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Apply to the MFA in Visual Art Program

Thank you for your interest in the Sam Fox School’s MFA in Visual Art (MFA-VA) program at Washington University in St. Louis!

Criteria for Eligibility

  • Applicants should have completed a BFA or equivalent academic preparation with a minimum GPA of 3.0.
  • Applicants are NOT required to submit GRE scores.

Jul 26, 12 – 4pm • Sam Fox School

Explore graduate programs in WashU’s Sam Fox School at this summer open house. Join us for overviews of our programs and the admissions process, followed by lunch, a school tour, and optional campus tour.

Graduate Programs

  • Master of Architecture
  • Master of Landscape Architecture
  • Master of Urban Design
  • MS in Advanced Architectural Design
  • MS in Architectural Studies
  • Dual and Joint Degrees in architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design
  • MFA in Visual Art
  • MFA in Illustration & Visual Culture
  • MDes in HCI and Emerging Technology

Lunch will be provided. This event is free, but registration is required.

Application Materials

Admissions decisions are based on the applicant’s portfolio, academic records, statement of objectives, and references.

Application materials may be submitted over time. However, all parts of the application, with the exception of the letters of recommendation, must be received by the application deadline. No applicant will be offered admission into the program until all required materials have been received.

You will need:

Curriculum vitae

PDF copies of your unofficial transcript(s)

Statement of objectives

Concise statement (500 words or fewer) that gives a sense of you, your creative work, and your objectives for graduate study. See details below.


20 samples of your best, strongest work. See details below.


Names, titles, and email addresses for three (3) professors, instructors, or professionals with whom you have recently worked or studied. Obtain their consent to provide a letter of recommendation for you. They will receive a request from the school once you have applied.

International students: English test scores

Applicants whose native language is not English must provide English language proficiency test scores from TOEFL IBT, IELTS, or Duolingo. See details under “International Applicants” below.

Application fee

Non-refundable $40 application fee, paid online by credit card.

Provide a concise statement (no more than 500 words, PDF) that gives a sense of you, your work, and your objectives for graduate study. We are looking for information as it relates to your creative work. The statement should primarily focus on your conceptual and material interests and proposed area(s) of study, including any discipline-specific or cross disciplinary interests and historical precedents you may recognize. The statement should also identify your goals for graduate study and the contributions you hope to make at Washington University. Title the document with your name.

Your application will prompt you to upload a portfolio in Slideroom. Select 20 samples of your strongest and best work. Your work samples should demonstrate your potential for accomplishment in the study of visual art at the graduate level. Work samples should be uploaded in reverse chronological order with newest work first.


  • Images: JPG format, 5MB maximum file size, 1,200 px on the longest side at 72dpi
  • PDFs: 10MB maximum file size
  • Video: MPEG or MOV format, 250MB maximum file size, no longer than 3 minutes in duration
  • Audio: MP3 format, 30MB maximum file size, no longer than 3 minutes in duration

Do not use presentation programs such as PowerPoint.

All digital files submitted should follow a naming convention that includes your last name and the first initial of your first name, such as: DoeJ_GhostSeries_Image1.jpg.

Please enter details about each piece you submit, including title, date, size, and medium. If the medium is mixed, name all materials specifically. Do not use this space to discuss the work.

As part of the application review, we are required to verify that each nonnative English speaking applicant has sufficient English language proficiency to succeed in the academic program.

The English proficiency test requirement is waived for citizens of Australia, Cameroon, Commonwealth Caribbean nations, Ghana, India, Ireland, Kenya, Liberia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Singapore, Uganda, the United Kingdom, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. It may also be waived for students who have completed three or more years of study in an English-medium academic program in any of the above countries, Canada, Hong Kong, South Africa, or the United States.

If you are required to provide proof of English proficiency, the application will prompt you to self-report English proficiency scores that are less than two years old. Official scores should be sent to Washington University in St. Louis at the time of application. We accept the following English proficiency tests:

TOEFL IBT (preferred)

Minimum score: 90
Send scores electronically through ETS to school code 6929


Minimum score: 6.5
Send scores electronically to Washington University in St. Louis Graduate Admissions


Minimum score: 115
Duolingo tests will only be accepted for students who cannot access TOEFL or IELTS testing centers. Send PDF or link with scores to

Please note, it takes six weeks for scores to arrive, so plan to take the test well in advance of the application deadline.

Applicants from China

Upon acceptance, students who attended a Chinese university must also have their official transcripts and qualification certificates verified (in English) by the Center for Student Services Development (CSSD).

Washington University encourages and gives full consideration to all applicants for admission, financial aid, and employment. The University does not discriminate in access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, veteran status, disability, or genetic information. Applicants with a prior criminal history will not be automatically disqualified from consideration for admission. Inquiries about compliance should be addressed to the Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, Washington University in St. Louis, MSC 1190-853-03, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130.