visual Arts Program

These additional admission materials must be attached in the Optional Uploads Section of the application:

  • Image Portfolio: Applicants to the program are primarily evaluated on the strength of their portfolio. Applicants must submit an image portfolio of 20 images that best represent their work. Images should be compiled into a single PDF document no larger than 25 MB in size (this document can be created by converting a PowerPoint or Google Slides presentation into a PDF, then compressing it if necessary). Limit one image per page and label each work with title, date of completion, and dimension/duration. For time-based work, submit still images and include in the label information a web link to film or video works; and/or performance documentation when applicable.
  • Artist/Designer Statement: Separate from the Statement of Goals, applicants must provide a one-page artist/designer statement supporting the work in the image portfolio. The applicant’s intended Major Emphasis Area should be included in the statement.

Acceptance as well as financial support is considered pending availability of resources.

Program Description

The MFA Degree Program in Visual Arts is a studio-oriented program that prepares its graduates for professional practice as working artists, educators and arts administrators.

The curriculum combines hands-on studio experience with comprehensive study in art history, theory and other supporting art disciplines. While inter-disciplinary exploration and growth is encouraged, students in the program work within these Major Emphasis Areas:

  • Ceramics
  • Drawing
  • Graphic Design
  • Jewelry & Metalsmithing
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Sculpture

The Program is comprised of credit hours and program requirements that can be completed in 2-3 years. Financial assistance such as tuition waivers, scholarships and assistantships are available on an annual basis pending availability of resources.

The MFA in Visual Arts Degree Program is an in-person/face-to-face program that can accommodate remote learning. MFA students are provided with individual studio spaces, facilities and equipment for their creative research at the Hughes Fine Arts Center on the UND campus. Students may work off-campus, but are expected to be on-campus for all faculty critiques and program requirements.

Degree Requirements

The program consists of 60 total credits hours in conjunction with the MFA Program Requirements.

Major Emphasis Area30
Art History & Theory (including ART 510 - Art History: Issues in Contemporary Art)9
Electives (including 12 credits in art)18
Professional Exhibition (ART 599 - Professional Exhibition)3
Total Credits60

*At least 30 credits must be at 500-level or above.

*For students who have earned graduate credit in art a maximum of 15 credits may be accepted towards the MFA degree. Of those 15 credits, up to 6 credits in Art History may be accepted towards the 9-credit art history requirement.

MFA Program Requirements

  • First-Year Critiques - First-Year Critiques provide a broad range of feedback to assist first year students with their creative research. Students must complete two First-Year Critiques.
  • MFA Reviews - MFA Reviews are critiques that are conducted with the student’s MFA Thesis Committee. Students must advance through two MFA Reviews.
  • Artist/Designer Lecture - The Artist/Designer Lecture is a presentation focusing on the Candidate's work. It is a summary experience as Candidates near the end of their formal training.
  • MFA Thesis Exhibition - The MFA Thesis Exhibition serves as a culmination of each Candidate’s creative research in the program. 
  • Oral Thesis Defense - The Oral Thesis Defense amounts to a final review and is conducted during the course of the MFA Thesis Exhibition.