Fine Arts

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
Location(s): Foggy Bottom - Main Campus

Program Overview

The MFA program at GW comprises a two-year commitment for emerging artists who wish to expand the material and intellectual dimensions of their work. The interdisciplinary nature of the program creates an environment where cross-pollination among fields flourishes. Simultaneously, graduate students enter into vibrant communities of peers, faculty, and visiting artists: intensive studio visits and critiques facilitate re-imagining the boundaries of art practice.

The MFA program in the Studio Arts Program is a 60 credit, full-time program. Students register for 15 credits per semester, per the standard recommended for a terminal degree by the College Art Association.

Admission Requirements

Admission deadlines:

Fall – February 1 

Spring – October 1

Standardized Test Scores:

GRE is not required.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the PTE Academic is required of all applicants except those who hold a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a college or university in the United States or from an institution located in a country in which English is the official language, provided English was the language of instruction. 

Minimum scores for the M.F.A. program are:

  • Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 6.0 with no individual score below 5.0; or
  • TOEFL: 550 on paper-based or 80 on Internet-based;  or
  • PTE Academic: 53
Applicants to the Master’s program who do not meet minimum English language requirements may be eligible for our full-time Applied English Language program.

Recommendations required:

Two (2) recommendations

Prerequisite requirements:

A bachelor’s degree in the field of fine arts or related field, and/or a strong portfolio and statement of purpose.

Prior academic records:

Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript. Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended must be uploaded to your online application. Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission.

If transcripts are in a language other than English, English language translations must be provided. The English translation alone should be uploaded into your application.

Statement of purpose:

A 250-500 word Statement of Purpose describing your artistic intent, conceptual foundation, research interests, and impetus to complete an MFA degree.

Additional requirements:

Digital Portfolio with Image List; 20 images of artwork and/or up to 10 minutes of time-based work.  The Image List and Images must be compiled into a single PDF document.  If you have video or sound files, please include a page in your PDF portfolio document with a link to Vimeo or Soundcloud along with any necessary passwords.

International applicants only:

Please review International Applicant Information carefully for details on required documents, earlier deadlines for applicants requiring an I-20 or DS-2019 from GW, and English language requirements.

For more information on the admission process, please visit the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Frequently Asked Questions page or the department's website.

Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:
Columbian College of Arts and Sciences – Graduate Admissions Office
The George Washington University
801 22nd Street NW, Phillips Hall 107
Washington DC 20052

Contact for questions:
[email protected] ~ 202.994.6210 (phone) ~ 202.994.6213 (fax)
8:30 am – 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday