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Current MFA student at Hunter, happy to answer questions about the program but to be totally transparent, it is extremely flawed and I have had a negative experience during my time here. 

Can also answer questions about Yale, UCLA and other MFA programs in the city. 

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8 hours ago, yungcoconut said:

Current MFA student at Hunter, happy to answer questions about the program but to be totally transparent, it is extremely flawed and I have had a negative experience during my time here. 

Can also answer questions about Yale, UCLA and other MFA programs in the city. 

Hello! Would love to hear your admissions experience with Yale and UCLA, which are among the schools that I've applied to (Interdisciplinary/Printmaking). I'm assuming you were accepted but didn't go? 

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10 hours ago, yungcoconut said:

Current MFA student at Hunter, happy to answer questions about the program but to be totally transparent, it is extremely flawed and I have had a negative experience during my time here. 

Can also answer questions about Yale, UCLA and other MFA programs in the city. 

Hi Yungcoconut! I moved to NYC this past June and applied to Hunter's MFA program (in painting.) It's actually the only program that I decided to apply for - I liked the studio when I toured in October, and I specifically like the 3-year length of the program. (Not only would that allow me to work part time, but I would also have a studio space for three years.) I'm also very interested in the Graduate Certificate in Curatorial Studies that can be taken along with the MFA degree. I also liked the work of several of the painting and sculpture faculty a lot, and thought they would be good mentors. Out of all the programs in NYC (where my life is right now, so I can't move to another city for an MFA) it's the only one I'm interesting in attending. Can you tell me about your experience? Why do you say the program is flawed? Thank you so much!

 

www.patriciakalidonis.com

Edited by Killerdonuts

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On 1/18/2020 at 6:53 PM, MIQI said:

Hello! Would love to hear your admissions experience with Yale and UCLA, which are among the schools that I've applied to (Interdisciplinary/Printmaking). I'm assuming you were accepted but didn't go? 

I'm transferring from Hunter and spoke with my mentor and professors about where I should apply and they all encouraged me to avoid Yale and UCLA for the kind of work I make (I work in New Genres with a focus on text, installation and performance based works). I also know people who are currently pursuing MFAs at Yale and UCLA or have graduated from those programs.

Yale's reputation in the NYC art world is obnoxious as they focus on style over substance and let the prestigious degree do most of the heavy lifting. The people who graduate from there make work that is aesthetically pleasing but has no social or cultural impact, and they are more interested in selling their work and joining the art market circus than anything else. Yale's painting, sculpture and photography programs are the strongest that they offer, and they have a lot of great visiting critics, lecturers and faculty. Not the best program for anything outside of those mediums by far. There's also a serious problem with racism in the art department in general and no one is trained to mediate those kinds of issues sensitively, so if you are a black or brown artist of color you will experience micro-aggressions from your peers and faculty especially if you make work that addresses racial issues.

Andrea Fraser no longer teaches at UCLA so their Interdisciplinary Studio/New Genres department is severely lacking at the moment. They also only accept 3-5 students per year and the people I know who currently go there graduated from NYU Tisch and similarly prestigious schools. It's a very isolated and secluded campus, so there's not much foot traffic at exhibition openings or Open Studios. The new program director actively dislikes work that addresses political issues like race and gender. One of my current professors graduated from UCLA's MFA program and told me not to apply. Their strongest programs at the moment are photography and (maybe) printmaking. 

The best thing you can do is adjust your expectations of what you will get from your MFA. The perfect program does not exist, so you can make a list of the things that you ABSOLUTELY need to make your work and if the program has some or all of those things, go for it. 24 hour studio space, technical facilities, teaching opportunities, health insurance, living stipends, diverse student communities, accessible faculty who can actually make time for you, individual mentor/graduate advisor, etc., are all things to take into consideration. 

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On 1/18/2020 at 8:57 PM, Killerdonuts said:

Hi Yungcoconut! I moved to NYC this past June and applied to Hunter's MFA program (in painting.) It's actually the only program that I decided to apply for - I liked the studio when I toured in October, and I specifically like the 3-year length of the program. (Not only would that allow me to work part time, but I would also have a studio space for three years.) I'm also very interested in the Graduate Certificate in Curatorial Studies that can be taken along with the MFA degree. I also liked the work of several of the painting and sculpture faculty a lot, and thought they would be good mentors. Out of all the programs in NYC (where my life is right now, so I can't move to another city for an MFA) it's the only one I'm interesting in attending. Can you tell me about your experience? Why do you say the program is flawed? Thank you so much!

