MFA Studio Practice: How to Apply

Graduate Admission

Application for admission to the MFA Contemporary Art Practice: Studio Practice (three-year full-residency) must be made by the January deadline (stated below) prior to the fall term in which the student intends to begin work towards the degree.

Applying to the Studio Practice MFA program is a two-step process. In addition to the Portland State University application, the MFA Studio program requires the submission of a digital portfolio.

Step One

Begin your application process through Portland State University’s Office of Admissions. This link contains information about University level application procedures and fees.

Step Two

Submit your digital portfolio and other application materials (outlined below) to the School of Art + Design through SlideRoom.

The SlideRoom application portal for Fall 2021 opens December 1, 2020.

Deadline to Apply

January 15, 2021 at midnight PST

Apply for Scholarships by February 1

Incoming students who are accepted to the program won't have another opportunity to apply for financial support during their first year, so be sure to apply!


Applicants to the Studio MFA program are invited from a variety of backgrounds, preferably but not exclusively from students who have received undergraduate degrees in the visual arts. We also welcome students with significant experience as practicing artists but come from other focuses of study, who feel that artistic research could expand their approach to their areas of interest.

Application Materials

  • Digital Portfolio featuring 10-15 images, video, audio, or text-based examples of your work. Images (jpg, gif, png) up to 5 MB each, videos up to 250 MB each, audio (up to 30MB mp3) up to 10 MB each, documents (pdf) up to 10 MB each. You may also link to media from YouTube, Vimeo and SoundCloud. Faculty will review up to 5 minutes total of video or audio clips, so please send short clips or indicate exactly which sections of longer files you would like faculty to review.
  • Statement of Intent focusing on your reasons for applying to the Studio MFA program, including relevant background, significant past experience and achievements, future plans, and any additional information that may aid the selection committee in evaluating aptitude for graduate study. (500 words max)
  • Curriculum Vitae outlining art-related achievements and experience.
  • Transcripts from all degree-granting institutions the applicant attended.
  • One letter of recommendation


A $65 non-refundable application fee and a $2 processing fee will be required to successfully complete the application. Payment can be made with a VISA or MasterCard.

Financial Assistance

Each year, tuition assistance is available through Graduate Assistantships and Scholarships through Portland State University.

  • Graduate Assistantships (GAs) are offered to incoming students each year as they are available. Applicants do not apply for GAs. Assistantships provide students with opportunities to assist instructors and eventually teach their own courses. They also provide tuition remission and a stipend.
  • Scholarships are available through the College of the Arts and through Portland State University.