Advanced artists can improve and hone their skills by earning an MFA in their area of artistic expertise. It is important to choose a school that offers the resources you need to grow as an artist.
Top 10 Masters in Fine Arts Programs
In 2016, U.S. News & World Report ranked the following universities as having the top ten MFA programs in the country:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|Yale University||New Haven, CT||4-year, private not-for-profit||$38,700|
|University of California - Los Angeles||Lost Angeles, CA||4-year, public||$11,220 in-state, $26,322 out-of-state|
|Virginia Commonwealth University||Richmond, VA||4-year, public||$10,710 in-state, $21,933 out-of-state|
|Rhode Island School of Design||Providence, RI||4-year, private not-for-profit||$45,530|
|School of the Art Institute of Chicago||Chicago, IL||4-year, private not-for-profit||$45,810|
|California Institute of the Arts||Valencia, CA||4-year, private not-for-profit||$43,400|
|Carnegie Mellon University||Pittsburgh, PA||4-year, private not-for-profit||$40,625|
|Columbia University||New York, NY||4-year, private not-for-profit||$42,280|
|Cranbrook Academy of Art||Bloomfield Hills, MI||4-year, private not-for-profit||$33,406|
|Maryland Institute College of Art||Baltimore, MD||4-year, private not-for-profit||$42,280|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
The following advice may be helpful for artists deciding where they want to earn an MFA:
- When choosing a fine arts school, applicants should take into account the emphasis areas that are offered, such as photography, film production, creative writing and numerous other areas. That way, they can choose a school that allows for study in their subfield of interest.
- Students should make sure that the school has adequate facilities and equipment to support intensive work in their subfield.
- For students who have a full-time job or family responsibilities, low-residency MFA programs are available.
- MFA programs can be expensive, so students should explore the financial aid options available at different schools.
There are many schools that offer MFA programs. Prospective students must find one that adequately supports their artistic interests, whether by providing flexible course formats, up-to-date facilities or adequate financial aid.