 

www.patriciakalidonis.com

Unfortunately I've had an awful experience at Hunter and recently applied to transfer, but it is an excellent program for painters who just want to make paintings. You get a studio in Tribeca for 3 years and most of the other students here are painters so you will have a big community to join. Painters here are typically abstract expressionists or figurative painters. Some people say they make "sculptural paintings" but for the most part, people make work that is intended to be hung up on a wall in a gallery.

Hunter's MFA program does the absolute minimum for its students and does not listen to their needs or complaints. Faculty are spread super thin and often managing their own careers in addition to teaching, so they are frequently unavailable and hard to get a hold of. Some of them only teach one class every once in a while, so there might be someone that you really want to work with and they won't be available for 1-3 consecutive semesters. I've found that students make great work in spite of the program, not as a direct result of it, which is pretty disappointing because the school will take credit for your artistic growth after making it incredibly difficult for you to make your work. It's also super racist and students who have come forward with complaints of racism from peers and faculty have been ignored and dismissed because no one in the program office wants to deal with it. There are no scholarships so if you need any funding it has to be external. They also don't offer health insurance and tell students to apply for Medicaid. Most classes are during the day so you need a job that has a flexible schedule or will let you work nights, and you are expected to adjust your work schedule according to the class schedule. 

The curatorial certificate is just okay. Basically you read a lot about curatorial theory from the 60s and 70s and put together a few shows with your peers. It's an extra 4 classes + $7k in tuition or something like that. It's only marginally useful in curating contemporary art because the Art History department doesn't have any contemporary courses and focuses on the Italian renaissance, Duchamp, and early modernism. 

All that being said, Hunter is an ideal program if you know what you want to do and just need time and space to do it. If you are a black or brown person or color, be prepared for the additional obstacle of racism from people who don't think they're racist and will get very upset if you tell them that they're being racist. 

Edited by yungcoconut

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5 hours ago, yungcoconut said:

I'm transferring from Hunter and spoke with my mentor and professors about where I should apply and they all encouraged me to avoid Yale and UCLA for the kind of work I make (I work in New Genres with a focus on text, installation and performance based works). I also know people who are currently pursuing MFAs at Yale and UCLA or have graduated from those programs.

Yale's reputation in the NYC art world is obnoxious as they focus on style over substance and let the prestigious degree do most of the heavy lifting. The people who graduate from there make work that is aesthetically pleasing but has no social or cultural impact, and they are more interested in selling their work and joining the art market circus than anything else. Yale's painting, sculpture and photography programs are the strongest that they offer, and they have a lot of great visiting critics, lecturers and faculty. Not the best program for anything outside of those mediums by far. There's also a serious problem with racism in the art department in general and no one is trained to mediate those kinds of issues sensitively, so if you are a black or brown artist of color you will experience micro-aggressions from your peers and faculty especially if you make work that addresses racial issues.

Andrea Fraser no longer teaches at UCLA so their Interdisciplinary Studio/New Genres department is severely lacking at the moment. They also only accept 3-5 students per year and the people I know who currently go there graduated from NYU Tisch and similarly prestigious schools. It's a very isolated and secluded campus, so there's not much foot traffic at exhibition openings or Open Studios. The new program director actively dislikes work that addresses political issues like race and gender. One of my current professors graduated from UCLA's MFA program and told me not to apply. Their strongest programs at the moment are photography and (maybe) printmaking. 

The best thing you can do is adjust your expectations of what you will get from your MFA. The perfect program does not exist, so you can make a list of the things that you ABSOLUTELY need to make your work and if the program has some or all of those things, go for it. 24 hour studio space, technical facilities, teaching opportunities, health insurance, living stipends, diverse student communities, accessible faculty who can actually make time for you, individual mentor/graduate advisor, etc., are all things to take into consideration. 

Thank you for your honest input, I really appreciate it! I wish you the best of luck in your transfer journey :)

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6 hours ago, yungcoconut said:

Unfortunately I've had an awful experience at Hunter and recently applied to transfer, but it is an excellent program for painters who just want to make paintings. You get a studio in Tribeca for 3 years and most of the other students here are painters so you will have a big community to join. Painters here are typically abstract expressionists or figurative painters. Some people say they make "sculptural paintings" but for the most part, people make work that is intended to be hung up on a wall in a gallery.

