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Brigham Young University’s MFA in Art is a 60-credit full-time program designed to encourage experimentation and exploration of ideas, mediums, and disciplines while honing students’ skills and informing the discourse around their work. The program accommodates and nurtures students working in a diverse array of mediums and disciplines including, but not limited to: painting, drawing, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, photography, video, performance, installation, digital and new media, and multi-disciplinary combinations. Graduate students receive studio spaces and full access to the Department of Art's labs and facilities.

Most students earn their MFA degree in two to three years, but may take up to five years to complete their degree requirements. Studio space and financial aid are primarily committed to students within the first two years, and are awarded based upon availability thereafter. The MFA program culminates with the student’s solo exhibition and written thesis.

  • The MFA in art, a terminal degree, is dedicated to generating artists with significant skills and understandings that can influence the discipline. The program requires 60 credit hours of work across studio, theory, and history courses.

    Requirements for Degree
    Courses (60 hours):

    • Art Theory
      • Art 626: Current Art Practice (3)
      • Art 695R:  Theory-Based Directed Studies (6)
      • Elective:  take 3 credit hours from an approved 300-400 level 3 Art History, Philosophy - or Theory-related course on campus (3)
    • Art 640:  Business Practices (2)
    • Art 619R: Studio Methodologies Seminar (4)
    • Studio emphasis (30 hours) 
      • From Art 680R: Studio Methodologies and/or 694R: Special Problems .
    • Electives (6)
      • BYU course(s) 300 or above
    • Art 699R: Thesis (6 hours).

    Other requirements

    • Participate in two travel study activities.  
    • Participation in one per year off campus exhibition (proposed, invitational, or competitive)
    • Evaluations: Near the end of each Fall and Winter semester during a student's enrollment, the full faculty will conduct studio reviews of the student's progress without the student present.  Until a student's Final Project Proposal is approved by their Graduate Committee, Full-Faculty Reviews are held to determine whether candidates are progressing satisfactorily in the program, and if the student is making full use of their studio space.
    • Oral defense and examination of final project: the candidate must engage his or her committee for the oral defense after installation of the final project and completion of the final project report. Defense must be scheduled at least two weeks prior.
    • Final project: to be produced and exhibited in the format of a solo exhibition.
    • Final project report: candidates will submit a written final project report.

    Program Outcomes
    The program outcomes are as follows:

    • Art Historical Context - Students will examine art past and present through required on and off campus learning experiences, and will locate their work within this larger context.
    • Final Thesis Project - Students will create a body of work that meets the requirements for the MFA Final Thesis Project including a project proposal, project report, and exhibition of a cohesive body of their work, which meets the expectations of a MFA degree.
    • Spirituality, Ethics and Art - Students will critically examine spiritual values and ethical issues relevant to art.
    • Professional Preparation - Students will demonstrate an awareness of and preparation for teaching opportunities and professional studio, gallery, museum and other art-related work.
  • MFA Art students who are fully enrolled and in good standing in their program are eligible for Graduate Studies scholarships for the first 6 semesters of their degree program. These scholarships vary in amount depending on the number of students enrolled in the program, but tend to offset around half the cost of graduate LDS tuition for a fully-enrolled student. Eligible graduate students do not need to apply to receive this funding.

    These are tuition scholarships, and as such are applied to the awardee's Financial Center account at the beginning of each semester after the student has successfuly registered for the number of credit hours required. The scholarship funds are automatically applied toward any outstanding charges (tuition, insurance, fees, etc.) and the remainder is then disbursed to the bank account associated with the Financial Center.

    Additional financial support is available in the form of employment within the department, teaching assistantships/instructorships, and Need-Based Scholarships.

    For more information about tuition and cost of living, please visit Graduate Studies' page.

  • Deadline

    APPLICATION DEADLINE: February 1st, 11:59pm MT at the BYU Graduate Studies application portal.

    Applications must be submitted before this deadline to be considered for acceptance for Fall semester of the same year.

    In order to be considered for admission, the applicant must meet all University-level standards for admission, as well as have:

    • completed an undergraduate degree in art, or its equivalent, with a minimum of 20 hours in upper division studio course work and at least 12 hours of Art History
    • achieved a 3.0 GPA during the last two years of undergraduate study
    • recent TOEFL or IELTS test results, if English is a second language.

    The application includes:

    • $50 non-refundable application fee
    • Personal information
    • Ecclesiastical information
    • CV
    • Artists’ Statement (250 words or less). Your statement should directly address the conceptual concerns behind your work, and how those concerns have driven the making process.
    • Statement of intent Upload a PDF file under 10MB. In this document, please address why you specifically selected BYU’s MFA Studio Art program for furthering your education; which department of art faculty you would like to work with, and why you have selected these specific faculty members (we understand that this may change after admission); and please outline how you hope to develop and evolve as an artist through the Art MFA program at BYU. 
    • Portfolio of 20 images, or their equivalent (see calculations below) The portfolio should feature 1– 4 focused and cohesive bodies of independent work with strong execution and conceptual grounding. Do not include coursework or any work that infringes on the intellectual property rights of other artists.
      • Images (up to 5MB each), Video (up to 250MB each), Audio (up to 30MB each), PDFs (up to 10MB each) and Models (Sketchfab). You may also link to media from YouTube, Vimeo and SoundCloud.
      • If submitting sound or video art, follow this formula to determine that the proper amount of material is included in the application: One sound/video piece = 5 images (therefore, one video + 15 images = 20 images; 2 sound files + 10 images = 20 images, and so on) Edit any sound or video art down to a 3-minute clip and indicate in your media label that it is just an excerpt.
  • For more information and specifics about the program and its procedures, please refer to our MFA Handbook.

    Graduate Coordinator: Maddison Colvin
    MFA Faculty Advisor: Christopher Lynn



MFA student Eugene Tapahe finds connection, healing, and recognition with Art Heals: The Jingle Dress Project

October 12, 2021 12:00 AM
"In a sense, I thought of our project in the National Parks as a reclamation of the land, and at the same time we were blessing the land.”
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Experiential Learning Funds Support Ambitious Book Project

September 04, 2021 12:00 AM
Supported by Experiential Learning funding from the Department of Art, Amelia O'Neill's self-published book is a record of both her painting practice and her personal history.
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MFA Student Sara Lynne Lindsay Exhibits Her Performative and Sculptural Work Nationally

August 04, 2021 12:00 AM
"If you spend time with art, you can find some communication that can touch you in a way that words can’t.”
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