Graduate Division

MFA Programs in Art

Section 1

Overview

Headed by an internationally distinguished faculty, the Graduate Program offers a rigorous, interdisciplinary environment for training in the visual arts. The three-year MFA program comprises a series of core and elective classes in production, theory, and contemporary issues. Graduate students may also take advantage of the academic excellence UCI provides as a leading research university by taking courses in other departments and programs. Through a combination of faculty mentorship, seminars, and regular comprehensive peer critiques, the Department of Art affords an optimal intellectual setting for fostering creative and critical development. In addition to faculty dedicated to facilitating students' understanding of visual art and its cultural contexts, graduate students have access to visiting artists through lectures, studio visits, and colloquia.

What Sets Us Apart?

Students may pursue an MFA in creative practice or a concentration in Critical & Curatorial Studies. 

You can read more about the studio MFA program and the Critical & Curatorial Studies MFA Program on their individual program websites.

Quick Facts

Program Type

Academic Master's Program

Normative Time to Degree

3 years

Capstone Type

Thesis Project

Accordion Section

Admissions Requirements

MFA in Art

Applicants for admission to the MFA program must meet the general requirements for admission to graduate study, hold a BA or BFA, and have completed one year of Twentieth-Century Art History (students who have not completed this will be required to do so as part of their graduate studies). In addition, for applications to the MFA in Art, a portfolio of creative work must be submitted by January 15.

HOW TO APPLY

Complete the Online Application for Graduate Admissions.

Applications to the MFA in Art must include the following:  

1. A Statement of Purpose. Length: 1000 words.

2. Three (3) letters of recommendations (recommenders must submit letters via online application).
   
3. A portfolio of 20 images and/or other media samples. Images must include title of the work, size, year, medium, description, and duration of the work, if time-based.

4. One copy of unofficial transcripts from the Undergraduate institution(s) attended by the applicant. Official transcripts will be requested if and when applicant is admitted and decide to attend UCI. Do not send official transcripts until this time, unless you are requested to do so.  

*Please note that the Personal History Statement is not required; when prompted by the system to enter a statement, enter "Not Required for Art MFA Admission."

ALL PARTS OF THE APPLICATION MUST BE SUBMITTED BY JANUARY 15; NO GRACE PERIOD.

A faculty committee will review all complete applications. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete. Any incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Recipients of a BA degree from UCI will not be considered for admission to the MFA program until a minimum of one year after receipt of an undergraduate degree.

GRE scores are not required. TOEFL is required for foreign applicants, with exceptions.


MFA in Art with a Concentration in Critical & Curatorial Studies

Applicants for admission to the MFA program must meet the general requirements for admission to graduate study, hold a BA or BFA, and have completed one year of Twentieth-Century Art History (students who have not completed this will be required to do so as part of their graduate studies). In addition, for applications to the MFA Concentration in Critical & Curatorial Studies, application materials must be submitted by March 1.

HOW TO APPLY

Complete the Online Application for Graduate Admissions.

Applications to the MFA in Art with a Concentration in Critical & Curatorial Studies must include the following:   
 
1. Letter of Intent. The Letter of Intent should address the seriousness of  applicants' intentions, experience, and motivation to enter the Critical & Curatorial Studies program. Applicants must clearly state what they want to study and what their research focus will be. Applicants must further summarize their college and/or professional experience, and conclude with what intellectual and professional contributions they wish to make in their fields of study upon completion of the degree. Length: 1000 words.

2. Writing Sample. The Writing Sample allows the admissions committee to access applicants' ability to craft an argument that is founded upon thorough research of a given topic. It may be a publication; a college paper that reflects excellence in applicants' field of study is also acceptable. Length: variable.

3. Proposed project. Applicants should imagine what a final project might be in their final year of study in the program. While this section of the application is in no way a "contract" for the thesis, it allows the admissions committee to assess the seriousness and preparedness of applicants' research. The proposal could be an exhibition, conference, critical writing pursuit, etc. Length: 1000 words.

4. Three (3) letters of recommendation.

5. One copy of unofficial transcripts from the Undergraduate institution(s) attended by the applicant. Official transcripts will be requested if and when applicant is admitted and decide to attend UCI. Do not send official transcripts until this time, unless you are requested to do so.  

*Please note that the Personal History Statement is not required; when prompted by the system to enter a statement, enter "Not Required for Art MFA C&C Admission."

ALL PARTS OF THE APPLICATION MUST BE SUBMITTED BY MARCH 1; NO GRACE PERIOD.

A faculty committee will review all complete applications. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete. The Department will not give notice to applicants with incomplete applications, and any incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Recipients of a BA degree from UCI will not be considered for admission to the MFA program until a minimum of one year after receipt of an undergraduate degree.

GRE scores are not required. TOEFL is required for foreign applicants, with exceptions.

Financial Support

Graduate financial packages are very competitive. Successful domestic applicants typically receive full academic financial support. Successful International applicants also typically receive very generous academic financial support for the first year and full academic support for the second and third years. The Department of Art is committed to providing as much funding as possible to assist all students in the completion of the degree. Students also take advantage of the numerous grant and fellowship opportunities available through the School of the Arts, the University of California Insitute for Research in the Arts, UCI Graduate Division, and other external agencies.