Hunter's MFA program does the absolute minimum for its students and does not listen to their needs or complaints. Faculty are spread super thin and often managing their own careers in addition to teaching, so they are frequently unavailable and hard to get a hold of. Some of them only teach one class every once in a while, so there might be someone that you really want to work with and they won't be available for 1-3 consecutive semesters. I've found that students make great work in spite of the program, not as a direct result of it, which is pretty disappointing because the school will take credit for your artistic growth after making it incredibly difficult for you to make your work. It's also super racist and students who have come forward with complaints of racism from peers and faculty have been ignored and dismissed because no one in the program office wants to deal with it. There are no scholarships so if you need any funding it has to be external. They also don't offer health insurance and tell students to apply for Medicaid. Most classes are during the day so you need a job that has a flexible schedule or will let you work nights, and you are expected to adjust your work schedule according to the class schedule. 

The curatorial certificate is just okay. Basically you read a lot about curatorial theory from the 60s and 70s and put together a few shows with your peers. It's an extra 4 classes + $7k in tuition or something like that. It's only marginally useful in curating contemporary art because the Art History department doesn't have any contemporary courses and focuses on the Italian renaissance, Duchamp, and early modernism. 

All that being said, Hunter is an ideal program if you know what you want to do and just need time and space to do it. If you are a black or brown person or color, be prepared for the additional obstacle of racism from people who don't think they're racist and will get very upset if you tell them that they're being racist. 

Thank you for the thoughtful response! I hope you find a program that works better for you. I'm sad to hear about the issues with racism, since it seemed like a pretty diverse student group and faculty based on the program's student and faculty directory. Thanks again!

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On 1/18/2020 at 6:53 PM, MIQI said:

Hello! Would love to hear your admissions experience with Yale and UCLA, which are among the schools that I've applied to (Interdisciplinary/Printmaking). I'm assuming you were accepted but didn't go? 

 

2 hours ago, MIQI said:

Thank you for your honest input, I really appreciate it! I wish you the best of luck in your transfer journey :)

I've heard from faculty at my school that Yale's pedagogical model tends to be very top down. Especially in the photography department the reputation is that they prefer to destroy their students and then build them back up. Someone who was accepted into the photo department at Yale started working in drawings and they asked them to leave. I have heard that Yale painting has started to be better ...for example, they just hired Meleko Mokgosi who doesn't really work in a top-down pedagogical model (or so I've heard). The rumor is that many yale students graduate and it takes years for them to make work again after being so demoralized. 

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On 1/10/2020 at 9:12 AM, Eric from America said:

Hey, I am at VCU right now. this forum was helpful to me when I was applying, so I am checking in to see how everyone's freak out is going!

Hey, Cixelated, yeah, Cranbrook is an awesome school. Of the schools I was accepted to, it was one of the hardest ones for me to turn down. I lived in Detroit for several years, I know several Cranbrook alums really well. It's great to hear you are having such a good experience there. I'd love to see what you're doing. Shoot me a message if you want.

All of those schools that Vlad listed have great programs, thanks for posting that info, but, yeah, some of that info seems probably out of date, or maybe just based on a small sample size. from what I know, there's like nobody at U-M doing traditional work! Their last MFA show was pretty much all social practice, performance for video, installation work, etc. U-M is another great school that was hard for me to turn down.

Tthe description of VCU regarding interdisciplinary work is similarly off. Yeah, there are separate departments, I am in the Kinetic Imaging department which is fantastic and is all experimental video, sound, performance, new media, etc. but there are also painters working in performance, people in the glass department working with sound, etc. There is a lot of overlap, taking each other's classes, etc.

If anyone has any questions, particularly anything about VCU or maybe other schools' new media programs (I looked at and visited a lot of them!), let me know.

Good luck everyone!

Hi, Just wondering if people could speak on Cranbrook? What are your issues with the program? I applied to CMU, northwestern, RISD, Cranbrook, Utexas, Yale, and some backup schools. I really am hoping to get in for 2020, as my art practice just needs to be nurtured, mostly by time and skill acquisition. Cranbrook isa school I was on the fence on because it seems like its not going to be well funded. What do you think?

