UC Berkeley MFA Program Information

Hello, and welcome to the Department of Art Practice MFA Application news page. This page will be updated as needed in order to help you with any questions you might have during your decision process on choosing an MFA program.

Applications are now closed. The next application season will open mid-September 2015.

Final decisions will be made late February/early March. You WILL be notified, either by letter or phone call.

***Please read this entire page before you call, thank you.***

Here is the link to UC Berkeley’s Graduate Division
You will find all the requirement and application information you need there.

Here is the link to Slideroom.com, where you will upload your portfolio should you choose to apply to our program.

Here are some of the more commonly asked questions:

Q. How many people apply to your program? How many do you accept?

A. We average 125 applicants per year. We choose a maximum of 7 each year.

Q. The application says I need a personal statement, and a statement of purpose. Where does my artist’s statement go? Can I combine it? If so, with which document?

A. You no longer need to combine ANY of the documents. The application now has a separate area for EACH document; your CV, artist statement, personal statement, and your biographical statement. And remember: your statement of purpose is about why you want to go to graduate school.Your artist and personal statements are about YOU.

Q. How do you make your decision? What’s the process?

A. The first round is judged solely on your portfolio, anonymously. We know nothing about you at this stage; we’re just looking at your work. If you progress to the next round(s), then we begin to look at your artist’s statement, letters of recommendation, and transcripts, basically in that order.

Q. What’s your program like?

A. It’s very intense, very conceptual. It’s full time. We gear it so you are in your studio, doing your work, as much as possible during the first year. In your second year, you might probably be asked to teach our Introduction to Visual Thinking course, if you have an interest in teaching.

Q. Do you pay for the entire program, or do I?

A. We manage, even though we are a very small program, to pay the tuition costs and provide some of our grads a small stipend. We strongly encourage our grads to apply for various fellowships and grants, etc. If you do end up teaching Introduction to Visual Thinking, you would be paid for that as a GSI.If you have more questions regarding costs, please contact: Dee Levister, dplev@berkeley.edu.

Q. Do you do tours of the studios?

A. No, we do not. We feel it’s disruptive to our graduate students, who need to focus on their work.

Q. Are the studios on campus?

A. No. They are located at the Richmond Field Station, which is about 20 minutes away by car. You WILL need a car, as the shuttle that runs out there does not run in the evenings or on weekends.

Q. Do you accept slides, or is Slideroom the only way I can send you my portfolio?

A. We only accept slides via the web, at Slideroom.com

Q. How many slides should I send?

A. The maximum slide count is 20, plus up to five minutes of video.

Q. Is it alright if my letters of recommendation or transcripts miss the deadline?

A. Yes. We realize that if you decide at the last minute to apply, that your letters or transcripts might arrive late. You’ll be notified if your package is missing any pieces.

Q. Should I contact you if I have trouble with my application or uploading my portfolio?

A. No. Contact Graduate Division if you have trouble with your application, and Slideroom.com if you have trouble uploading your portfolio.

Q. What should I put in my portfolio?

A. Your best work, presented in such a way that shows us your strength and growth as an artist. Knock us out with the first few images to get our attention, then go from there, making sure to knock our socks off with some killer final images.

Q. Can I send you my application via snailmail?

A. No, we no longer accept hard copy applications. All applications are submitted through the Graduate Division website.