Prospective Students Applying
Artists who seek the stimulation and challenges of an interdisciplinary environment in their pursuit of the M.F.A. degree are invited to apply for admission to the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts. Applicants are cautioned that, while the program convenes during the summer months, it is not a residency.
Successful candidates will demonstrate a desire to rigorously reevaluate their artistic practice, and also show a strong grasp of the technical craft, historical background, and current practice of their discipline, with an interest in the equivalent vocabularies and practices of other disciplines.We are no longer accepting applications for 2013. The next application deadline will be in January 2014, for a summer 2014 start. The 2014 application will be available in the fall.
Applications for admission are accepted once per year. Applications and portfolios are reviewed and evaluated by a committee of faculty within the applicant's chosen discipline. Approximately 12 candidates per discipline are selected from this pool and invited to interview at Bard; for 2013 those interviews take place on Saturday, March 16. Initial admission offers are made in late March; admitted students must pay a $500 enrollment deposit at the time of acceptance in order to secure their position in the program.
Students must commence the program with the upcoming summer session. Deferment of admission is not permitted. Admitted candidates who cannot attend the upcoming summer session must reapply to the program for consideration in a future year.
Our application for summer 2014 will be available in the fall. The application, and most portfolios and supporting materials, are submitted online through SlideRoom.
We do not require the GRE, and we do not have any grade point average requirements. An undergraduate degree is not required for admission; an applicant's life experience may take the place of an undergraduate degree.
Go to bard.slideroom.com, create a login ID, select the category MFA (Fine Arts), and then select the appropriate program.
If you have already used SlideRoom in a previous year or for another school, you should use your existing login ID so that any portfolio materials and recommendations previously uploaded will be available to you.
You may log in and out as many times as you need to complete the application. Please do not submit it until you have completed all sections, uploaded all portfolio items, and paid the application fee. You CAN submit before all recommenders have uploaded their reference letters, and you can edit their information after you submit, so don't let that deter you from submitting early.
2. Application fee of $85 USD, paid on SlideRoom by credit or debit card.
4. Resume / History of Work in the Arts: 1–3 pages listing current and recent employment, artistic involvement, and related skills/experience. You will upload this through SlideRoom.
5. At least two letters of recommendation, submitted through SlideRoom (preferred) or by mail. Letters can be from anyone who knows you and your work well; a recent teacher, colleague, gallery owner, fellow artist, etc. We do not accept letters by email or fax.
In order for recommenders to submit their letters through SlideRoom, you must provide their contact information under the Recommender section of the application. An email from SlideRoom with instructions for uploading a letter will be sent to each recommender you register.
New: if you have applied through SlideRoom previously, you may reuse any recommendations from the past two years that were submitted through the system. From the References page in SlideRoom, select "Add Reference", then select "Reuse Previous" on the top left of the next screen.
6. Transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate schools (Associate, Bachelor, Master, Doctoral, or the equivalent) and certificate programs attended for more than one academic year. We don't require transcripts from non-degree programs, study abroad, or exchange programs.
Transcripts need to be official (no photocopies, in an envelope sealed by the institution) and mailed to Bard at the address given below. If your school offers official digital transcripts, we will accept them as well, emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. We cannot accept transcripts that are copied/scanned and emailed to us by the applicant, or hard copies that have been opened. (Exception only for foreign transcripts that need to be translated into English.)
If you never received an undergraduate degree, please indicate life experience (in the education section of the online application) that you feel takes the place of a Bachelor's degree.
7. Portfolio representing a variety of work from the past three years. Work submitted may span more than one discipline, but the applicant must choose one primary discipline for the application. Portfolio requirements and submission formats vary for each discipline, as listed below.
Your portfolio should demonstrate what you consider to be your best work over the past three years (you can submit even older work if you like, particularly if it reflects your current practice or interests), with a focus on work from the past 12 months. Work-in-progress is welcomed. You may include multiple works from a particular series, but it is recommended that your portfolio not consist entirely of one series of work. If your work spans more than one discipline or medium, you can include work from the other mediums as well. With the exception of Film/Video, all portfolios are submitted entirely online through SlideRoom.
