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MFA Application Procedures


Welcome to the School of Art MFA program.

Application Procedure:

In order to apply to the graduate program at the School of Art, you will need to apply to the UT Graduate School through the Graduate Admissions Office with the information listed below in the School of Art Admission Requirements section.

Applications are reviewed by the SOA only after your application process is completed.

JANUARY 15: For GTA and Fellowship consideration
The School of Art accepts applications until all the open positions are filled or until April 15.

School of Art Admission Requirements

In addition to the requirements of Graduate Admissions, the School of Art requires an undergraduate degree in art/design or equivalent proficiency as demonstrated in the portfolio and other application materials.

Applying to the School of Art:

  • Graduate Admissions –
  • Unofficial Transcripts (see Graduate Admissions)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • GRE is not required
  • TOEFL or IELTS (required for non-native English speakers)
  • The application portal will accept the following documents in PDF format:
    • Portfolio with an inventory list – 20 images (time-based work
      including video, sound, etc. may be included through URL’s
      provided by the applicant)
    • Resume
    • Artist/Designer Statement – discuss the content of your work.
    • Statement of Purpose – What you hope to accomplish in graduate school and what you want the committee to recognize and consider when making a decision (education, life experience, etc.).

General MFA and Application Questions

Ellen Orner
Graduate Contact
Deb Shmerler
Director of Graduate Studies

Concentration Faculty Representatives

Sally Brogden
Painting + Drawing
Jered Sprecher
Beauvais Lyons
Jason Brown
Time-Based Art
John Kelley

International Applicants

We encourage international applications. The Graduate Admissions international application deadline is February 1, but applicants that wish to be considered for a GTA position must meet the January 15 School of Art deadline.

Admission Guide for Graduate International Students
Center for International Education

Evaluation and Acceptance

The faculty of the applicant’s designated concentration area evaluates the application materials listed above. The greatest emphasis is placed on the quality of the applicant’s portfolio, although academic success and letters of recommendation are very important to the overall assessment of potential. Notification of School of Art action will be sent as soon after this evaluation as possible.


The School of Art will consider transfer graduate students with the same procedures as outlined above. Specific regulations of the Graduate School limit the number of credits that will be accepted. The School of Art will not necessarily, and seldom does, accept this maximum. Actual credit hours to be applied to the degree will be determined by the Graduate Committee and the faculty in the area to which the student has applied.

Equal Opportunity

The University of Tennessee is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA institution in the provision of its education and employment programs and services. All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, or covered veteran status.

Revised: 10/16

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