 

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7 hours ago, yungcoconut said:

Unfortunately I've had an awful experience at Hunter and recently applied to transfer, but it is an excellent program for painters who just want to make paintings. You get a studio in Tribeca for 3 years and most of the other students here are painters so you will have a big community to join. Painters here are typically abstract expressionists or figurative painters. Some people say they make "sculptural paintings" but for the most part, people make work that is intended to be hung up on a wall in a gallery.

Hunter's MFA program does the absolute minimum for its students and does not listen to their needs or complaints. Faculty are spread super thin and often managing their own careers in addition to teaching, so they are frequently unavailable and hard to get a hold of. Some of them only teach one class every once in a while, so there might be someone that you really want to work with and they won't be available for 1-3 consecutive semesters. I've found that students make great work in spite of the program, not as a direct result of it, which is pretty disappointing because the school will take credit for your artistic growth after making it incredibly difficult for you to make your work. It's also super racist and students who have come forward with complaints of racism from peers and faculty have been ignored and dismissed because no one in the program office wants to deal with it. There are no scholarships so if you need any funding it has to be external. They also don't offer health insurance and tell students to apply for Medicaid. Most classes are during the day so you need a job that has a flexible schedule or will let you work nights, and you are expected to adjust your work schedule according to the class schedule. 

The curatorial certificate is just okay. Basically you read a lot about curatorial theory from the 60s and 70s and put together a few shows with your peers. It's an extra 4 classes + $7k in tuition or something like that. It's only marginally useful in curating contemporary art because the Art History department doesn't have any contemporary courses and focuses on the Italian renaissance, Duchamp, and early modernism. 

All that being said, Hunter is an ideal program if you know what you want to do and just need time and space to do it. If you are a black or brown person or color, be prepared for the additional obstacle of racism from people who don't think they're racist and will get very upset if you tell them that they're being racist. 

I heard that many Hunter students feel that the program accepts too many students and as a result you do not get enough individual attention. Best of luck in your transfer @yungcoconut 

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ALSO, funding your studies. Does anyone have experience with private sponsors, non fafsa loans, and diversity scholarships/organizations?

 

 

 

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53 minutes ago, nevermind777 said:

 

I've heard from faculty at my school that Yale's pedagogical model tends to be very top down. Especially in the photography department the reputation is that they prefer to destroy their students and then build them back up. Someone who was accepted into the photo department at Yale started working in drawings and they asked them to leave. I have heard that Yale painting has started to be better ...for example, they just hired Meleko Mokgosi who doesn't really work in a top-down pedagogical model (or so I've heard). The rumor is that many yale students graduate and it takes years for them to make work again after being so demoralized. 

For what it is worth, I know a few Yale MFA Photo alum personally, and they are all exceptional artists and doing very well!

One did tell me that most students would cry after/during their first crit, but I thought they were exaggerating. Maybe not though? They also said that the faculty will be hard on you if they think you have more potential.

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On 1/17/2020 at 11:05 AM, ArinL said:

Anyone received the interview from MICA Mount Royal MFA as well? I received the interview email days ago and am freak out now about the interview, anyone know anything about the interview? 

I'm not 100% sure about Mount Royal. But I interviewed for the Rinehart school of sculpture. The director for Mount Royal though is amazing and also friendly! So don't freak out so much. He does have a bit of an accent so it can be hard to understand him at times. But I'm sure you're going to do amazing! Just remember to breathe :)

 

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On 1/17/2020 at 10:02 PM, saustin6190 said:

Anyone applying for MICA Master of Arts, or any insight into when one might hear?

It depends what program you applied for. They're all very specific and super independent, so they operate on their own very different schedules. I also know they spread out their interviews and just because someone gets asked for an interview before you really doesn't mean anything. I know a lot of programs are just getting started on reviewing portfolios, or just about to start. So hang tight!

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11 hours ago, SpillToBuilt said:

For what it is worth, I know a few Yale MFA Photo alum personally, and they are all exceptional artists and doing very well!

One did tell me that most students would cry after/during their first crit, but I thought they were exaggerating. Maybe not though? They also said that the faculty will be hard on you if they think you have more potential.

Thanks, helpful to hear another perspective. It definitely could just be my particular institution's bias against Yale. I know that it is all very political.

