MFA Studio Art Applicants

How to Apply / Portfolio Guidelines

Program Admission Contact:

Ms. Louise Davies, 973-655-4074

Program Co-directors:

Dr. Andrew Atkinson, 973-655-7294

Julie Heffernan, 973- 655-7293

University Admission Contact:

The Graduate School:

Matt DiBartolomeo, 973-655-7471


Applying for the MFA in Studio Art at Montclair State University is a three-step process.

Step One - To be considered for the MFA in Studio Art, you must first submit an application to The Graduate School.  The online application and requirements can be found here: Graduate School Admission.

Step Two - After applying to the university, applicants will be invited to submit an application plus upload a digital portfolio and related materials to the Department of Art and Design through SlideRoom (the Department's online application software.) note: $15 fee applies. You will also be invited to a MFA portfolio interview.

Step Three - Participate in an on-campus interview.


Application Materials to Gather

Before completing the University and SlideRoom applications, it is advised that you first gather the following files and  documents, which are to be uploaded with your applications:

For the University application --

The University application provides specific instructions for uploading the following:

  1. Copy of your previous college transcript(s)

  2. Essay: Artist's Statement -- 1-2 pages in length, the Artist's Statement should describe who you are as an artist, including your work, your philosophy, personal aesthetic and ideas.  It should also focus on your goals for pursuing an MFA in Studio Art at Montclair State University. 

  3. Two letters of recommendation from professors and/or other professionals who are familiar with your work as an artist.

For the SlideRoom application --

The Department of Art and Design's application on SlideRoom will request that you upload the following files and documents:

  1. Digital version of your Portfolio -- Your portfolio may include 2-dimensional and/or 3-dimensional work, video, film, and/or other media that represents your intent and direction as an artist. Include no more than 20 examples.

    • Below are some options for preparing digital files of your portfolio for upload submission:

      • Create a multi-page portfolio in PDF format. To learn how to create a PDF, click Here
      • Post your portfolio on a blog. To create a free blog using Tumblr, click Here
      • Post your portfolio on Facebook by creating a photo album titled "My Portfolio."
      • Upload all works as single files using the system in any of the following formats: jpg, pdf, tiff, word, .mov Make sure that your images do not exceed 2MB each.

      Whatever format you select, make sure you give every work a title and description, including media and dimensions, and be prepared to upload them as web links or digital files.

  2. Current Resume or CV -- Should include your educational background, work experience, exhibition record, and any grants and awards.

The Portfolio Interview

After submitting your application and uploading your portfolio, you will receive in invitation to attend a portfolio interview.  During the interview you may show original examples of any work that is transportable in addition to the work which was uploaded electronically.  We will ask you about what interests you artistically, your goals and direction as an artist and for engaging with the MFA program.  You will also have opportunity to ask questions of the faculty and tour the MFA facilities.  (note: Where travel to campus is prohibitive, applicants can opt to have their uploaded, online portfolios reviewed as their total submission.)

Following the Portfolio Interview

Following the portfolio review (whether conducted in-person or through the online submission only), the Department will forward its acceptance decision to The Graduate School, which, in turn, will notify you of your overall admission status. (Note:  Students must have applied to The Graduate School in order to receive portfolio review results.)

About the MFA in Studio Art Program

Information about the MFA, Studio Art major (including an overview description and curriculum) may be found on the Studio Art (MFA) main page.