Graduate Admissions Overview

General Information

The School offers MA (Master of Arts) and MFA (Master of Fine Arts) degrees. 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. Interdisciplinary explorations across disciplinary boundaries are encouraged. Our graduate program is moderate in size, currently serving 40 students.

The MA is a 30-unit, 1½-2-year program. The M.A. concentration in studio arts is designed to prepare students for proficient and successful practice as professional artists. The MFA is a 60-unit, 3-year program. The MFA requires 30 units in the area of specialization and four 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 studio arts.

Our School has expansive facilities offering the student excellent studio space and access to traditional and state-of-the-art equipment, including a 3-d printer, 3-d laser cutter, and a CNC machine.

In addition to our faculty of distinguished artists, designers, and scholars, students benefits from an active visiting artist/designer program. Recent visiting artists include Robert Irwin, Dave Hickey, Bill Viola, Kerry James Marshall, Alison Saar, and alumna Andrea Zittel. The Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Timken Museum of Art, and the internationally noted Stuart Collection are all within convenient public or personal transportation.

We would be pleased to have you visit our School, see the facilities, and meet faculty and current graduate students. If you have any specific questions about the program please contact David Hewitt, Graduate Advisor dhewitt@mail.sdsu.edu.

Admission to Graduate Study

Deadlines

Fall

The application period begins October 1.
Step 1: Submit the CalState Apply Application – December 15
Step 2: Submit documents to Graduate Admissions – January 12
Step 3: Complete the Program Application through DecisionDesk – January 12
All application materials including departmental requirements must be submitted by the file completion date.

Spring Deadline

Domestic Applicants: Closed
International Applicants: Closed

Application Details

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.

Applications Specific to MA vs. MFA…

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