Faculty: John Divola, Jim Isermann, Brandon Lattu, Charles Long, Yunhee Min, and Amir Zaki.

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Graduate Academic Appeals Procedure for Existing Students

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MFA Poster

The core of the program is independent creative work done in consultation with faculty. MFA students can work in any medium. UCR has facilities for photography, painting, video, digital media and sculpture. Individual graduate studios are provided.

The MFA is a Plan I (thesis) master's degree program, requiring 72 units in graduate or approved upper-division undergraduate courses that must be completed with at least a letter grade of "B" or "Satisfactory."

Required courses include 48 units in graduate courses in theory and criticism, as well as individual projects and tutorials:

  • Three courses of Art 285, Graduate Critique
  • Art 230, Contemporary Critical Issues
  • Art 240, Critical Theory
  • Art 299, Research for Thesis
  • Art History Graduate Seminar
  • Five courses of Art 293, Directed Individual Studio Production

Of the remaining 24 units in elective courses, at least one additional course must be in Art History or Media and Culture Studies, and at least two additional courses must be taken from a department other than art.  These courses may be graduate or undergraduate courses.

MFA students will receive a degree in Visual Art. The course of study is not characterized by medium.

The thesis requirement is met by the student's MFA thesis exhibition, accompanied by a written thesis on the work exhibited. A graduate thesis committee reviews the thesis. The committee is composed of three faculty members, at least two from the Department of Art. The third faculty member may be from another department.

Teaching requirement: None; however, students are given opportunities to teach and are encouraged to do so.

Foreign language requirement: None

Normative time to degree: Three years.

Requirements for Admission

Acceptance into the MFA program in the Department of Art is predicated on acceptance by the Graduate Division. All materials must be received by January 5th, deadline and incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

NOTE: GRE scores are NOT required for application to the Department of Art; Three (3) Letters of Recommendation are required by Graduate Admissions.


The application process for the UC Riverside MFA program is divided in TWO (2) Parts.

Students applying to the MFA program at UCR must first start their Application with the UCR Electronic application through the UCR Graduate System, pay their fee and take note of their application ID for submitting a Portfolio through SlideRoom.

The First Part of the application process includes using this Graduate System Website to submit:

I.             Both Statement of Purpose and Personal History Statement
II.            At least three (3) Letters of Recommendation
III.           Official Transcripts
IV.           Graduate Division Supplemental Fellowship Information Form
V.            Curriculum Vitae (CV) -  Should include student’s References
VI.            Students must take note of their application ID to enter into Slide Room

The Second Part of the application process involves:
I.            Going to your online portfolio portal (Slideroom)
a.   Students must fill out the UCR privacy notice and agreement with their slide Room ID
II.           Following the instructions for submitting your portfolio of images/video
III.          Uploading your Artist Statement
a.   Provide additional explanatory information that pertains to your work. This is a separate statement from your ‘Statement of Purpose and Personal History Statement.’
IV.          Uploading your Slide List
a.    Follow the instructions on to make sure each image has the correct caption information
V.           Please note that students will have to pay a $10 fee to upload their images and Artist Statement to SlideRoom

If appropriate during the application process students may either:
(1) upload the additional information as Word documents or PDFs,
(2) copy and paste the additional information in the text boxes provided, or
(3) mail the additional information to the department, or
(4) e-mail the additional information to the departmental address.


  1. What is the application deadline?
    • Applications must be received by January 5th in order to be considered for financial support from the Graduate Division.
  1. Where can the on-line application be found?
  1. How does the on-line application work? 
    • The new on-line application for the Graduate Division allows students to upload a majority of the required supplemental data requested below. 
    • Students will be able to electronically request letters of recommendations from Professors and the Professors can submit the letters directly to the UCR Graduate Division on-line system.
    • Students will be asked to upload their Statement of Purpose, Personal History Statement, and CV into the on-line UCR Graduate System Application.
    • Students will be able to review their application to see what supplemental data has been received by the Art Department. 
    • The only data that cannot be uploaded directly are “Official Transcripts.”  Official Transcripts should be mailed directly to the Art Department (See # 4 below for the mailing address). 
  1. What supplemental materials are required?

