Skip main navigation. Go to sub-navigation options. | Skip all navigation.

Admissions » Graduate Admissions

General Information

graduate affairs office door

The School of Art and Design offers graduate study leading to the Master of Fine Arts degree in art (60 units) and the Master of Arts degree in art (30 units). The objectives of the graduate program in all areas of specialization are to provide the essential education, technical training, and creative experience necessary for professional activity or college-level teaching in the visual arts.

The Master of Arts degree is a 30-unit graduate program requiring one to two years to complete. The M.A. concentration in studio arts is designed to prepare students for proficient and successful practice as professional artists and is offered in the following areas: ceramics, furniture/woodworking, graphic design, interior design, jewelry/metalwork, multimedia, painting, printmaking, and sculpture.

The Master of Fine Arts degree requires 30 units in the area of specialization and professional seminars, with the expectation that the student will achieve a higher level of excellence and distinction in the chosen area of specialization. The M.F.A. degree is the terminal degree in the arts, and units and can be completed in three years. The degree is offered in ceramics, furniture/woodworking, graphic design, interior design, jewelry/metalwork, multimedia, painting, printmaking, and sculpture. The Art building has expansive facilities offering the student excellent studio space and equipment. In addition, the San Diego Museum of Art(external link), the Timken Museum of Art(external link), and the Stuart Collection at UCSD(external link) offer valuable original materials as well as specialized libraries for research. There are also numerous community college galleries and commercial galleries with a wide variety of offerings.

MyGap logo

If you are interested in a graduate program at SDSU, we would like to know more about you so we can customize communication with you. Please visit the MyGap page(external link).

Admission to Graduate Study

Fall Deadline

Step 1: CSUMentor Application—March 1
Steps 2 and 3: File Completion—April 1 (*Priority will be given to applications received by February 1)
All application materials including departmental requirements must be submitted by the file completion date.

Spring Deadline

Domestic Applicants: Closed
International Applicants: Closed

Step 1: Submit to the University:

California State University application electronically at CSUMentor along with the $55 application fee beginning October 1.

Step 2: Submit to SDSU Graduate Admissions:

Graduate Admissions
Enrollment Services
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-7416

Official transcripts (in sealed envelopes) from all U.S. postsecondary institutions attended. Note the following:

  1. Please do not send transcripts before submitting the CSUMentor application as this may result in processing delays.

    -- Students who attended SDSU need only submit transcripts for work completed since last attendance

  2. Students with international coursework must submit the following evaluation report.

    Detail Report with Course Level Identification
    International Education Research Foundation, Inc.
    P.O. Box 3665
    Culver City, CA 90231
    (310) 258-9451

  3. GRE scores (, SDSU Institution Code 4682) - GRE must be taken and the scores submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions by March 1.
  4. TOEFL score, if medium of instruction was in a language other than English (, SDSU Institution Code 4682)

Step 3: Submit to the Department:

School of Art and Design
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego CA 92182-4805

  1. School of Art and Design application form (available at link)). Note: Documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view. Download Adobe Acrobat Reader(external link).
  2. Statement of purpose addressing your professional goals and reasons for selecting the School of Art and Design at SDSU for your pursuit of these goals
  3. Artist statement which describes the nature or content of the work shown in the portfolio
  4. Digital images of your work. All digital images must be accompanied by a printed thumbnail index. Digital images should not exceed 1024 x 768 pixels, and should be presented either as a collection of JPEG files in a folder along with a caption list, or as captioned images contained within a single PDF or with PowerPoint. Printed digital image samples are encouraged, but must be accompanied by disc in the above stated formats.
  5. Current resume
  6. Two letters of recommendation from art instructors (or others) who are able to comment on your artistic potential in the area of specialization (letters can be sent separately or included with your application in sealed and signed envelopes)
  7. Transcripts—one copy of unofficial or official transcripts for all college- and univeristy-level institutions attended
  8. Any other materials required specifically in the instructions by your chosen discipline
  9. Return envelope with sufficient postage for the return of your portfolio

Assistantships and Tuition Waivers

Graduate assistantship and teaching associate positions in art are available to a limited number of qualified students. Application forms and additional information may be secured from the graduate adviser. Tuition waivers and scholarships for out-of-state and international students are also available on a limited basis. Applicants should contact the graduate adviser for more information.

California Residency for Tuition Purposes

To learn the details of California's state policy on residency for tuition purposes, please visit SDSU's registrar page(external link).

Thesis and Projects in Art

The project required for the Master of Arts degree with a concentration in studio arts and the Master of Fine Arts degree is an original body of work of creative art accompanied by a written report. All theses and written reports accepted in satisfaction of a requirement for the master's degree are cataloged and maintained in the library. Color digital images of thesis exhibitions must be provided by the candidate and are retained in the School of Art and Design. One copy of art history theses must be given to the School of Art and Design.

For Specifics....

For specific Admissions info regarding the graduate offerings in SDSU's School of Art and Design, please refer to the links on the left-hand side for Master of Arts (Studio Arts), and Master of Fine Arts.

This page was last updated at 10:23AM on October 15, 2013