Art - Master of Fine Arts
The Wonsook Kim School of Art at Illinois State University offers graduate assistantships to candidates for the Master of Fine Arts program. The MFA is a 60-hour program that emphasizes both theory and practice in the production, history, and teaching of the visual arts. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate artistic proficiency in at least one of the following disciplines: painting and drawing, sculpture and expanded media, printmaking, video, ceramics, photography, or glass.
The Wonsook Kim School of Art offers students an excellent faculty, extensive facilities, and individual graduate studio spaces. Just two hours south of Chicago, the Wonsook Kim School of Art offers easy access to the vibrant museum and gallery environment of the city. In addition, the on-campus University Galleries' active exhibition schedule and a full schedule of visiting artist residencies and lectures provide students with a vital critical survey of contemporary art.
Each MFA student mounts a solo exhibition in the student gallery, Transpace, in partial fulfillment of their MFA requirement and can participate in multiple group exhibitions in the University Galleries during their time in the program. The school provides a supportive atmosphere fostering an active studio practice, rigorous intellectual inquiry, and the development of a mature body of work.
Point of Pride
Design Streak Studio, a social innovation lab, facilitates an interdisciplinary environment for students to promote human-centered research, experimentation, and service learning. In addition, students can apply for graphic design internships offered every semester to earn pre-professional work experience.
Discover what life as an Illinois State graduate student is like.
University Admission Requirements
A student applying to a master's program must:
- have earned a four-year bachelor's degree or its equivalent from a college or university that is accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting association, or do so within one academic year
- have a minimum 2.8 GPA (on a scale in which an A is a 4.0) for the last 60 hours of undergraduate work
- present unofficial transcripts from each college or university other than Illinois State at which graduate, undergraduate, or non-degree credit was earned. The unofficial transcript should be easily readable and clearly indicate degree(s) awarded, courses and course grades for each term. If accepted, official transcripts can be emailed from the university to GraduateAdmissions@IllinoisState.edu or mailed in a sealed envelope to: Illinois State University, Graduate School, 209 Hovey Hall, Campus Box 4040, Normal, IL 61790-4040.
International students can learn more about specific application requirements by visiting the Office of Admissions.
Additional Program Admission Requirements
To apply for the Master of Fine Art program, you must meet the following requirements.
Upload your current resume that includes a list of exhibitions and contact information of references. (PDF file)
Submit a statement that addresses ideas central to your current studio work and intentions for graduate study.
Submit a sample of academic writing. (5-page minimum; PDF file)
Reference Contact Information
Submit names and email addresses of three references for letters of recommendation within the online application.
Digital Portfolio and Image List
After submission of your application and application fee, you will upload your digital portfolio and image list in the application portal.
Upload an image list of artworks in your digital portfolio. (PDF file)
For each art work in your digital portfolio, include the following information in a list:
- File name corresponding to your digital portfolio (see File name above)
Thumbnail images of the artworks are helpful but not required.
Upload a digital portfolio of 15-20 images of recent artworks.
Images must conform to the following specifications:
- Image format: JPEG file format only (other image formats, Powerpoint or other presentation formats are not accepted)
- Image Resolution: 1024 wide x 768 high at 72dpi
- File Size: 5mb maximum for each JPEG
- File Name: Name each image file with your last name and a number (e.g., Jones-001.jpg; Jones-002.jpg, etc.)
- Fall Term — February 1
- Spring Term — Contact Wonsook Kim School of Art for availability
- Summer Term — No summer admission
The University provides graduate assistantships as a means of financial support. They are intended as a way to facilitate a student's progress to degree while providing important professional development.
To be eligible for an assistantship a student must, generally,
- be admitted unconditionally as a degree-seeking student into a graduate academic program, or have a minimum of 120 undergraduate hours if in an integrated degree program
- be in good-standing
- be enrolled full-time (typically at least 9 credit hours during the fall or spring semesters, or at least 6 hours during the summer session).
Graduate assistants receive
- monthly wages paid in the form of either a stipend or an hourly wage
- a waiver for 100% of tuition during a semester of appointment
- a waiver for up to 12 credit hours of tuition for the summer term immediately following a fall or spring appointment
See Student Accounts for information on tuition and fees. Funding for graduate students is available from several different sources. Students who have been admitted from contiguous states including Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin will receive in-state tuition.