AdmissionsApply to MFA

MFA Application Package

Complete Program Application

The application will ask for your personal information, and you will be able to submit the following items as attachments within the application form:

  • Digital Portfolio
  • Personal Essay
  • Curriculum Vitae

For your letters of recommendation, you will be asked to fill in your recommenders’ contact information in the application. Afterwards, we will send an email with a link to your recommenders to submit their letter of recommendation.

After you submit your application, you can use the Applicant Portal to upload your college transcripts, track your application progress, and if offered admission, make an enrollment decision.

Begin or continue your application

Application Fee

To submit the application, you will need to pay a non-refundable application fee of $70. The fee can be paid by credit card within the web application.

We offer application fee waivers, no questions asked. Please be in touch with us at for instructions to receive a fee waiver.

Digital Portfolio

Please submit a digital portfolio directly in your application. Your portfolio should include 10–20 digital images of work, or up to 15 minutes of video.

A strong portfolio should be properly documented to succinctly convey your studio practice, and include detail shots as necessary. Detail shots count towards the 20-image limit.

We strongly encourage you to submit your most recent complete works to demonstrate an active studio practice and your creative trajectory at the time of application. Although we are an interdisciplinary program, you are not required to submit a portfolio that spans different mediums if that does not represent your studio practice.

Note: We do not accept portfolio submissions in any other formats, such as mailed in CDs, USB drives, or physical slides.

Personal Essay

The Personal Essay for the MFA program consists of three prompts with a total word limit of 750 words. Please upload this document as one PDF attachment in your application:

  • Please outline your interest in our MFA program. Why are you pursuing an MFA, and why now? How is Maine College of Art & Design a good fit for you, and how do you see yourself being a strong addition to the cohort? If admitted, do you intend to be a low residency student or a full residency student?
  • Please describe your creative practice in the context of your portfolio submission and the program application. Why are you presenting this body of work for the program application? Which contemporary artists’ work do you consider being in dialogue with your body of work, and why? How do you see your body of work evolving during your time here as an MFA student?
  • Please share your goals for graduate studies. What do you want to achieve during your time in our MFA program? What are your goals as an artist after graduate school? How can our community and network help you reach these goals?

A strong Personal Essay should place equal emphasis on all of the above, and show a clear understanding of the relationship between your personal journey, your vision, and your goals for graduate study.

Curriculum Vitae

Please submit a curriculum vitae (CV) that includes your education, employment history, exhibitions, publications, honors, and any relevant experiences.*

*Please upload this document as a PDF directly in the web application.

Two Letters of Recommendation

Please submit two letters of recommendation, completed by your recommenders. Your letters should come from professional or educational references who can speak from direct experience about your potential to succeed in a rigorous, interdisciplinary graduate program. Letters should address your ability to work independently and contribute positively to an intensive learning environment. Ideally, at least one of your references should be able to speak about your artistic practice.

In the application, you will enter the name, title, email, and phone number for each of your two recommenders, as well as the nature of your relationships and how long you have known them. The web application will generate an invitation to your recommenders automatically with a link for them to upload their recommendation letter directly to your application.

As you identify your recommenders, be sure to take into consideration whether or not they are able to speak to the above at a professional capacity. Even if your recommender is a friend, refrain from citing them as such in your application as it introduces bias.

You do not need to wait for your letters of recommendation to be completed to submit your application, but please be diligent with following up with your recommenders. You can check your recommenders’ submission statuses in the Applicant Portal​.

College Transcripts

All applicants should either be a bachelor degree holder or an undergraduate senior with an expected graduation date ahead of our program start date. We ask our applicants to have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 and above from all previous degrees.

Maine College of Art & Design alumni can request a free transcript transfer via email at

Applicants can either submit unofficial transcripts in the web application as a PDF attachment, or request official college transcripts to be sent to us electronically to, or to the following address:

Maine College of Art & Design
Attn: MFA Admissions
522 Congress Street
Portland, Maine 04101

Admitted students who enroll must submit all transcripts included in the application as official documents with conferred dates (whenever applicable) either electronically by the issuing institution through a transcript delivery service, or by mail from the issuing institution’s registrar office.

Note: We reserve the right to rescind offers of admission for undergraduate seniors who do not meet the GPA requirements upon completion of their undergraduate studies.

Virtual Interview

Depending on the time of submission, applicants may be interviewed virtually by the MFA Admission Committee upon completion of their application. You will be notified via email when the application is approved for the interviewing stage. Please note that you must meet the requirements listed above in order for the Admissions office to move forward with your application.

International Applicants

Maine College of Art & Design welcomes applications from international students. In addition to the above application process and future communications related to enrollment, there are additional steps required to successfully join us as an international student.

Pay close attention to the following sections. Any delays from filing errors may impact your ability to join our program on time.

Due to the time involved in fulfilling legal requirements, we strongly advise international applicants to complete their applications by the Full Tuition Scholarship Deadline. If offered admission, we also advise you to enroll well ahead of the decision due date.

Please note that all dates are in MM/DD/YYYY format, and all currency listed on our documents and website are in US dollars.

Additional steps for international students

Tips & Notes

  • To learn more about our MFA program, visit Program Overview.
  • To learn more about the financial commitment and funding opportunities, visit Scholarships​, Tuition & Fees​, and Financial Aid.
  • If you are eligible for the US Federal Student Loan, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid​. Our School Code is 011673.
  • All incoming MFA students will start during the Summer Intensive in June 2024. We do not offer Fall or Spring entry into the program.
  • Applications are reviewed with consideration given to the strength of the portfolio, personal essay, academic achievement, and cohesion across application materials. There are no differences in the application process between low residency and full residency applicants.
  • The sooner you apply, the sooner you receive an admission decision, and the more time you have to prepare for enrollment. Please consider completing your application by the earliest deadline. While we are often able to offer admission during the rolling admission period, we cannot guarantee decision extensions, deferral requests, or student housing.

Start your application today

For more information, contact or call 207.699.5023