Admission deadlines: Fall - February 1: Priority consideration for admission and funding; April 1: Guaranteed review for admission and consideration for funding, if available. (Applications for admission will continue to be accepted after April 1, when space remains available in the program.)
Spring – October 1
Standardized Test Scores: GRE is not required.
The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the PTE Academic is required of all applicants except those who hold a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a college or university in the United States or from an institution located in a country in which English is the official language, provided English was the language of instruction.
Minimum scores for the program are:
- Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 6.0 with no individual score below 5.0; or
- TOEFL: 550 on paper-based or 80 on Internet-based; or
- PTE Academic: 53
Applicants to the program who do not meet minimum English language requirements may be eligible for our full-time Applied English Language program.
Recommendations required: Two (2) recommendations
Prerequisite requirements: A bachelor’s degree in the field of fine arts or related field, and/or a strong portfolio and statement of purpose.
Prior academic records: Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript. Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended must be uploaded to your online application. Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission.
If transcripts are in a language other than English, English language translations must be provided. The English translation alone should be uploaded into your application.
Statement of purpose: A 250-500 word Statement of Purpose describing your artistic intent, conceptual foundation, research interests, and impetus to complete an MFA degree.
Additional requirements: Digital Portfolio with Image List; 20 images of artwork and/or up to 10 minutes of time-based work. The Image List and Images must be compiled into a single PDF document. If you have video or sound files, please include a page in your PDF portfolio document with a link to Vimeo or Soundcloud along with any necessary passwords.
International applicants only: Please follow this link - - to review the International Applicant Information carefully for details on required documents, earlier deadlines for applicants requiring an I-20 or DS-2019 from GW.

Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Office of Graduate Studies
The George Washington University
801 22nd Street NW, Phillips Hall 107
Washington DC 20052

For additional information about the admissions process visit the Columbian College  of Arts and Sciences Frequently Asked Questions page.

202-994-6210 (phone)

Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate Programs.

60 credits, including 45 credits in required courses, 9 credits in elective courses, and 6 credits in thesis, including a thesis exhibition. 

CSA 6091Contemporary Art and Theory for Artists I
CSA 6092Contemporary Art and Theory for Artists II
CSA 6093Professional Practices
CSA 6094Writing in Practice
CSA 6095Critical Practices (taken for a total of 21 credits)
CSA 6096Studio Visits (taken for a total of 12 credits)
Thesis exhibition
CSA 6999Thesis Research (taken twice for a total of 6 credits)
A thesis exhibition consisting of the execution of creative work along with a critical statement about this work must be completed under the supervision of a committee consisting of at least two full-time members of the departmental faculty.
9 credits in studio and seminar electives
Studio and art history electives should be taken at the 6000 level or above. In consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies, MFA students may elect to take up to 6 credits of upper-level and graduate courses in other academic departments, assuming prerequisites have been met. Students may take one 3000-level course in another academic area with approval.