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22 hours ago, yungcoconut said:

Andrea Fraser no longer teaches at UCLA so their Interdisciplinary Studio/New Genres department is severely lacking at the moment.

Why do you say she is no longer teaching there? Just because she heads the department? 

She is definitely still at the school.

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9 hours ago, chocosprinkles95 said:

It depends what program you applied for. They're all very specific and super independent, so they operate on their own very different schedules. I also know they spread out their interviews and just because someone gets asked for an interview before you really doesn't mean anything. I know a lot of programs are just getting started on reviewing portfolios, or just about to start. So hang tight!

Thank you!! The wait is tough!

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Hi All, 

Long time reader, first time poster! Trying to be low-key about the whole thing, but low-key freaking instead. 

Here's where I'm applying. I'm seeking an Interdisciplinary MFA: 

  • University of Chicago
  • Cal Arts
  • UCLA
  • Carnegie Mellon
  • Colombia
  • SMFA
  • Emily Carr
  • Goldsmiths - still working on this application
  • PNCA - still working on this application too
  • Royal College of Art - already rejected, going to resubmit for 2nd round 

Last year I only applied to U of Chicago, but was wait listed. I had an interview request by this time last year, but this year, no request. Anyone get an interview request yet?

x

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16 hours ago, pollypocket said:

Hi, Just wondering if people could speak on Cranbrook? What are your issues with the program? I applied to CMU, northwestern, RISD, Cranbrook, Utexas, Yale, and some backup schools. I really am hoping to get in for 2020, as my art practice just needs to be nurtured, mostly by time and skill acquisition. Cranbrook isa school I was on the fence on because it seems like its not going to be well funded. What do you think?

 

Cranbrook is actually pretty well funded-- I was extended quite a bit during my acceptance to attend for Sculpture. They go out of their way to give you initial aid, and during the latter portion of the year you can sumbit for greater funds. In addition to this, they have fellow ships that bounce between the programs (I would look on the website to see what exactly you need to be considered-- as it varies). I am a low-income student without a car here so I can attest that your best bet is to own a car, and frequently get off campus. The issue of the school being semi-monastic is very real however, I would also state that we have a large event at the end of the year where we sell work, (Ceramics sells cups to private collectors, print media sells prints and so on.) By and large though the programs that receive the most from the event are Painting and Sculpture as many collectors are looking to decorate their homes and or look for investments that will accrue value (as per the norm of most collectors). 

My biggest and quite shared complaint is that if you are a person of color you will be a part of a very non-diverse class (there are literally 5 black students in a body of 136-- I am the only black sculpture student and the only black painter left last year). There are some very large complaints being levied by the minorities on campus at the moment so I would steer left if I were you if you fit into my category. The second biggest complaint is due to our small size there is a hellish gossip enviornment where people kind of are each others necks pretty often.We support each other dearly here and if you're looking for a competitive enviornment to build yourself you can do it here-- I just wouldn't be here if you are an introvert-- the enviornment is one that largely supports those that are socially adept and can communicate regularly. If you can't you will find hard to find your place here as much of the enviornment is discourse based and leans heavily on talking to other students about your practice.

I should also add that depending on your department you may get a different work ethic with a mantra cross-collaboration. For instance, painting mandates around 30 hours a week in the studio. Sculpture does too, but the other departments only mandate that you show up for crit, produce halfway decent work and work hard. Most if not every student here is a high achiever and is highly respected in some regard (though there are exceptions to this) many students come in with excellent work that is diversified by the rigor of the programs. Other departments have their own rules and edicts that function mainly based on their overall project load and their way of working.

If you have a specific major you're thinking of I can aid in telling you more about that. I'm a painter in the Sculpture department so that should tell you a lot about how diverse this school is by the way.

Edited by cixelated

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2 hours ago, hht said:

 

Hi All, 

Long time reader, first time poster! Trying to be low-key about the whole thing, but low-key freaking instead. 

