Sunday, March 20, 2011
I've wanted to get an MFA for a long time now. But sitting down, doing the research and actually applying is a full time job in itself. I learned so much during the process, I thought I'd share it with other potential art schools applicants of the future. This is list of Beginner's Tips & Dos/Don'ts for applying to graduate school for art:
- Do the research. Get yourself The CAA Directory to Visual Arts Grad Schools.
- Don't rely fully on rankings. They are helpful, but make sure you read the list all the way to the end. There are some fantastic grad programs out there that may be a perfect fit for you, but aren't that high on the ranking list.
- START EARLY. Most MFA programs begin in fall only. Most application deadlines are in early January-February. Your previous summer and fall need to be dedicated to gathering your application materials.
- Form a list. Excel works wonders. Make a table with the schools you're interested in applying, and their deadlines, program details, pros & cons, and required application materials.
- Contact your references. Most of them are artists and most of them are busy. Be sure to give them enough time to write you an adequate recommendation letter. Note: Some schools require you to print out a waiver form, send it to the persons who will be writing your recommendation letter, and then seal them both in an envelope.
- Read application requirements by each school VERY CAREFULLY. They all have specific and unique directions, like the order in which they want your portfolio to be presented.
- Visit the schools. Get a tour. Meet some current students. Ask questions. This can really change your mind about a school.
- Get a good camera. You want the best photos possible when presenting your portfolio.
- Talk to people. Social networking sites like Facebook make it very easy to find alumni from schools. Most of them are very willing to talk about their experience. And get back into contact with those undergrad professors. They know lots.
- Proofread. Get a friend to proofread your statement essay. There's nothing more embarrassing than a simple grammatical error.
Hope this helps!