The School of Art offers graduate programs in illustration and studio arts that lead to a master of fine arts (M.F.A.) degree and a graduate program in arts in context – creative leadership that leads to a master of arts (M.A.) degree.
Application information and requirements for these programs are listed below.
Additionally, in conjunction with Syracuse University's School of Education, the School of Art offers a master of science (M.S.) degree in art education. Admission to art education is through the School of Education.
If you are a current SU student, or if you recently completed a graduate program at SU, you may qualify for the internal admission process.
Application deadline: February 1 for fall admission; studio arts deadline extended to March 1
- School of Art programs currently do not offer spring admission.
- If you are applying for a McNair Graduate Fellowship or a University African American Fellowship, you must submit your application by January 1 for fall admission. To be considered for all other merit-based awards, please submit your application by February 1.
Completed applications must include:
- Online application.
- Portfolio and artist statement. Refer to the bottom of this page for portfolio submission information and requirements.
- Three letters of recommendation. Consult online application for details.
- Academic transcript. Unofficial transcript uploaded to the online application. If you are admitted, an official, degree-bearing transcript must be mailed to the University. Applicants must complete a U.S. bachelor's degree (or its equivalent in another country) before starting a graduate program.
- Personal statement/essay. Describe in approximately 500 words your main academic interests, why you wish to study for the degree you have chosen, why you wish to study at Syracuse University, how you expect to finance your studies, and your plans for the future after you receive your degree. Upload directly to the online application.
- Resume. Upload directly to the online application.
- Application fee. A non-refundable application fee of $75. See online application for details.
For international students:
All graduate international applicants to Syracuse University whose first language is not English must prove they are proficient in the English language. The TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is required of all graduate applicants whose native language is not English.
Use DI code 2823 when requesting your TOEFL scores to be sent to Syracuse University.
- The recommended minimum TOEFL score required on the internet-based (iBT) test is 90 for all programs.
- The minimum IELTS score is 6.5 for all programs except the M.A. in audio arts and the M.F.A. in collaborative design, which require a score of 100 on the iBT.
- A student may be admitted with scores lower than those listed above as determined by the individual departments/school in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Under those circumstances students will be admitted provisionally with the need for developmental English language education. Students may satisfy the English language proficiency requirement by attending our English Language Institute (ELI) and completing Level 4 at the institute. Find out more information on the ELI website. If students are conditionally admitted for English proficiency, it is not mandatory for them to attend the ELI. The ELI is an alternative option for students who do not wish to retake the TOEFL or IELTS.
The TOEFL or IELTS requirement may be waived in certain situations:
- An applicant who has attended an undergraduate institution in the U.S. or one outside the U.S. that is based on the American system of education where the language of instruction for a student's entire schooling has been the English language.
The decision to waive the standard requirement is at the discretion of the department to which you are applying. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to see if you may qualify.
International students must show proof of sufficient funding for the first year of graduate study in order to have a student visa authorized. For detailed requirements and instructions, see the instructions in our online application and the instructions on the Graduate School website.
Submitting Your Portfolio
Applicants may submit their portfolios online or by mail. Portfolios may be submitted before or after your application.
1. Online (Preferred)
Submit your portfolio and artist statement to us online in Slideroom. Upload images (.jpg), video (.mov, .wmv, .flv) or PDF documents. For good image quality and fast upload speeds, your image files should be sized around 1024 x 768px @ 72 ppi. Please keep video files under 20MB (approximately 5 minutes). Our online portal offers additional instructions for submitting work. For technical assistance, contact email@example.com. The cost to submit by uploading is $10.
2. By Mail
If necessary, materials can be sent to our office at the address below. Make sure materials are labeled with your name and program of interest. Please do not send anything that has already been submitted through the online application or SlideRoom.
Mailing address for portfolio materials:
Office of Research and Graduate Studies
College of Visual and Performing Arts
222 Smith Hall
Syracuse NY 13244-1180
Arts in Context – Creative Leadership, Illustration, and Studio Arts
Submit a portfolio of at least 12 and no more than 20 images. Include a description of each using the template provided in SlideRoom.
There is no portfolio requirement. Admission is through the School of Education. Visit their website for additional information and deadline information.