Affordable MFA Painting Programs

Apr 16, 2019

This article provides prospective students of MFA programs in painting with information about what programs are affordable. Additionally, students can learn various other details about these programs, like curriculum requirements and admissions information.

Students who are interested in obtaining an MFA degree program in painting but who are concerned about the cost may want to learn more what affordable programs are available to them. Below, five different affordable MFA programs that offer concentrations in painting will be discussed in greater detail in addition to general admission standards. All of these programs offer tuition rates of less than $25,000 per academic year, with the exception of one school's out-of-state graduate tuition; many also offer a number of ways for students to receive tuition waivers or scholarships.

Overview of Affordable MFA Programs in Painting

University of Michigan

Students may be interested in the MFA program in studio art offered by the University of Michigan. This program allows students to focus their studies on painting and can be completed in two years during which time students will complete a total of 60 credits. In addition to studio and critique courses, students are required to complete a three- to five-week international experience, for which there are funding options. There are a number of other funding opportunities available to enrolled students in order to make the program affordable. The school offers both teaching and research assistantships that can provide students with up to full tuition waivers. Additionally, there are a number of grants and project funding opportunities available that help students offset the cost of attending the program and conducting research.

Rutgers University

Rutgers University offers an MFA program in visual arts in which students can focus their studies on painting if they wish, though this program does not require that students select a concentration area. Instead, enrolled students are able to select courses from a variety of different artistic disciplines in order to explore all of their interests and develop their skills in multiple areas. All students who are accepted into this program receive a graduate fellowship that covers the entire tuition cost for both years of the program, which is designed to make the program affordable for all applicants. In this program, students will complete a total of 60 credit hours and are able to work on their projects in their private studios.

University of Washington

At the University of Washington, students who apply for the MFA program in painting and drawing are automatically considered for a number of different funding options, including fellowships, scholarships, and teaching assistantships. Students who receive fellowships and assistantships often are able to have part of their tuition waived, making the program more affordable. In this program, students are required to complete a total of at least 90 credit hours over two academic years. They complete these credits by taking studio courses, seminars, art history courses, and by fulfilling the requirements necessary to complete the master's thesis. Additionally, the program requires that students complete elective credits which students can choose according to their interests.

Ohio State University

The MFA program in studio art offered by Ohio State University is affordable in that it offers funding to the majority of accepted students through graduate associate positions. Students work a certain number of hours a week teaching courses or providing assistance to professors in exchange for tuition coverage and a living stipend. The program allows student to select a study area like painting and drawing that will help them focus their studies. In addition to taking studio courses in painting fundamentals, students also may be interested in courses that cover multi-level painting, conceptual approaches in painting, and the topic of abstraction.

Temple University

Another affordable option for students is the MFA painting program offered by Temple University, with financing available in the form of teaching assistantships and academic internships. This program offers interdisciplinary study through its art history courses, a required seminar and studio electives that cross various disciplines. Additionally, students choose 21 credits from drawing, painting and sculpture, as well as take a required course in professional practices; if they wish, painting students may study abroad in Rome, Italy. A final thesis exhibition is required.

Admissions Standards for Affordable MFA Programs in Painting

The application process for MFA programs in painting involves submitting a number of documents to each program that a student is interested in. Generally, this includes a completed application form, letters of recommendation, past academic transcripts, and a personal statement. Some programs may expect students to have previously studied art, though this is usually not a strict prerequisite if students are able to demonstrate their artistic experience in another way. One of the most important components of the application for these programs is the portfolio, as students will be required to submit samples of their work in painting and other artistic disciplines so that the admissions committee can assess each applicant's ability and whether they are a good fit for the program.

To summarize the above information, there are a number of MFA programs around the country that are affordable to students because of the fellowships, assistantships, and various scholarships they offer.

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