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.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 2014 interviews will be held on Saturday, March 15. 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. Candidates placed on our wait list may be accepted at any point through April.
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. The 2014 summer session begins with first-year orientation on June 6 and ends on August 1.
The application for summer 2015 will be available in late September.
The application and all supporting materials can be 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.
Summer 2015 Application Requirements
Don't wait until the last moment to start your application! You are not charged the application fee until you submit, so there is no harm in starting early.
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. Please note that you will have to start a new 2014 application - you cannot continue an application you started for 2013.
On SlideRoom, select the category MFA (Fine Arts) and choose one discipline (Film/Video, Music/Sound, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, or Writing) for the application. If you start an application for one discipline and later decide to switch to another discipline, you can copy your application information, portfolio files, and submitted recommendations to the new program.
You may apply to more than one discipline if you like, but you will have to submit a separate application to each discipline and pay the fee for each application. Each discipline has their own admissions review committee made up of faculty from that department.
You may log in and out as many times as you need to complete the application. You will not be able to submit until you have completed all sections, uploaded all required 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 $65, paid on SlideRoom by credit or debit card.
3. Personal statement: 1–2 pages discussing your work and artistic goals or considerations in a personal as well as critical context. Similar to an artist statement, but should also include the reason(s) you want to attend Bard, and what you hope to gain from graduate study. You will upload this through SlideRoom as a PDF file.
Note: please only upload your statement as a PDF, as other file types may be difficult for the reviewers to open.
4. C.V. / History of Work in the Arts: 1–3 pages listing current and recent employment, artistic involvement, and related skills/experience. Can be in resume or paragraph form. You will upload this through SlideRoom as a PDF file.
Note: please only upload your CV as a PDF, as other file types may be difficult for the reviewers to open.
5. At least two letters of recommendation, submitted through SlideRoom. We recommend a maximum of 4 letters. Letters can be from anyone who knows you and your work well; a recent teacher, colleague, gallery owner, fellow artist, etc. The deadline for submission of letters of recommendation is January 25, 2015.
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. If a recommender is unable to submit their letter through the SlideRoom system, we will accept them by postal mail (scroll down this page for our mailing address). We do not accept letters by email or fax.
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 at least one academic year. We don't require transcripts from non-degree programs, study abroad, or exchange programs.
Transcripts may be unofficial and should be uploaded with your SlideRoom application. We will accept scans of an official transcript, a list of courses attended (with grades) downloaded from an institution's website, and English translations of foreign transcripts/diplomas. We strongly advise that you upload your transcript rather than mailing it, as it is easier for the admissions committee to review and also eliminates the chance of it getting lost in the mail (which happens frequently).
Note: please only upload your transcript(s) as a PDF, as other file types may be difficult for the reviewers to open.
If you never received an undergraduate degree, please indicate life experience (in the undergraduate education section of the online application) that you feel takes the place of a Bachelor's degree.
Note: If you are invited for an interview, we will require that you submit official hard copies of all of your transcripts at that time.
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, with an emphasis 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.
All portfolios are submitted entirely online through SlideRoom.
Please refer to the SlideRoom application media section for size limits of individual media files. The admissions committees have no preference on image file sizes - we accept anything you can upload through SlideRoom.
Film/Video: Several short videos, or excerpts from longer pieces, submitted online as part of your SlideRoom application. You may upload video files or provide links to files on Vimeo. You may also submit image files, PDF documents, and work from other mediums; whatever best represents your recent artistic work. 15 sample maximum; total duration of all time-based samples should not exceed 30 minutes. Please include a brief description with each sample.
Music/Sound: 5-10 samples of creative work, submitted online as part of 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 duration of all time-based samples should not exceed 30 minutes. Please include a brief description with each sample. Note: a work and a document supplementing it - such as a score - count as one sample.
Painting: 15-20 images or short audio/video files of creative work submitted online as part of 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.
Photography: 20 images or short audio/video files (no more than 5 minutes long) of creative work submitted online as part of 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 (no more than 150 words).
Sculpture: 25 images or short audio/video files of creative work submitted online as part of your SlideRoom application. Include 20 images of work from the past three years and 5 images of older work (2009 and earlier). 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, as a single PDF file, submitted online as part of your SlideRoom application. 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.
For any materials that cannot be submitted online (such as official transcripts or some letters of recommendation), please use this address.
Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts
Attn: MFA Admissions
30 Campus Road
Annandale on Hudson, NY 12504-5000
Every applicant must choose a discipline for the application. Each discipline has a separate admissions review committee made up of faculty from that department. If your work spans more than one medium (or doesn't fit neatly into a discipline, such as performance), 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. Your work will be reviewed by two separate admissions committees, one in each discipline.
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, C.V., 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 2013 you will have to submit everything again, as older applications are not archived.
We offer several types of financial aid for students, including both merit and need-based grants. If you are selected for an interview, you will be given instructions on applying for financial aid at that time. For more details on financial aid please see our Financial Aid page.
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 no later than December 31, 2014. 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.