Admission Requirements Degree Requirements

Mailing Address:
School of Art and Design (MC 036)
929 West Harrison Street
Chicago, IL 60607-7038

Campus Location: 106 JH
Program Code: 20FS0151MFA
Telephone: (312) 996-3337
Web Site:
Director, School of Art and Design: Marcia Lausen
Director of Graduate Studies: Jennifer Reeder

The School of Art and Design offers work leading to the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in Photography. The school also offers programs leading to the MFA degree in Electronic Visualization, Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Moving Image, and Studio Arts. Consult the appropriate sections of the catalog for more information on these programs. The School of Art and Design is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Admission Requirements

Applicants are considered on an individual basis. Transcripts of all undergraduate and any graduate work must be submitted. In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, applicants must meet the following program requirements:

Master of Fine Arts

  • Baccalaureate Field No restrictions; however, individuals who apply must demonstrate an advanced level of competence in photography through their portfolio submission.
  • rade Point Average At least 3.00/4.00 for the final 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours) of undergraduate study.
  • Tests Required None.
  • Minimum English Competency Test Score
    • TOEFL 580 (paper-based); 237 (computer-based); 92, with subscores of  Reading 19, Listening 17, Speaking 20, and Writing 21 (iBT Internet-based), OR,
    • IELTS 6.5, with subscores of 6.0 for all four subscores.
  • Letters of Recommendation Three required.
  • Personal Statement Required. This statement of purpose should outline applicant’s current or previous work as relevant to plans and objectives for advanced study; describe professional goals and how these goals were developed; and state why applicant would like to study in the chosen area at the school.
  • Other Requirements Applicants must submit a portfolio of 12 images of current work demonstrating proficiency in the area of photography. Portfolios are submitted online at : No portfolios are to be submitted with application materials. Prerequisites and/or technical experience specific to this field of study may be required prior to entrance.
  • Deadlines The application deadline for this program is February 1; contact the School of Art and Design for more information.

Degree Requirements

In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, students must meet the following program requirements:

Master of Fine Arts

  • Minimum Semester Hours Required 64.
  • Course Work Required Courses: 16 semester hours of AD 502, 16 semester hours of AD 560, and 20 semester hours of AD 561.
  • Electives: At least 12 semester hours of graduate-level electives are required. The completion of at least two courses in art history is strongly recommended.
  • Comprehensive Examination None.
  • Thesis, Project, or Course-Work-Only Options Project required. No other options are available.
  • Project: All MFA candidates must present for review a public exhibition or showing. Documentation in the form of a major paper and CD or DVD of the project must be presented to the school for archival purposes.
  • Other Requirements Continuation in the MFA program beyond the second semester requires an evaluation and recommendation of the Graduate Advisory Committee in the student’s area.