MFA Admissions (Digital Media Art, Photography, Pictorial Art, Spatial Art)

Thank you for your interest in the MFA Program in the Department of Art & Art History at SJSU.  The faculty of the Department of Art & Art History are justifiably proud of the accomplishments of our MFA graduates. 

Through its excellent facilities and diverse and well-recognized faculty, the program encourages and enables students to develop their technical studio skills as well as the ability to think creatively and critically about their practice. 

Graduate students take critical seminars and studio classes where their peers and the faculty provide critical feedback about their work. Assigned studios are guaranteed for 5 semesters; these studios and shared spaces provide an environment for focused independent experimentation, and build community that facilitates peer to peer discourse. Exhibition opportunities at several student galleries provide an important aspect of professional preparation for graduates in the program. 

That the MFA program functions within the context of a liberal arts college is perhaps the strongest indicator of the breadth of competence expected of its students. Graduate students in the MFA programs are given elective options in philosophy, history, literature, theater, music, anthropology, and more. Within the Department itself, the approach to learning is highly interdisciplinary. Faculty routinely share duties across media and disciplines; and the facilities encompass traditional media like ceramics, glass, and darkroom photography to advanced digital methods like VR and CNC fabrication. The faculty is equally broad-based: graduate students are encouraged to develop exposure to as many new approaches as will benefit their progress. All areas share similar admissions processes, curricular structure, advancement, and review processes. 



Applications for Fall 2025 admission open October 1st 2024 via Cal State Apply. The application deadlines are:


Application Requirements

All Applicants must meet both University Requirements and Program Requirements established by the Department of Art & Art History. 

University Requirements

More information on University requirements can be found here: SJSU Graduate Application Information

Department Requirements 

The equivalent to a Bachelor of Fine Art (BFA) degree in the applicant’s designated area of graduate emphasis (60 units in studio art) is recommended. At least 6 upper division units in art history are required. If you don’t have 6 upper division units in Art History but have a strong application, the department review committee may conditionally admit you but require that you take the required courses within the first few semesters.

Required Documents:

You will start your application in Cal State Apply

  • Official transcripts 
  • TOEFL and other requred Test Scores

You will be directed automatically Slideroom via Cal State Apply to submit the following documents. Make sure you return to Cal State Apply to finish the submission process.



Application Deadlines

Documents & Recommendation Letters for the University and Department requirements must be received by the document due date (which is a little later than the application due date). Check the links below for the Application & Document Deadlines (scroll down for College of Humanities and Arts)

Domestic Applicant Deadlines 
International Applicant Deadlines

The application deadline is the deadline to submit the Cal State Apply application. The portfolio, academic record, statement of purpose, CV, & portfolio are all considered components of the application. In other words, all of the 'documents' that YOU provide need to be submitted with the application by the application deadline. 

The document deadline is the deadline to submit all required external documents to Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations. The 'Document' deadline refers to the deadline for documents received by third parties (like transcripts and letters of recommendation).

More Information

Detailed Requirements for Portfolios, Letters of Recommendation, and Eligibility can be found in the MFA Application FAQ.


MFA Graduate Programs Overview

The MFA program is a 60 unit degree. Most students complete the degree in 5-6 semesters.  The coursework consists of graduate seminars, upper division undergraduate studio electives, TAships, and independent studies.   There's a lot of flexibility in terms of the elective courses you take for an MFA in Art. 

Studios are available for 5 semesters.  You are required to install two exhibitions in your 2nd & 3rd years in one of 8 student galleries, but optional exhibition opportunities exist outside of the requirement as well. If you are interested in teaching, we have Teaching Assistant opportunities, as well as a class dedicated to preparing MFAs to teach at the college level. There's also opportunities to teach your own class, but that is dependent on undergraduate enrollment so can't be guaranteed. 



For questions regarding the MFA program please contact the Graduate Coordinator:

Andrew  Blanton, 


Degree Program Areas

More information about each degree program can be found on the area websites:


Degree Requremets