M.F.A. in Studio Art

Research + master your craft

The M.F.A. in Studio Art at the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design offers artists intensive study and research in ceramics, digital art, fibers, graphic design, metalsmithing and jewelry design, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture.

With the support of internationally renowned faculty, the resources of a top research institution, and the diversity of a liberal arts environment, you will have everything you need to push your work forward. Our graduates are esteemed professors, artists, researchers, and creative professionals all over the world.

M.F.A. in Studio Art curriculum

M.F.A. candidates in all studio areas must complete 60 credit hours at the graduate level. All programs are three years and require a three-year residency.

The following credits are required to fulfill the M.F.A. in Studio Art degree program:

Studio + Critique (13 credits)
Seminar (18 credits)
Thesis (8 credits)
Tech Class- (3 credits)
Studio Art Electives (12 credits)
Arts and Humanities (6 credits)

View all courses and descriptions


For more information about the M.F.A. in Studio Art program, contact the Graduate Services Coordinator.

Apply to the Studio Art M.F.A. degree program

Degree requirements

  • You must have received a bachelor’s degree with a fine arts major in studio courses or a B.A. in another field with substantial coursework in studio art
  • Graduated with a 3.0 GPA or higher in undergraduate program
  • Latest undergraduate and graduate transcripts are required. Unofficial copies may be provided at the time of application. Official transcript copies are required for the enrollment in the program upon acceptance
  • For international applicants, the TOEFL or IELTS test is required:
    • TOEFL must be taken within the last two years with a score of 90 or above on the Internet-based test (iBT) or IELTS of 7.5 or above
    • Unofficial test scores may be submitted at the time of application. An official TOEFL or IELTS test score is required for enrollment in the program if the applicant is offered admission. Official TOEFL score reports should be submitted using school code 1324.
    • An English Proficiency test exemption can be requested if an applicant can provide documentation of a 4-year bachelor’s degree or a 3-year bachelor’s degree plus 1 year of a master's degree from one of the of English-speaking countries at OIS here:
  • Portfolio must be uploaded to SlideRoom (more details below)
  • Incomplete applications and/or items received after the deadline will not be reviewed
  • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not a requirement

Application deadlines

Domestic applicants: all application materials must be received by 5 p.m. on January 15, 2024.

International applicants: all application materials must be received by 5 p.m. on December 15, 2023.

Steps to apply

You must send all materials online or by U.S. Mail. Due to the volume of mail, the school cannot notify applicants of missing documents or confirm the receipt of materials.

You must apply for admission to the University Graduate School. Your online application should be submitted at least two weeks before the deadline in order for your recommenders to have the opportunity to respond by the deadline. Your portfolio will not be considered if you do not submit this application. Please notify your recommenders of the deadlines.

You must provide the following information in the online application:

  • Academic Program: When asked to indicate your Academic Program, please select “SOAD Fine Arts Studio MFA” in the drop down menu, then choose the Academic Plan “SOAD Fine Arts Studio MFA.” Choose one studio area that you intend to pursue: Ceramics, Digital Art, Fibers, Graphic Design, Metalsmithing & Jewelry Design, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, or Sculpture.
  • Statement of intent/artist statement: Submit a written statement (500–700 words) outlining your artistic goals and interest in pursuing graduate study. This statement can be submitted electronically at the end of the online application.
  • Resume: Submit a resume including exhibitions, awards, employment, and other related professional pursuits.
  • Three letters of recommendation: Submit the contact information (including names, street addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses) of three people who will submit your letters of recommendation via the online application system. The online system will then email your contacts with instructions on how to submit their references online. The online recommendations should address your potential for academic success in a graduate program.

Note: International students must apply through the Office of International Services.

Apply now

Your portfolio should contain 20 images that best represents your work. Images must be saved as .jpg, .png or .gif, up to 2MB each. For good image quality and fast upload, image size should not exceed 1280 x 1280 pixels at 72 dpi. Videos must be in the .flv, .mov, or .wmv format, under 20MB each.

