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How to Get an MFA

If you want to hone your craft and further your career, a Master of Fine Arts degree may be something you should pursue.


  • Step 1: Decide on an area of study Decide on an area of study. There are many, including art education, art management, art administration, studio art, performance and media arts, book arts, creative writing, poetry, and even advertising.
  • Step 2: Create a list Create a list of MFA programs in your area of study. Check that the programs are accredited to ensure the program meets guidelines that guarantee the value of your degree.
  • TIP: Go to the U.S. Department of Education database at to search for approved schools and programs.
  • Step 3: Choose online or campus Choose a traditional campus-based program, an online program, or a low-residency program, which only requires two to three weeks on campus per semester.
  • Step 4: Gather work and recommendations Put together a portfolio of your work, have your undergraduate transcripts ready, and gather recommendations from academics or professionals. Be prepared to write a personal essay with your application.
  • Step 5: Look into financial aid Research financial aid options, including federal and private student loans, private and academic grants, and scholarships. Master your art and get that degree.
  • FACT: From 2006 to 2007, more than 600,000 Americans received master's degrees.

You Will Need

  • List of accredited programs
  • Portfolio
  • Transcripts
  • Essay
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Financial aid options

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