MFA Degree Admissions


(Refer also to the application requirements available from the Office of Graduate Education)

The MFA program offers expertise in ceramics, drawing + painting, electronic arts, glass, print media (digital imaging, photography and printmaking) and sculpture + expanded practices. Applicants must have a BFA degree or equivalent from an accredited college or university, evidenced by 63 undergraduate semester credits in the field of art (including 12 credits of art history and a sound preparation in studio practice) OR a non-art bachelors degree from an accredited college or university and significant professional experience that demonstrates equivalent preparation for a graduate degree in art.

The department acknowledges that some MFA applicants many not fit traditional criteria and will consider exceptional bachelor's degree recipients who exhibit relevant backgrounds, strong commitment, and distinct potential in the arts. Applicants with nontraditionally graded undergraduate or graduate transcripts must submit GRE scores and course performance report forms if the transcript contains 25 percent or more of the applicant's credit hours. Applications are considered for Fall admission only; there is no Spring admission.


I. Applicants should submit the following along with the application fee. Incomplete applications will not be forwarded for review.

• Completed applicationAPPLY
• Academic transcripts. Official transcripts must be sent directly from the academic institution of origin to the University of Hawaii's Graduate Division. Copies of transcripts faxed, emailed or hand delivered will not be accepted. Applicants may submit unofficial copies of transcripts while applying for admission. However, admitted students are required to submit official transcripts in order to enroll at UHM. NOTE: As mentioned above, Grad Division policy may require students whose college transcripts use non-traditional grading (i.e. other than A-F) to also submit a GRE score: contact Grad Division for clarification if this applies to you.
• TOEFL or IELTS scores (if applicable). DETAILS
The minimum required scores for admission to the MFA program are:
+ TOEFL: 600/100 (paper/Internet), subtest scores 25 (listening), 25 (speaking).
+ IELTS: 7.00 overall results.

II. In addition, the department requires the following Supplemental Documents by January 15SUBMIT (tutorial)

Note: When uploading Supplemental Documents under the Category of [Other], please notate in [Description] one of the following - resume/CV, portfolio, publication, media file, or writing sample.
• Statement of Objectives (maximum 500 words). Please articulate the concepts, materials and processes you intend to explore over the course of your MFA program.  Why, specifically, are you choosing the University of Hawaii at Manoa?  How will UH Manoa serve your development as an artist?
• CV/Resume.
• A minimum of three letters of recommendation from art educators, professionals in the field, and/or individuals who have worked closely with the applicant in art-related activities and are well acquainted with the applicant's studio art efforts.
• 20 examples of original work that illustrate abilities in the applicant's area/s of specialization, as well as potential for development within the scope of the department's facilities and personnel. Work samples should be accompanied by their titles, dates, size and media. Digital images should be compiled as one PDF, no larger than 100 MB. Time- or Web-Based Work, Video, Sound, and Animation can be submitted as Mac OS X compatible MOV, MPG, MP4, WMV, or AVI formats. Provide URLs for web-based works. Also provide concise instructions for viewing/listening to time-based or web-based work. Time-based work should be limited to 10 minutes.
• [Optional] Completed application for Graduate Assistantships, if the applicant would like to be considered for a position. GAships are our primary source of funding for graduate students. All incoming and continuing MA and MFA students are encouraged to apply for all departmental GA positions. Guidelines + Application form are downloadable HERE (scroll down to link at bottom of page).

Deficient or incomplete undergraduate preparation may result in additional course work beyond the 60 credits of the MFA degree, at the discretion of the student's Faculty Adviser and the Graduate Chair.

Information on international students.