Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Programs in South Carolina

Oct 25, 2019

Below you will find a descriptions of MFA programs at universities in South Carolina. Learn about the various offerings in areas such as writing, art, theatre, and digital production.

South Carolina MFA Programs

College of Charleston

The College of Charleston offers an MFA in creative writing. Students in this program must select a core genre area of either fiction or poetry and an emphasis in either studio or arts management. This two-year program offers workshops, literature courses, internship opportunities, and opportunities to work on Crazyhorse, the school's literary magazine.

Converse College

Converse College offers a two-year, low-residency option for South Carolina students interested in MFA degree programs in creative writing. Students can receive graduate-level education in genres including poetry, fiction, young adult fiction, creative nonfiction, and environmental writing. The program also hosts a visiting writers series where industry professionals are brought in to give lectures, host workshops, and impart first-hand experience. Past visiting writers include Rachel Hall, Gary Jackson, and Allan Wolf.


Clemson's College of Art, Architecture, and Humanities offers a two-year visual arts MFA within the studio art discipline. This relatively small program of anywhere between 12 and 20 students at a time encourages interdisciplinary studies and collaborative projects along with work and studies in their chosen focus area.

Clemson also offers an MFA in Digital Production Arts through a collaboration between the studio art department and the computer science department. This degree program aims to produce graduates who are both creatively driven and competent with the technology involved in bringing those creative ideas to fruition.

University of South Carolina

The University of South Carolina's department of English Language and Literature offers an MFA degree program in creative writing that accepts four poets and four fiction writers a year. This three-year program features workshops, studies in craft, and a reading series.

South Carolina also offers a Master of Fine Arts in Art Studio with focuses in 3-D studies, ceramics, drawing, graphic design, painting, photography, and printmaking. This program offers students a chance to refine their studio skills and complete further studies in art history and theory.

The university's department of Theatre and Dance offers MFA programs in acting, costume design, scene design, lighting design, and directing. These three-year programs are somewhat individually formulated based on each student's experience, professional goals, and thesis project.

MFA Admission Standards

Each university and MFA program will have its own admission requirements, and you should always consult a program's specific requirements before applying. That said, many MFA programs have similar requirements, and there is a general list of requirements that MFA hopefuls should be prepared to meet when applying to MFA programs. It is likely that schools will have a minimal GPA requirement for applicants and may also have GRE score requirements as well, although many do not. MFA admission is often based heavily on samples of work. Samples of work can include anything from a portfolio for visual artists, a writing sample for writers, or an audition for theatre and music-related degree fields. It is also common for schools to require letters of recommendation, usually from former professors, to gain a better understanding of an applicant's academic past and aptitude within their chosen fine arts field.

There are several MFA offerings from South Carolina's diverse array of universities with focus areas including fiction, poetry, painting, ceramics, photography, acting, and more. Although each school and program has its own admission requirements, most MFA admissions requirements are typical for similar programs.

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