Here's where I'm applying. I'm seeking an Interdisciplinary MFA: 

  • University of Chicago
  • Cal Arts
  • UCLA
  • Carnegie Mellon
  • Colombia
  • SMFA
  • Emily Carr
  • Goldsmiths - still working on this application
  • PNCA - still working on this application too
  • Royal College of Art - already rejected, going to resubmit for 2nd round 

Last year I only applied to U of Chicago, but was wait listed. I had an interview request by this time last year, but this year, no request. Anyone get an interview request yet?

x

I've had an interview with OSU (also Just received rejection news about it) but haven't heard anything from anyone else

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2 hours ago, cixelated said:

Cranbrook is actually pretty well funded-- I was extended quite a bit during my acceptance to attend for Sculpture. They go out of their way to give you initial aid, and during the latter portion of the year you can sumbit for greater funds. In addition to this, they have fellow ships that bounce between the programs (I would look on the website to see what exactly you need to be considered-- as it varies). I am a low-income student without a car here so I can attest that your best bet is to own a car, and frequently get off campus. The issue of the school being semi-monastic is very real however, I would also state that we have a large event at the end of the year where we sell work, (Ceramics sells cups to private collectors, print media sells prints and so on.) By and large though the programs that receive the most from the event are Painting and Sculpture as many collectors are looking to decorate their homes and or look for investments that will accrue value (as per the norm of most collectors). 

My biggest and quite shared complaint is that if you are a person of color you will be a part of a very non-diverse class (there are literally 5 black students in a body of 136-- I am the only black sculpture student and the only black painter left last year). There are some very large complaints being levied by the minorities on campus at the moment so I would steer left if I were you if you fit into my category. The second biggest complaint is due to our small size there is a hellish gossip enviornment where people kind of are each others necks pretty often.We support each other dearly here and if you're looking for a competitive enviornment to build yourself you can do it here-- I just wouldn't be here if you are an introvert-- the enviornment is one that largely supports those that are socially adept and can communicate regularly. If you can't you will find hard to find your place here as much of the enviornment is discourse based and leans heavily on talking to other students about your practice.

I should also add that depending on your department you may get a different work ethic with a mantra cross-collaboration. For instance, painting mandates around 30 hours a week in the studio. Sculpture does too, but the other departments only mandate that you show up for crit, produce halfway decent work and work hard. Most if not every student here is a high achiever and is highly respected in some regard (though there are exceptions to this) many students come in with excellent work that is diversified by the rigor of the programs. Other departments have their own rules and edicts that function mainly based on their overall project load and their way of working.

If you have a specific major you're thinking of I can aid in telling you more about that. I'm a painter in the Sculpture department so that should tell you a lot about how diverse this school is by the way.

Wow, this is so helpful, thank you so much. I applied to the sculpture department. I am not a POC, but I am Jewish, and I'm sorry to hear about the lack of diversity and it's impacts. I am more introverted, I do love to collaborate with others/cross pollinate and learn things interdisciplinary— but Im not trying to go out all the time with people, or live an extrovert lifestyle. I need studio time and solitude too. Funding is the most important thing for me at the end of the day. Thanks so much for your reply!

 

 

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3 hours ago, hht said:

 

Hi All, 

Long time reader, first time poster! Trying to be low-key about the whole thing, but low-key freaking instead. 

Here's where I'm applying. I'm seeking an Interdisciplinary MFA: 

  • University of Chicago
  • Cal Arts
  • UCLA
  • Carnegie Mellon
  • Colombia
  • SMFA
  • Emily Carr
  • Goldsmiths - still working on this application
  • PNCA - still working on this application too
  • Royal College of Art - already rejected, going to resubmit for 2nd round 

Last year I only applied to U of Chicago, but was wait listed. I had an interview request by this time last year, but this year, no request. Anyone get an interview request yet?

x

I got an interview from U of Chicago. Was going to ask if anyone knows about their MFA program? 

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Hello! My name is Nick. I just discovered this community and I'd like to participate in sharing information.

You can see my work at: www.nickhobbs.art

I applied for the painting programs at:

- Tyler School of Art (Invited for interview)

- Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

- New York Academy of Art

- Virginia Commonwealth University

- School of the Art Institute of Chicago

- University of N.C. Chapel Hill

- University of Arkansas

- University of Mississippi

 

No word yet from any of the schools except Tyler. Good luck everyone!

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Did anyone apply to Stanford's MFA program in Art Practice? I know they interview in February and am anxiously waiting to see if I'll get a call/email for an interview. Any leads would be much appreciated! I only applied to Stanford--I couldn't really afford to apply elsewhere, so I might as well aim for the stars!

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