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Graduate Admissions

Each year, the School of Art receives more than 200 applications for the MFA program. Applications are reviewed by a committee of faculty members for their content and quality. Approximately 12 graduate students are accepted each year.

The Graduate Application Process (MFA)

All application materials are submitted online. Application materials sent by mail will not be considered. The online application cycle opens October 1. If you have any questions while submitting your material for review, please write

  • Application for Graduate Study at the University of Washington (online). To finalize your application, please submit the $85 application fee. Once finalized, you will no longer be able to update your online app, however the department can then view your complete application and answer questions.  Your application is not complete without the fee.
  • Transcripts: Applicants are required to submit an unofficial transcript from each institution from which they have obtained a degree. Applicants who are admitted to the program will be required to submit official transcripts prior to matriculation. Please ensure that the student name and school name appear and that the scan is legible. If you are scanning original transcripts, make sure the pages are oriented upright for screen viewing (vertical or landscape).
  • Letters of recommendation: Applicants will be prompted to provide the name and email address of three (max. 4) recommenders. The recommenders will be sent a link to the online evaluation form via email. Each letter of recommendation should be written by someone who is able to comment on your qualifications for graduate study. As part of the application process you will be given the opportunity to voluntarily waive your right to inspect the completed letters.
  • English Proficiency test scores (for international students): Proficiency in English is required for graduate study at the University of Washington. Therefore, every applicant whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency. You can reference Graduate School Memo #8 and English Proficiency Tests comparison tables for information on the University’s policy. When requesting official TOEFL scores from ETS use institution code 4854 for the University of Washington. TOEFL scores are valid for two years from the test date. The University of Washington only accepts scores submitted electronically by the IELTS test center. The application will also prompt you to self-report your test scores. If you have not yet taken the test, please enter the test date on the form. Official scores must be received by the application deadline.
  • Artist Statement/Statement of Purpose: This statement should clearly articulate your goals and the extent to which the program to which you are applying can be expected to prepare you for those objectives. The statement should also describe your background and experience as well as preparation for advanced work in the field to which you are applying. If you are applying to one of our studio programs please include a discussion of your work. This could include description of your process, your technical approach, the theoretical context, background information and your intentions both in relation to the work you have submitted and in what you plan to focus on in graduate study.
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae: Your resume/CV should summarize your educational background, including institutions and degrees earned. It should also include a summary of academic positions held (e.g. Teaching Assistantships), awards and fellowships, academic publications, and any shows of your work.
  • Portfolio: The portfolio, intended to show evidence of your preparation for study in the field to which you are applying, should include 20 images of your work. The document should also include a cover sheet (with your full name and the program to which you are applying), and an image list. The document should not exceed 30MB in size and should be saved as a PDF. If you wish to include web-design, animation, or video content as part of your portfolio, include links to these sources within your portfolio document. You will be prompted to upload your pdf portfolio to the University of Washington online graduate student application.

Application Deadlines

The deadline for all applicants (U.S Citizen, Permanent Resident or International) to submit both online applications and all required application materials is 11:50pm (PST) January 15. Late applications will not be accepted and incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

After You Apply

Applicants can track whether application materials have been received by logging back in to their UW Graduate School Application. Faculty typically makes admissions decisions in February and March. You will be notified of our decision via e-mail.