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Art, MFA

  • Application Deadline
  • 36 months


The Art program of San Francisco State University students have access to all of the School of Art facilitates as well as individual and communal MFA studio workspaces.

The Master of Fine Arts in Art program emphasizes the development of individual creative direction in the context of contemporary, interdisciplinary art practice. Coursework emphasizes contemporary art, critique, experimentation with forms of expression, and professional presentation of works of art.


  • Demonstrate competence in employing the fundamentals and principles of art in art practice and art history.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the traditional canons of art history and revisionist scholarship.
  • Evaluate and discern quality, meaning, and significance in works of art using the historical, theoretical, and social methods of art history and contemporary art practice.
  • Distinguish the various contexts in which art is experienced.
  • Show evidence of curiosity, risk-taking, experimentation, and problem-solving to generate a personally constructed conceptual direction in art practice and research in visual and written work.
  • Understand the ethical dimensions of artistic practice and art historical scholarship within a global context.

Career paths

Graduate degrees open the door to teaching positions at the college-university level. Students who elect to pursue careers outside the arts may find access to more rewarding cultural life experiences through their visual arts education.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Interdisciplinary Critique Seminar
  • Art Processes and Practices: Visiting Artists and Scholars
  • Contemporary Art History: Practice, Theory, and Criticism
  • MFA Writing and Research Seminar
  • Studio Research and Practice Seminar
  • Seminar in Teaching Art Practice

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 36 months
  • Credits
    120 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

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  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

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  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks. Read more about TOEFL®PBT.

    Schedule TOEFL®

Academic Requirements

You need the following GPA score:

Required score: 3

Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to 3 on a US 4.0 grading scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of or better on a 4.0 scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

General Requirements

  • Current Resume/Curriculum Vitae
  • Creative Work Portfolio
  • Written statement
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Provide transcripts from all institutions of higher learning attended
  • English language proficiency (international students)

Tuition Fee

  • International

    8704 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 8704 USD per year and a duration of 36 months.
  • National

    8704 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 8704 USD per year and a duration of 36 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for San Francisco

  • 2206 - 4120 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, Studyportals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.


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