• grad slider 1

    Chelsea Alvarez

  • grad slider 2

    Michelle Lynn Jacobson

  • Grad slider 3

    Rosario Lopez

  • Grad slider 4

    Mei Wah Lois Morimoto



The Department of Art offers two graduate degrees, the Master of Arts (30 units) and the Master of Fine Arts (60 units).

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 an experienced, supportive and diverse faculty. Applicants are encouraged to contact the art advisement office to schedule appointments with the Visual Arts Graduate Coordinator and the Area Coordinator/s to review digital portfolios and statements, as well as answer questions. For questions in addition to the information found below, please contact the Visual Arts Graduate Coordinator   

Area Coordinators


Art Department Advisement Office:

University Catalog Page:

Catalog Page for Graduate Studies:



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?

When are the deadlines for applications?

The MA portfolio application has a deadline in Fall (the first Friday in September) 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 SlideRoom by clicking on the requirements links above.

Do I have to apply to the University, too?

YES. All students who apply to the Art Department must also apply to and be accepted by the University through Cal State Apply. Please see Graduate Apply on the Admissions and Records link:

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: International students must apply through the international office:

How much is tuition?

Please visit this page for details about cost of attendance, applying for financial aid, and scholarships:

How/where do I submit my portfolio?

MA and MFA Portfolios are submitted online through SlideRoom: Please see image formatting requirements on SlideRoom:

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); and statement of intention/philosophy discussing goals as an artist and reasons for pursuing the MA Program.

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 and two references; statement of intention/philosophy (500 word maximum) discussing goals as an artist and reasons for pursuing the MFA degree; and copies of complete Academic Records (transcripts), including institutions attended, overall Grade Point Average, and degree/s completed.

I am interested in Graphic Design; what kind of portfolio should I submit?

Applicants applying to Communication Design should have at least two (MA)/four (MFA) years professional industry-related experience. For the portfolio, please 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?

Submit a minimum of three videos that demonstrate a sustained exploration. 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.