When submitting the portfolio online, click on the “Start a New Submission” button. Then click on “M.F.A. Programs” under the “Categories” heading. Finally, click on the “Apply Now” button next to the area in which you are interested to access the application. It is possible to submit time-based work using Slideroom.com.

The cost to submit your portfolio online is $10.

Submit your portfolio online via Slideroom, an online system that accepts images and short videos. For technical assistance, please contact Slideroom directly at support@slideroom.com.

Submit your portfolio to the area you are interested in:

Digital Art
Graphic Design
Metalsmithing + Jewelry Design

The total cost for submitting the application is $65 for domestic applicants and $75 for international applicants.

The application fee comprises a $55 (domestic applicant) or $65 (international applicant) fee paid upon submission of the online IU application and a $10 fee paid upon submission of the online portfolio.

The application fees are non-refundable.

Send official transcripts from all of your undergraduate institutions attended, as well as from any graduate programs (if applicable).

The transcript must demonstrate a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

For international students, if the original documents are not in English, a verified translation must be sent with your official transcripts in your native language.

If you are in the process of completing a bachelor’s degree when you apply, a transcript showing your current enrollment in your course of study is acceptable. If admitted to IU, you must submit a final, official transcript verifying the completion of your degree and the date your degree was awarded directly to IU prior to your matriculation.

Mail official domestic transcripts to:

Graduate Coordinator
Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture and Design
Fine Arts Building, room 132
1201 E. Seventh Street
Bloomington, IN 47405

Mail official international transcripts (with English translation) to:

Ferguson International Center, room 100
330 N. Eagleson Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405-7513

For domestic students: If your institution(s) can submit official transcripts electronically, please have them emailed to soadgrad@indiana.edu.

The testing service should report the TOEFL scores directly to Indiana University Bloomington.

IU’s TOEFL code is 1324.

M.F.A. English proficiency minimum score requirements:

TOEFL minimum score 90 or IELTS minimum score 7.5. Learn more about TOEFL requirements.

  • If your native language is not English, we require you to take IU’s English Proficiency Examination (IEPE) upon arrival at the university to determine if you must take any English courses. Students must agree to take any English courses prescribed from the results of this examination. Fees for special part-time English courses are the same as for other courses; however, credits earned in these English courses do not meet degree requirements.
  • If the results of the proficiency exam indicate that full-time work in English is required, you will be assigned to the Intensive English Program (IEP). Students enrolled in IEP do not take academic courses until they achieve adequate English proficiency. If you have serious doubts about your English ability and are not financially prepared to undertake the additional time and expense of an intensive English program here, you may consider delaying your application to a future semester.
  • Finally, students who are eligible for an associate instructorship position must meet additional English language requirements including passing the Test of English Proficiency for International Associate Instructor Candidates.

Advance your creative + academic prowess

The M.F.A. program at IU offers a personalized education focused on your creative and professional goals. With a liberal arts foundation located in a research institution, our M.F.A. program offers unique opportunities.

A set of sculptures.

Cultivate new collaborations

Investigate beyond your studio area. The liberal arts environment allows you to work with diverse people from different disciplines to forge new research themes and topics.

Explore collaborations
People sit around a table in a ceramics studio.
Two people look at photos on a wall.

Study with accomplished artists and designers

Work alongside some of the world’s leading artists. Cultivate lasting relationships with expert faculty and expand your network of art professionals.

Meet the faculty

Interested in joining the next MFA cohort?

We'll tell you all about the program.

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The most profound experiences I have had thus far are in my expanded critical thinking for how my work falls into the larger discourse of contemporary art—one of the benefits of being in a liberal arts program.

Molly Evans, M.F.A. in fibers

Thesis exhibition

Your final semester in the M.F.A. program is dedicated to creating, installing, and presenting a thesis exhibition. Held in the Grunwald Gallery of Art, the thesis exhibition offers a space to showcase a cohesive body of work. And the opening reception is a chance to give a gallery talk about your work to the campus and community.

Take the first step on your creative journey

Apply now