    I. Required for the UCR Graduate Division Application

    • GRE scores are NOT required for the MFA Program
    • Transcripts from ALL colleges or universities attended
    • A Statement of Purpose
        • Your Statement of Purpose should provide a clear and detailed description of your academic interests and career objectives. It should include some description of what you have studied so far, and of any relevant work experiences.  We would like to know what you expect your area(s) of specialization within the field to be, and what preparation you have had so far in these areas; if there are particular faculty or resources that attract you to study at UC Riverside.
    • A Personal History Statement
        • In an essay, discuss how your personal background informs your decision to pursue a graduate degree. Please include any educational, familial, cultural, economic, or social experiences, challenges, or opportunities relevant to your academic journey; how you might contribute to social or cultural diversity within your chosen field; and/or how you might serve educationally underrepresented segments of society with your degree.
    • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation
    • CV - Curriculum Vitae
        • Should include students References
    • The application fee ($80 for domestic applicants; $100 for foreign applications)
        • This fee can ONLY be paid with a credit card
        • Students who do not have access to credit cards may contact the Graduate Admissions Office for check or money order payment options.  951-827-3313

II. Requirement for SlideRoom (Portfolio Submission)

    • Portfolio Must be uploaded into SlideRoom website
        • Students must include their UCR Application ID # into SlideRoom
        • A Maximum of 20 Images can be included in your SlideRoom portfolio
        • Students can also upload ‘video’ portfolios onto SlideRoom
    • Slide List
        • Your slide list should correspond to each image in SlideRoom which should include: title, date, dimensions and medium.
    •  Short Artist Statement
        • Provide additional explanatory information that pertains to your work. This is a separate statement from your ‘Statement of Purpose.’


  1. Where should the application materials be sent? The electronic forms need to be submitted online.  Any supplemental materials that were not uploaded into the electronic application should all be sent to the same location, namely

    UC Riverside
    The Department of Art
    Graduate Portfolio Committee
    900 University Avenue

    233A Arts Building
    Riverside, CA 92521

  2. How much is Tuition at UC Riverside?  For tuition information, please visit:
  1. Is there anything additional needed besides the supplemental materials listed in Question # 3 above that  is required for foreign applicants?
    • Yes, foreign students need to take the TOEFL and submit their scores. 
    • In addition foreign students must submit a Financial Verification form and read the Graduate Divisions Visa Procedures. 
  1. Who should I contact if I have more questions? 

Foreign Applicants      

  ** Graduate Division Website:

The Graduate Division allows limited funding to the Art Department pertaining to international students, and the department is not able to make attractive financial aid packages. Please note that the MFA program in Visual Arts is a three (3) year program and students that go beyond the normative time will have to pay for tuition and fees on their own behalf. If an international student is accepted into the program they along with the other domestic students within the program are required to maintain a minimum 3.5 GPA. If your GPA falls below this minimum the student runs the risk of losing their funding and having to pay for tuition and fees.  Please note that tuition and fees per quarter are substantially higher for international students and does not cover the cost of living. Also, remember that you must fill out the Financial Verification form to provide evidence that you have adequate monies in order to be admitted.

See more Graduate Program details in the catalog.


Tours for Prospective Graduate Students

 We strongly encourage those interested in applying to the MFA program to come to campus and take a tour. During the tour you will meet with a faculty member, see the art facilities, visit graduate studios, as well as meet with a current graduate student. The tour will take about 2.5 hours. It may be possible to arrange sitting in on a graduate class, please inquire if this possibility interests you. We request that you sign-up for a tour 3-days in advance of the tour date.

Date of Tour Given By

October 4, 2016@11am
October 18, 2016@11am

John Divola (Professor)
Ahram Park (Current MFA Student)

November 1, 2016 @ 12pm

Ashley May (Current MFA Student)

December 6, 2016 @11:00am

Brandon Lattu (Professor)
Dicky Bahto (Current MFA Student)

January 19, 2017 @11:00am

Yunhee Min (Professor)
Julie Sadowski (Current MFA Student)

February 2017: one tour, date TBD

Charles Long (Professor)
Joseph Leavenworth (Current MFA Student)

March 2017: one tour, date TBD

Amir Zaki (Professor)
Hollie Brown (Current MFA Student)


 To sign up for a tour please email: with your name & requested date of tour.