Online Application | Frequently Asked Questions | Graduate Financial Aid

Please read carefully before beginning your application

The applicant is required to have a B.F.A. degree or equivalent to that offered at SMU (i.e., 60 studio hours, 12 art history hours). In addition, the student must submit a portfolio of 18-20 images (or video). Unusually qualified applicants not holding this degree may be considered for admission.

The Division offers up to six full-time fellowships per year, with additional teaching assistantships available. These are awarded by merit to the top applicants. Additional funding is available to support graduate research.

In general, not more than six credit hours of transfer credit apply to the M.F.A. in art. However, if the applicant has an M.A. in studio art, up to 30 credit hours may be transferred to the SMU program with the approval of the faculty and the head of the graduate program. In any case, a minimum of 36 hours must be taken at SMU.


Request in writing one official transcript from the Registrar of each college or university previously attended, including summer terms. These may be sent directly to Graduate Application Processing, PO BOX 518, Dallas, TX 75275-0518 or by email to Do not open sealed envelope if the transcripts are sent to you, instead, mail them to Graduate Application Processing. A supplementary transcript covering work in progress at the time of the application must be furnished upon completion of that work. Transcripts that are not in English must be accompanied by official English translations.

Three letters of recommendation are required which should be requested from professors who know the personal and academic qualifications of the applicant. When completing an online application, applicants will have the opportunity to arrange for letters to be delivered electronically to the references listed. Applicants will need a valid email address for each reference and upon submission, notification will be emailed to them directly with instructions on submitting a web-recommendation form on behalf of the applicant. We will also accept drafted letters by mail or email and sent to Graduate Application Processing.

Applicants to the MFA in Art must also submit a portfolio of 18-20 images (or video). Images must be of the student's strongest work. There are no medium requirements, however you will need to include size of the piece and the materials used. All images need to be uploaded individually.

The artist statement should clearly outline the concerns of your studio practice and articulate your goals for graduate study. This can include material, formal or conceptual areas of investigation as well as an engagement with historical or contemporary analogs. Please also address how the M.F.A. program at SMU suits your work and ambitions.

While we recognize that artists applying to an M.F.A. program may not have a significant professional record, we are interested in seeing a list of accomplishments such as grants, scholarships, residencies, exhibitions, screenings, etc.

Deadline and Application Fee

To assure full consideration for the fall term, application should be completed online and ALL supporting materials pertaining to the application for admission should be delivered to the Graduate Application Processing Office BEFORE February 1. Materials received from applicants who do not enroll will be retained by the Meadows Graduate Office for one year. All documents become the property of Southern Methodist University and cannot be returned. A $75.00 non-refundable application fee is required.

Financial Aid

Fellowships and graduate assistantships for qualified, admitted students are available from the graduate division. Candidates for graduate awards are encouraged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form is not required from international students on the F-1 visa. For additional information, contact the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid, Meadows School of the Arts, P.O. Box 750356, Dallas, Texas 75275-0356 (telephone 214/768-3314).

Additional Documents Required for International Applicants

We welcome international applicants at SMU and into the Meadows School of the Arts! Our campus has a significant international graduate student body and we believe that international students provide diverse perspectives and backgrounds that are invaluable in graduate educations. Click here to review a list of additional requirements, extended information, and list of resources for International Applicants.

Interviews and Campus Visits

Once all applications are reviewed by the Division of Art faculty, a faculty committee may interview semi-finalists virtually. Finalists will be selected and contacted by March 1st. The acceptance deadline is April 15th.

Visits to campus are encouraged for all accepted students. Prospective students are invited to visit the SMU program in the following periods:

December: End-of-semester M.F.A. reviews
February-March: M.F.A. exhibition
April: 2nd year M.F.A. oral exams
Various Dates Annually: Division of Art Visiting Artist Lecture Series

For individual campus visits, please contact to schedule.

Submission and Contact Information

All application-related materials should be directed to the following:

Graduate Application Processing
PO BOX 518
Dallas, TX 75275-0548

You may also email application-related documents to
Questions regarding the portfolio, application or admission process may be directed to:

Meadows Admission Office