Master of Fine Arts programs are offered in all areas of the arts, including visual arts, creative writing, theater and music. Each graduate school and program sets its own admission requirements, and your application will be evaluated primarily on your creative submission; in other words, you will be expected to have talent. However, most programs do not require that an academic background in any particular artistic discipline.
MFA programs in visual arts include painting, illustration, sculpture and photography among other disciplines in the field. To gain admission you'll need to have a bachelor's degree, although your major is irrelevant. You will be judged according to the quality of your application portfolio. For example, the Columbia University School of the Arts requires that you submit up to 20 images of your work.
Creative writing programs function similarly as visual arts programs: They require applicants to have a bachelor's degree, but it doesn't have to be in creative writing or English. Your writing sample will determine whether or not you gain admission. The program at Stony Brook University in Southampton, New York asks for 10 to 25 pages of your writing when you apply.
Theater and Music
Theater and music programs, such as the University of Iowa's School of Music in Iowa City, normally require you to submit a video of your performance ability, after which you may be called for an audition. Like other MFA programs, you will need a bachelor's degree to be accepted by the graduate school, but your creative talent is what gets you admitted to a program.
- Columbia University: Visual Arts MFA Creative Materials
- Stony Brook Southampton: Southampton Arts; MFA in Creative Writing and Literature; Admissions
- University of Iowa; College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; School of Music; Voice & Opera M.A., M.F.A., D.M.A.
- Stony Brook Southampton: Southampton Arts; MFA in Theater; Admissions
Christopher Cascio is a memoirist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and literature from Southampton Arts at Stony Brook Southampton, and a Bachelor of Arts in English with an emphasis in the rhetoric of fiction from Pennsylvania State University. His literary work has appeared in "The Southampton Review," "Feathertale," "Kalliope" and "The Rose and Thorn Journal."