Master's Degree

Art (M.F.A.)

Degree Description

The Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) degree in Art is the terminal degree in the field of studio art. UTSA is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. The emphasis of the M.F.A. program is on conceptual development and its harmony with formal aesthetic and art historical considerations. The objective of the degree is to provide advanced study in the field of art in preparation for a career as a practicing artist, in higher education, or as a professional in other art enterprise.

Why Pursue an M.F.A. at UTSA?

  • The caliber of UTSA Art Department faculty, all of whom have outstanding exhibition records which are part of major museum collections and have shown internationally
  • The small size of our graduate program allows for more student-faculty contact and a more personalized and intensive experience
  • We offer the Margaret Denslow Harris Graduate Fellowship in Studio Art, which provides a $20,000 award to one graduate student applicant seeking to complete the MFA degree in a visual art studio discipline at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA).
  • Ranked in the top tier at #114 by US News and World Report. 

Admission Requirements and Prerequisites

A minimum of 60 semester credit hours is required for the Master of Fine Arts degree, exclusive of coursework or other study required to remove admission deficiencies.

Admission requirements and prerequisites: Bachelor's of Fine Arts or the equivalent is required. Equivalency is defined as completion of a minimum of 45 semester credit hours in studio art and 15 semester credit hours in art history as part of, or in addition to, a bachelor's degree.

Graduate Studies Application: Yes

Department Application: Yes

Transcripts: Official transcripts from all institutions attended. All international transcripts must be recorded in English or officially translated to English.

Test Scores: No

Resume or CV: Recommended. Portfolio required.

Letters of Recommendation: 3 L/R Required (forms printable from the on-line application).

Statement of Purpose: Yes: Statement of intent concerning graduate school.

Portfolio: The portfolio is the most important part of the application for admission. Applicants should submit 20 images that best exemplify their most recent creative work. Do not send original works of art. Portfolios may be submitted as twenty 35 mm slides with an attached sheet listing titles, dates, dimensions, and media of each work or as a CD PowerPoint presentation with the same information. Video should be submitted on DVD labeled with titles, dates, and total running time. No more than fifteen minutes will be reviewed. Please do not use adhesive labels on CD/DVD discs; label with permanent marker directly on the label side of the disc. The portfolio must be submitted directly to: Graduate Advisor of Record, The Department of Art and Art History, One UTSA Circle, San Antonio, TX 78249

Minimum TOEFL Score (for International Applicants): 550 paper/79 internet

Minimum IELTS Score (for International Applicants): 6.5

Additional Requirements: International students and those with international degrees may be required to submit additional documents per our admissions policies and procedures. The Graduate School reserves the right to request any additional documents needed to fairly and consistently evaluate applicant credentials.

For a complete list of degree requirements please see the Graduate Catalog.


Application Deadline Dates

Domestic Applicants (Citizens and Permanent Residents):

  • Spring: November 1 (Priority Deadline: October 1)
  • Summer: April 1
  • Fall: July 1 (Priority Deadline: February 1)

International Applicants:

  • Spring: September 1
  • Summer: March 1
  • Fall: April 1

Contact Information

Graduate Advisor of Record: Richard Armendariz
Telephone: (210) 458-5154

Career Options

The alumni from our department have followed multiple career paths, including being a professional artist showing in multiple venues, galleries, and museums; public art and installation; teaching at the secondary, community college, and university levels; curatorial work in galleries and museums; art-related community service on municipal and cultural boards; working with non-profit galleries and programs; departmental and administrative positions in an academic setting; as well as the creation of personal art in the private sector.

Funding Opportunities

Click here for Art Department Scholarship Opportunities

Course Scheduling and Offerings

Most of the courses we offer are during the day. Students are required to be full-time students (9 hours) and are expected to be in their studios during regular hours and meet with faculty on a regular basis as well as attending critiques.

Research Opportunities

We are dealing with contemporary and historical issues related to the art field. The graduate students receive a comprehensive understanding of a world view and how they fit within the contemporary world view of art. Our students explore a myriad of mediums and styles, and have the full resources of the art faculty and facilities to fully reach their artistic potential in whatever avenue they choose. They are encouraged to experiment and are expected to be able to speak about their own work within the larger contemporary and art historical contexts.