Film/Video: Several short films and/or videos, or excerpts from longer pieces, submitted as Quicktime files on DVD or thumb/flash drive. Total duration of all film/video submissions should not exceed 30 minutes. You may also submit images, PDF documents, and supplemental work from other mediums on the DVD. Please include a brief description with each sample. DVDs must be postmarked by the application deadline and sent by a trackable method that guarantees their arrival at Bard within one week. Please put your full name on both the DVD and the case. Portfolios will not be returned.
Music/Sound: 5-15 samples of creative work, submitted online with your SlideRoom application. You may submit audio and video files, PDF documents (such as musical scores), YouTube, Vimeo, or SoundCloud links, and work from other mediums; whatever best represents your recent artistic work. Total length of all time-based samples should not exceed 30 minutes. Please include a brief description with each sample.
Painting, Photography, and Sculpture: 20 images or short audio/video files of creative work submitted online with your SlideRoom application. You may include both overview and detail images of the same piece. Your samples can be from any medium--whatever best represents your recent artistic work. Please include a brief description with each sample.
Writing: Samples of writing(s), 15-20 pages total, submitted online with your SlideRoom application as a single .pdf or Word (.doc) document. Prose submissions should be double-spaced. Please indicate title and date of composition for each piece, and label each page with your name and the page number. You may optionally submit up to 10 images, videos, and audio files on your SlideRoom application in addition to the writing sample. Please include a brief description with each sample.
Interdisciplinary applicationsEvery applicant must choose a discipline for the application. Each discipline has a separate application review committee made up of faculty from that department. If your work spans more than one medium, you have two options:
- Choose one discipline that most closely relates to your work and interests. You should have significant experience working within that discipline and knowledge of its history and theory. Your portfolio can include works from both within and outside of that medium.
- Apply to two disciplines, paying the application fee for each discipline.
Regardless of which discipline you apply for, you are welcome to include work in your portfolio from other mediums.
We do not offer a Performance discipline; rather, performance can be done within any of our six disciplines. Choose a discipline for the application by following the instructions for Interdisciplinary Applications above.
For any materials not submitted online, please use this address. We recommend using a trackable method for Film/Video portfolios.
Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts
Attn: MFA Admissions
30 Campus Road
Annandale on Hudson, NY 12504-5000
ReapplyingIf you applied to our program within the past two years and want to reapply, you will need to submit a new application, fee, statement, resume, and portfolio, but may reuse any transcripts we have on file for you. Any recommendations submitted on SlideRoom within the past two years may also be reused. From the References page in SlideRoom, select "Add Reference", then select "Reuse Previous" on the top left of the next screen. Please be sure to indicate which year you previously applied on the application form so we may find your file and transfer the appropriate documents.
If you applied prior to 2011 you will have to submit everything again, as older applications are not archived.
Because Bard's MFA program relies heavily on one-to-one conversation and dynamic group discussion, it is critical that our students have an ease and familiarity with spoken English. To show English language competency, a foreign applicant must provide proof of one of the following:
- A college degree from an English-speaking institution
- A score of at least 90 on the internet (iBT) Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
- A score of at least 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test
A transcript (confirming English instruction, if the school is not located in an English-speaking country) must be submitted from the school if using option one. For options two and three, language tests must have been taken in the past two years and a score report is to be submitted directly to Bard from the testing service. Those with scores lower than the above may still apply, but will need to demonstrate English fluency during a spoken interview in March, if selected as an interview candidate.
To enter the United States for full-time study, a foreign student applies for an F-1 visa using the I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Nonresident (F-1) Student Status. Bard can issue an I-20 only after receiving financial documents that prove the student has funds to cover all the costs of his or her study for the summer program: an official award letter for a fellowship, scholarship, or government grant; for personal/family support, a bank letter confirming available funds or a Certificate of Finances Form is required.
Bard will issue a new I-20 for each full-time summer session and students will need to pay the appropriate visa fees each year. Bard cannot sponsor visas for the winter periods; international students must return to their home country during those periods or obtain alternate visas to stay in the United States. Students are also ineligible for O.P.T. visas upon completion of the program.