College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities

MFA Application Info

Applicants must apply both to the department of art and to the Clemson graduate school. For information about applying to the graduate school, see the requirements on the graduate school's webpage.

We admit a limited number of talented and creative MFA candidates on a competitive basis. No GRE is required. See the department criteria and deadlines below.

Admissions Criteria

  • Applicants must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a major in visual arts. Especially well-qualified candidates from other disciplines or degree programs who have exceptionally strong portfolios may be considered.
  • Applicants must submit a portfolio documenting their creative work. The portfolio should represent 15 to 20 works, the majority of which should represent the chosen field of study. The portfolio should consist of 20 images and an accompanying list that identifies the image, the size of the work and media used. We accept traditional slides and CDs with images in JPG or PDF format; no Power Point documents please. An admissions committee that is composed of members of the Department of Art faculty reviews the portfolio. We encourage prospective students to schedule a campus interview before or during the application process.
  • Applicants must have a minimum grade-point ratio of 3.0 on the last 60 major credit hours of undergraduate work.
  • Applicants will provide an unofficial transcript to the Graduate School and the Department of Art.
  • Applicants must provide three letters of recommendation from major professors, producing artists or professional acquaintances who are familiar with the applicant's work and development in the visual arts.
  • Applicants should submit a one- to two-page artist statement that provides insight into the development of the work completed to date. The statement should address ideas relative to form and content.
  • Applicants must also submit a statement of intent regarding their interest in pursuing the MFA degree.
  • Applicants should provide a current resume/CV in the application materials.


January 1* — Application materials due for consideration for $5,000 University Recruitment Fellowships awarded to outstanding applicants throughout the University. To be considered for this award, applicants must have a GPR of 3.5 or more and/or a very strong portfolio.

March 15* — For an applicant to be considered for review by the Department of Art graduate faculty all materials must be received by March 15th. This includes the Clemson University Graduate School application form, CD portfolio of work, letter of intent, transcripts, 3 letters of recommendation and a current resume/CV.

*Please note that application forms, fees, unofficial transcripts and recommendations are to be sent directly to the Graduate School Clemson University Graduate Admissions Office E-209 Martin Hall, Clemson, SC 29634.

The CD portfolio of 20 images of your most recent work along with an unofficial transcript a letter of intent and current resume/CV should be sent directly to the Department of Art c/o Professor David Detrich, Graduate Coordinator, 2-142 Lee Hall, Clemson, SC 29634.

For inquiries or to schedule a campus visit, email the Department of Art graduate coordinator, David Detrich, at or call (864) 656-3890.

For graduate admission information, contact the Office of Admissions,  E-209 Martin, Clemson, SC 29634-5124, Telephone: (864) 656-3195 or visit the graduate school website.