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MFA Art Practice Admission

Stanford University is committed to building a diverse student population. To that end, we encourage applications from students of all ethnic and economic backgrounds.

University Application Materials

The application  for admission  as well as general information about applying is available from the Graduate Admissions website, please visit  to Graduate Admissions to apply. Prior to applying you must first determine if you are eligible - application eligibility (undergraduate degree requirements). International applicants, please also see Bechtel International Center and Graduate Admissions International Applicants for more information and any additional application requirements.

Prospective students may begin to apply late September (please verify this date on the Graduate Admissions website). The following documents are required by the university and can not be waived,  please click on the links for more detailed information about each:

  • Three letters of recommendation: Letters must be received by the application deadline. The department does not accept applicant recommendation via a letter service (i.e. Interfolio or other service). For additional information, please see Submitting Online Recommendations. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that letters are submitted to the electronic application by the published deadline.

  • Transcripts: Upload a scanned copy of your official transcript (s) into the on-line application. In addition to uploading a scanned copy of the transcript, applicants must arrange to have two official hard copies of transcripts sent from every post-secondary institution attended, for at least one academic year, as a full-time student directly to the department. Please see Transcripts for more information and guidelines on submitting official transcripts. (Note: The department does not accept electronically-delivered transcripts. Please mail your official hard copies of transcripts to the department.)

Department of Art & Art History
McMurtry Building
355 Roth Way
Stanford, CA 94305-2018

  • Statement of Purpose: You must indicate in the first sentence of your SOP the name of the program to which you are applying and the area you wish to study (e.g. MFA in Art Practice–Painting).

  • Application fee: The application fee $125, is non-refundable, and must be received by the application deadline (fee waivers are available to eligible students. Please see Graduate Fee Waivers for more information). Please do not contact the department requesting to waive the application fee.

  • TOEFL scores: Required when first language is not English; IELTS is not accepted. Please see Required Exams for more information, including the minimum TOEFL requirements. Please note that the department can NOT waive the TOEFL requirement. If you wish to submit a request for TOEFL waiver, please see GRE and TOEFL Requirements. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the scores are submitted to the electronic application by the published deadline. (Note: To bypass the entry of TOEFL scores in the application, enter a future test date. You can add in the additional information section of the application that you have received a waiver from Graduate Admissions.)

  • Complete online application

* Please note - application materials will not be returned nor released to another institution, please keep a copy for your own record.*

Portfolio Requirements

In addition to the university application materials (above), applicants are required to submit a portfolio by the application deadline (9pm PST, December 3, 2019).  All applicants are expected to have a substantial body of work represented in their portfolio, which is the most important part of the application, and should give evidence of the applicant’s maturity, imagination and skill.  Your portfolio should be submitted through SlideRoom, at Please follow the instructions on how to upload your portfolio in SlideRoom (for technical assistance with this process, please email There is a $10 fee. (Note: Name on your application must match the name on your portfolio in SlideRoom.)


For all mediums you must include a typed list identifying works by date, medium, size, title and other information as appropriate. Also include any special viewing information on this list.

  • Still Images.  Images should be sized at 1024 x 768 @ 72 DPI.  Limit the total number of still images to 20.
  • Audio & Video. Limit the total time-based media selection to 10 minutes, cued to your preferred 5 minutes.


For admission for Autumn Quarter 2020-21, the application deadline is Tuesday, December 3, 2019.

  • All required application materials, including your test scores and portfolio, must be submitted electronically and uploaded by 9pm Pacific Time on the application deadline date.

Note: The Graduate Admissions period is open beginning in September each year for applications to be submitted by the published deadline in December (for matriculation beginning in the following academic year). After April 15th each year, the Graduate Admissions period is closed, and the online application will reopen during the following September.

Selection Process

The application review takes place between mid-January and mid-March. Accepted students are admitted for the following Autumn Quarter; no applicants for mid-year entrance will be considered.  You will be contacted via e-mail regarding your application status after the deadline (by mid March); please do not contact the department.

Applicants who are chosen as finalists will be required to travel to Stanford for an interview conducted by a faculty and student committee; interviews will be held at the end of February.

Start Your Application

Knight-Hennessy Scholars

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program is designed to build a multidisciplinary community of Stanford graduate students dedicated to finding creative solutions to the world's greatest challenges. The program awards up to 100 high-achieving students every year with full funding to pursue a graduate education at Stanford, including master's in Art Practice. To be considered, you must apply to Knight-Hennessy Scholars, and separately apply to the Art & Art History department. Please see Knight-Hennessy Scholars Admission for additional information, including eligibility, application deadlines, and requirements.