You will find general information on UC San Diego graduate study and application procedures at the Graduate Division’s web site under Admissions. UC San Diego has an online, web-based application process.  There are 2 required steps for MFA applicants:

1).       The Graduate Application for Admission to UC San Diego.

a.       Statement of Purpose - Helpful guidelines for preparing your Statement of Purpose may be found at  Statement Guidelines.

b.       3 Letters of Recommendation - Your recommenders should be the people who both know your art and academic capabilities the best, and can best discuss why you are prepared and would be successful in rigorous academic studies at the graduate level.

c.       Transcripts – Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions (including community colleges) must be scanned and uploaded into the application. Hard copies of transcripts will not be required until an offer of admission has been made.

d.       Application fee (non-refundable) - $105 US Citizens and Permanent Residents and $125 for International applicants 

2)      The UCSD Visual Arts Portfolio is required and must be submitted electronically. You will need to provide the URL to your online Portfolio in your Grad Apply application.

a.       Artist Statement – The Artist Statement should aim to explain, justify, extend, and/or contextualize your body of work. It should attempt to place your work in relationship to art history, theory, and the contemporary world. The statement serves to show that you are conscious of your intentions, aware of your practice and its position within art parameters and of the discourse surrounding it. Therefore not only does it describe and place, but it indicates the level of your own comprehension of your field and making.

b.       Uploads: Your Portfolio should best showcase your research abilities and most accomplished current/recent projects. This may include images, photos, media files, and URLs.  There are additional guidelines on the Portfolio web site.

International Applicants: Please see special instructions by visiting the “International Application Requirements” page

·         The TOEFL exam is required of all international students whose native language is not English

·         Official transcripts that are not in English must be issued in the language of instruction and accompanied by certified English translations. Please click here for additional information.

·         Applicants who have earned degrees abroad must have earned the equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree. UC San Diego accepts WES (World Education Services) ICAP evaluations as verification of the degree earned.

·         We recommend that you look into any outside fellowships, grants and loans for which you may be eligible early on, so that you have an opportunity to meet their deadlines.

Application submission timeline:

The application for admission will open in Grad Apply on September 1, 2017.

The deadline for applicants to create a Visual Arts Portfolio is, December 1, 2017.

The deadline to submit all application materials is, December 112017.



Although our ability to fund all first-year students may vary from year to year, depending on the applicant pool and funding sources, we fund as many entering students as possible through a Teaching or Research Assistantship. Generous funding packages are possible for highly qualified students. Find out more on the Graduate Division’s Funding page. Information for US citizens on establishing California residency for tuition purposes may be found here.

If you are planning a campus visit, please email with “CAMPUS VISIT” on the subject line of your email and include your full name and phone number, and a preferred time. You will be meeting with the Graduate Coordinator and may take a self-guided tour around the campus. Please feel free to contact individual faculty members via email if you wish to meet with them separately.