Visual Arts Graduate Programs
The graduate faculty is comprised of working artists, including members of the tenured/tenure-track faculty and visiting artists, writers, and critics from the Los Angeles international art community. Together, they form a diverse, experienced, and supportive faculty. Applicants are encouraged to contact the Visual Arts Graduate Coordinator and Area Coordinator(s) for information and questions in addition to the those found below.
Contact: Erik Sandberg
Contact: Samantha Fields
Frequently Asked Questions
What Visual Arts Degrees does CSUN offer and what is the difference between them?
The Department of Art at CSUN offers two graduate degrees in Visual Arts: the Master of Arts (M.A.) and the Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) The M.A. is 30 units and can be completed in one, one-and-a-half, or two years depending on course load. The M.F.A. is a terminal degree, meaning it is the highest degree awarded in a given field. It is 60 units and can be completed in two or three years depending on course load. M.F.A. students are given an on-campus studio and are considered to be in residence during their studies.
What are the admissions requirements for each degree?
Requirements for the M.A. can be found here:
Requirements for the M.F.A. can be found here:
When are the deadlines for applications?
The MA portfolio application has a deadline in Fall (the first Friday in October) and one in Spring (the first Monday in February). MFA applications are due the first Monday in February. Both MA and MFA applications are submitted online through applyweb.
Do I have to apply to the University, too?
What score do I need for English Equivalency, and what are the application requirements for International Students?
Please see this link for test score requirements: https://www.csun.edu/prospectivestudents/future-csun-students. International students must apply through the international office: http://www.csun.edu/admissions-records/international
How much is tuition?
Please visit this page for details about cost of attendance, applying for financial aid, and scholarships: http://www.csun.edu/financialaid/basics/cost.php
How/where do I submit my portfolio?
MA and MFA Portfolios are submitted online HERE.
Who decides if I am accepted?
The University reviews the application with regard to admissions requirements, and the Visual Arts Graduate Committee evaluates the portfolio.
What should I include in my MA portfolio?
8-10 recent work samples, with up to 4 additional related samples (including titles, media, size, and year completed); an artist statement/statement of intent (500 word limit) that discusses the applicant's artwork, including concept, context, and craft, as well as goals and reasons for pursuing graduate study; and contact information for two references.
What should I include in my MFA portfolio?
15-20 recent work samples (including titles, media, size, and year completed) that demonstrate a sustained exploration of the prospective area of interest; resume; two letters of recommendation; an artist statement/statement of intent (500 word limit) that discusses the applicant's artwork, including concept, context, and craft, as well as goals and reasons for pursuing graduate study; and copies of complete Academic Records (transcripts), including institutions attended, overall Grade Point Average, and degree/s completed.
I am interested in Communication Design; what kind of portfolio should I submit?
In addition to the aforementioned MA and MFA portfolio requirements, applicants applying to Communication Design should have at least two (MA) or four (MFA) years professional industry-related experience and should include 1-2 "case study" projects demonstrating process (research/ideation/refinement/implementation), as well as 1-2 self-driven, rather than client driven, projects.
I make videos; what kind of portfolio should I submit?
A minimum of three videos that demonstrate a sustained exploration of Video Art should be made available for the Graduate Committee to review; the videos should be accessible through a link to a personal website or a video hosting platform. Cumulative length of all videos should not exceed ten minutes.
Not recommended: technical demos, trailers, computer animation. Note that the video area is separate from the animation area, which does not have a graduate program. Also note that students interested in conventional cinema should contact the CTVA department.
Do you have a graduate program in animation?
No. Please do not send animation portfolios.