Admission to the MFA Program

The MFA program in Studio Art and Design at the Hite Institute of Art and Design is highly selective in order to allow students generous access to faculty and studios. MFA students will receive individual attention and be challenged aesthetically and conceptually.

The department offers all incoming MFA students a scholarship of $12,000 split between fall and spring semesters and to be used toward tuition (e.g $6,000 per semester). In the first year, students are responsible for the remaining costs of attendance. In the second and third years students may apply to receive an Arts & Sciences Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) which covers tuition (excluding fees), health insurance, and includes a $16,000 stipend. The stipend equates to $1,600/month of residence at UofL.

Admission Requirements

Successful applicants will have a superior academic background and a strong commitment to art. MFA students are expected to have a thorough understanding of the principles of form, proficiency in various media and technical skills, as well as a fluency in language and discourse in historic and contemporary contexts.

The minimum requirements for admission are:

  • an undergraduate degree in studio art from an accredited college or university
  • with a minimum of 48 credit hours of undergraduate work in studio courses and
  • 12 credit hours in art history courses.
  • A BFA in Studio Art is recommended.
  • Applicants must have a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Applicants must present a portfolio of work that shows technical and conceptual competency and demonstrates the promise necessary to succeed.

Students who do not meet the minimum credit requirements in undergraduate-level courses (such as those who have completed a BA rather than a BFA degree) will be required to address any deficiencies by taking undergraduate courses before admission to the program. These courses will not count toward the requirements for the MFA degree. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in all coursework, including undergraduate courses taken to remove deficiencies.

Applicants to the MFA program must fulfill the general admission requirements of the College of Arts & Sciences. To meet A&S requirements applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, and have completed an undergraduate major or the equivalent in the intended field of study.

Application Deadline: February 15th; Fall semester admission only.

Submitting Application Materials

Step 1: Applicants must submit the following to the Graduate School at the University of Louisville

  • A formal Application for Graduate Admission, including a $65 nonrefundable application processing fee,
  • At least two letters of recommendation specific to the program,
  • Official transcripts of all college work.
  • The GRE is not required for application to the M.F.A. program. However, applicants for whom English is a second language must submit official TOEFL scores.
  • In addition, applicants must have completed a minimum of 48 credit hours of undergraduate work in studio art courses and 12 credit hours in art history courses.

Step 2: Applicants must submit the following additional materials directly to the Hite Art Institute via SlideRoom:

  • A portfolio of 20 images that demonstrates competence in conceptual and technical skills;
  • A typed Artist’s Statement relevant to the submitted artwork of no more than 500 words;
  • A typed Statement of Intent of no more than 500 words detailing the applicant’s educational and professional goals in the field of Fine Arts;
  • A resume [no longer than two pages].

Application Process

Step 1: Apply to UofL Graduate Admissions:
All applicants must submit
an Application for Graduate Admission to the University of Louisville (including a $65 application processing fee, all transcripts, recommendations, and other relevant materials) Link to UofL Graduate Admissions.

Step 2: Apply to the Hite Institute of Art and Design:
All applicants must submit the departmental MFA Application for Admission via SlideRoom ($10 fee) by February 15. Access the online Slideroom Application Portal here:

Application Deadline: February 15th; Fall semester admission only.

For questions about our graduate program in Studio Art and Design, please email Scott Massey, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies for Studio Art.

For questions about applying to the Graduate School please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at:

University of Louisville
Graduate School
2211 S Brook St, Houchens Bldg, Rm 105
Louisville, Kentucky 40292
The United States of America

Email Address:
Phone Number: (502) 852-6495