Tuition & Fees

Graduate/Credential Student Fees 2018-19

  Fall 2018 Winter 2019 Spring 2019 Annual
Student Services Fee 376.00 376.00 376.00 1,128.00
Tuition 3,814.00 3,814.00 3,814.00 11,442.00
Assoc. Grad Students Fee 9.00 9.00 9.00 27.00
Student Center Fee 137.88 137.88 137.87 413.63
Bren Events Center Fee 23.00 23.00 23.00 69.00
Recreation Center Fee 88.00 88.00 88.00 264.00
eTech Fee * 60.00 60.00 60.00 180.00
Document Fee † 80.00 0.00 0.00 80.00
Student Health Insurance 1,348.00 1,347.00 1,347.00 4,042.00
Total California Resident $5,795.88 $5,794.88 $5,794.87 $17,385.63
Nonresident Supplemental Tuition 5,034.00 5,034.00 5,034.00 15,102.00
Total Nonresident $10,829.88 $10,828.88 $10,828.87 $32,487.63

Posted 10 August 2018 at http://reg.uci.edu/fees/2018-2019/graduate.html

The tuition, fees, and charges posted to your billing statement or account are estimates based on currently approved amounts. These figures may not be final. Actual tuition, fees, and charges are subject to change by the Regents of the University of California and could be affected by increases or reductions in State funding, or other developments. Accordingly, final approved levels (and thus your final balance due) may differ from the amounts shown.

The non-refundable eTech Fee is required of all students and is used to support the maintenance and improvement of existing education technology, and new services and capabilities. The eTech fee is listed separately as the charged amount varies based on the amount of undergraduate units the student is enrolled in and is assessed later in the term than the other fees listed. The fee is $4 per unit of undergraduate lecture course, up to a maximum amount of $60 (or 15 units) per quarter. It will be assessed after the third week of instruction. The $60 eTech Fee included on this chart reflects the maximum possible fee.

† The Document Fee provides lifetime access to official transcripts and academic verifications without a fee for in-person pickup or delivery by USPS. In addition, there is no fee for mailing the initial diploma. Effective Fall 2018, new undergraduate, professional, and graduate students are assessed the one-time document fee. Eligible students are able to use financial aid to cover the Document Fee.

Core Faculty

Rhea Anastas
department profile
ranastas@uci.edu
Associate Professor of Art
Twentieth Century Experimental and Avant-Garde Practices and Theories in the Visual Arts, Contemporary Art, Critical and Cultural Theory

Kevin Appel
department profile
kappel@uci.edu
Professor of Art and Department Chair of Art
Painting and Graduate Studies

Juli Carson
department profile
carsonj@uci.edu
Professor of Art
Art History, Critical Theory, Curatorial Practice

Miles Coolidge
department profile
mcoolidg@uci.edu
Professor of Art
Photography

Jonathan Fineberg
department profile
finebergj@uci.edu
Distinguished Visiting Professor of Art
Art History, Psychology of Art, and the Study of Creative Process

Jesse Colin Jackson
department profile
j.c.jackson@uci.edu
Assistant Professor of Art
Director, Minor in Electronic Art & Design

Bryan Jackson
department profile
jack@uci.edu
Continuing Lecturer of Art
Video

Ulysses Jenkins
department profile
ujenkins@uci.edu
Professor of Art
Video Art Production, Performance Art

Antoinette LaFarge
department profile
alafarge@uci.edu
Professor of Art
Digital Media

Simon Leung
department profile
leungss@uci.edu
Professor of Art
New Genres, Critical Theory, Contemporary Art History, Performance

Joseph S. Lewis III
department profile
jslewis@uci.edu
Professor of Art

Monica Majoli
department profile
mmajoli@uci.edu
Professor of Art
Painting and Graduate Studies

Daniel Martinez
department profile
d2martin@uci.edu
Bren Professor of Art
Post Studio, New Genres, Sculpture, Photography, Installation, Public Interventions

Deborah Oliver
department profile
oliverd@uci.edu
Continuing Lecturer of Art
Performance Art, New Genres

Jennifer Pastor
department profile
jpastor1@uci.edu
Professor of Art
Sculpture, Graduate Studies

Simon Penny
department profile
penny@uci.edu
Professor of Art
Director - Mechatronic Art lab, CAC G010, Member - Electronic Art and Design (EAD) faculty, Faculty - Digital Art Minor (DAM)

Litia Perta
department profile
lperta@uci.edu
Assistant Professor of Art
Art Writing

Shelby Roberts
department profile
wsrobert@uci.edu
Continuing Lecturer of Art
Photography

Amanda Ross Ho
department profile
arossho@uci.edu
Assistant Professor
Sculpture and Graduate Studies

David Trend
department profile
dtrend@uci.edu
Professor
Visual Culture

Bruce Yonemoto
department profile
yonemoto@uci.edu
Professor of Art
Video, Experimental Media, Film Theory

Academic Data

academic data

Please click here for data accessible to a screen reader.

Students & Alumni

Art MFA students are perpetually engaged in a multitude of areas of creative work. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the faculty in your specific program of interest in order to learn more about what they’re doing.