How do I arrange a campus visit?

The best time to visit is when classes are in session.  Please contact the Staff Graduate Advisor, Carol Talley to arrange a tour: ctalley@hfa.ucsb.edu.

Can I hear from current students about their experiences?

You are welcome to contact the Staff Graduate Advisor, Carol Talley, ctalley@hfa.ucsb.edu, for assistance in connecting with current graduate students.

How competitive is the admission process?

The total number of students in the two year program is about 12-16. Out of 90-100 complete applications, we accept 5-9 students per year.

Do you require the GRE?

No, but applicants who have already taken it can submit their scores if they wish. It can be very helpful if you are nominated for a competitive grant.

Is a BFA required to apply to the MFA program?

No, it is not required, but applicants should have an undergraduate degree with some emphasis in visual studies, although this is not necessary. We feel artists can come from a broad spectrum of interests.

Is there an application fee waiver?

A limited number of fee waivers are available for qualified US citizens and permanent residents who demonstrate financial need. McNair Scholars and Project 1000 applicants are among those eligible. Fee waivers are not available to international applicants. Within your application click on the Payment Information tab and scroll-down to the fee waiver information.  Submit your request online by selecting the option relevant to you and uploading your supporting documentation. You must submit your fee waiver request at least two weeks before the application deadline.

Can I submit my application if my letters of recommendation have not been uploaded?

We require LORs to be submitted to both your UCSB application and to your Slideroom application. Please submit your applications prior to the deadline of January 2, 2018. Your recommenders can still submit their letters afterwards, but they must be received by one week later, January 8, in order to be reviewed the admissions committee.

When and how will I be notified of my admissions decision?

You may receive an email or phone call if you are being considered for admission as early as the middle of January, or as late as the end of April. Official offers of admission or denials will be available to the applicant on their UCSB application. An email will be sent to the applicant when the decision can be viewed. If you need information about your status before you have heard anything from either the department or the University, please email the Staff Graduate Advisor, Carol Talley, ctalley@hfa.ucsb.edu.

How do our facilities compare to other liberal arts colleges and art schools?

We are told every year when prospective students visit that they had no idea we had such fantastic facilities to make work and that our studios are larger than most. All students have access to large, private studio spaces which are located on campus. Studios range in size from 250sqft to 450sqft, and there is substantial shared common space available for events and additional storage.

In addition to 24/7 access to the graduate studios, the following labs are open to graduate students: woodshop, digital print studio, printmaking, sculpture yard, foundry (metal and mold making) and computer/digital arts lab.

Are Teaching Assistantships available?

Usually, we can offer TA positions at 25% time (approximately 10 hours per week) to our graduate students if we have the funding, and the student is qualified to teach. These positions come with partial fee remission for California resident tuition and fees, and a salary of approximately $3,342 per quarter. For more information please refer to the Graduate Division website: http://registrar.sa.ucsb.edu/downloads/Fees2016-17.pdf

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When/how to apply for financial aid?

Applicants can fill out the FAFSA form online at http://fafsa.ed.gov by March 2. The school code for UCSB is 1320. See Financial Aid: http://www.finaid.ucsb.edu/graduate/Default.aspx, for more details.

What is the total cost of program?

For academic year 2016-17 CA resident tuition and fees are $13,248, out of state tuition and fees are $28,350. After the first year, a student can establish California residency if they are a U.S. citizen. All students are required to have health insurance (which is paid for if you work at least 25% time as a TA). The current cost of health insurance is $3,150 for the academic year.

On the Financial Aid website, there is a calculator to determine the total cost of attendance including housing: http://www.finaid.ucsb.edu/CostofAttendance.aspx.

How many/how to apply for Fellowships?

As an applicant to the MFA program you might be considered for a Central Recruitment Fellowship if the Art Department identifies you as a truly outstanding candidate. The department will nominate you, you do not apply for this.

Typically, the Central Fellowship will provide fee remission (CA resident fees and possibly out of state fees) and a stipend in the range of $22,000 to $24,000 for your first year. Some fellowships come with a $5000 stipend for the summer.

If you have taken the GRE (not required for admission) and have excellent scores, you might choose to submit them as part of your application.

Other fellowships that are typically awarded to incoming students may include money from the Department of Art that could be applied to out of state tuition, or given as a stipend. Again, as an applicant, you do not apply for these.

How do I find out about Housing?

UC Santa Barbara offers a variety of housing options for graduate students. For information on how to apply for housing, please visit Housing and Residential Services. The deadline to apply for housing at San Clemente Villages is May 15th. As long as you have filled out a UCSB Graduate Division online application form, you can apply for university housing, even before you are admitted. You are also welcome to seek housing in the community (in which case, you do not need to submit an application for university-owned housing; see the Community Housing Office for help getting started).

What are the Program requirements?

Seventy-two quarter units are required: 36 in Graduate Studio courses (Art Studio 244, 261 and 591), 12 units in Theory and Criticism (Art Studio 245 or 594, or approved graduate level theory from related departments), 12 units of M.F.A. Thesis Preparatory (Art Studio 593); and 12 units of electives (related courses selected from various disciplines). Please see the General Catalog more information on specific courses (click on “Course Listings”; all courses numbered 200 or higher are graduate-level courses).

During Spring quarter of the first year of residency, graduate students are reviewed by the full faculty through open studio visits, group exhibition and/or presentations (which are augmented by written statements) and a vote is taken regarding advancement to the second year of study.

Following their first year of study, graduate students are required to formulate their graduate thesis committee, comprised of 3 members from the Department of Art and university faculty. This committee oversees the completion of the final graduate thesis project as well as the written thesis (25 pages), which is a required document for each student as part of his or her fulfillment of an MFA degree.

What are the Exhibit and Art world opportunities?

There are many opportunities for graduate students to exhibit on campus, in the local arts community and in Los Angeles, through established department connections with arts professionals and a variety of affiliated venues. In fact, many of our recent graduate students have exhibited or are represented by highly respected galleries in California and nationally, further providing an expanding network of future possibilities. Faculty has also been instrumental in bringing our graduates to the attention of curators, in addition to providing a variety of professional opportunities both during candidacy and after graduation. Our job placement in related fields and university programs (including tenure track positions) has been rising steadily over the past five years.

What do your Alumni do?

Most of our alumni have a professional art career or teach in higher education. From a survey of our alumni taken in 2011, when asked to select all the occupations/positions within the arts in which they have worked since completing their UCSB MFA, 57% indicated they worked as an Educator in Higher Education, 28% indicated Museum or Gallery positions, 26% were Arts Administrators/Managers, and 83% indicate their current occupation/position is in the arts.