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Post-Baccalaureate Fine Art Painting


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This is my second round of applying for an MFA in painting. Last round I was offered 3 Post-Baccalaureate. I decided against a Post-Baccalaureate as it would cost me a year and money I rather spend towards an MFA. As a serious artist I will not stop making art because I was not accepted in an MFA program. My portfolio organically will improve and change as time passes.

My questions is how many MFA program have you applied to and who offered you an Post-Baccalaureate? 

Did you decide to take them up on it?

If not why not?

After finishing your Post-Baccalaureate year did that university accept you into their MFA program?

 

Mica, PAFA, LCAD and Tyler offered me Post-Baccalaureate

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  • 3 weeks later...

A post-bac is a great option for someone who is not yet ready for grad school, or anyone who could use more work building their portfolio before applying again. It's a compliment to be offered a post-bac, because it means they think you have potential and they want to work with you, but for whatever reason, they were not wanting to admit you. The benefit of a post-bac is that you often get shared studio space, mentorship with grad students, and form relationships with faculty who might continue to be your mentors in the future. Some of these faculty could write really strong letters of recommendation for you that help give you an edge into getting into grad school. Each institution you work with is an opportunity to expand your network. Many of our students (especially in ceramics) have done a post-bac or have been an artist in residence somewhere else before being admitted as a grad student. So there are many benefits. 

However, you will have to support yourself for these programs. Each works differently, but I am not aware that there are scholarships or financial support for these students. If you can't afford to move to another state, support yourself for a year, and pay tuition for one class, you probably should not accept the post-bac. But if you don't get admitted it is a good idea to seek out local mentorship in your area. Can you be an artist in residence somewhere? Volunteer at a local arts organization in exchange for studio visits with the curator or director? There are other ways you can find mentorship and build your portfolio, it is just easier with the institutional support of a post-bac.

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Also, occasionally someone is admitted into the MFA program if they are in the post-bac, but not often. It is definitely not a guarantee you will get into their MFA program. It should be seen as an opportunity to have access to resources and mentors, and take your portfolio to the next level when you are ready to apply again for MFA programs. 

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Thank you CU Boulder Art that is good feedback. I totally understand how a post-bac can be beneficial and if money was not an issue I am sure I would have a blast and learn a lot. As an older students I have other obligations and need to keep an eye on finances. My goal is to find a fully funded program or one which allows me to work on campus in order to minimize the time I spend away from my studies. 

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Try applying to other MFA programs at funded schools (ie. not the ones that offered you the post bac). An acquaintance had a portfolio review and was a post bac was suggested. They applied to several other schools for MFA that year (not the post bac school) and had several acceptances into MFA programs with funding! Post bac seems like a money grab . Keep working on your portfolio. Get it cohesive. Look at current grads going to the schools you are interested in and their portfolios. Some MFA programs have instagram or links on the school website of current and former students.

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On January 10, 2018 at 1:14 AM, worldly said:

Try applying to other MFA programs at funded schools (ie. not the ones that offered you the post bac). An acquaintance had a portfolio review and was a post bac was suggested. They applied to several other schools for MFA that year (not the post bac school) and had several acceptances into MFA programs with funding! Post bac seems like a money grab . Keep working on your portfolio. Get it cohesive. Look at current grads going to the schools you are interested in and their portfolios. Some MFA programs have instagram or links on the school website of current and former students.

Thank you, that is what I did for this year. I did take the extra time to visit the National Portfolio review in NY and did the online one as well. That helped me fine tune my application and get very useful feedback. Furthermore, I did talk to Universities I had not researched. I was honest and told them I did not know much about their programs and they in return gave me a quick idea what they are about and what kind of student they look for. I am always creating new work. I need to do better on Instagram and create another website dedicated to my painting work. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm curious to know more about post-bacs as well. I've heard if you're in a school's post-bac program it's easier to get into its MFA program, but that's just what I've heard, and even if that were true it most definitely does not apply to all cases. 

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  • 2 months later...

did VCU's SSP program. they offer in sculpture and extended media and painting. I did sculpture and was able to secure a solo show at a gallery in richmond but not because of the program just of my own volition. it really helped my portfolio and i got into a good school with almost full funding. 

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  • 1 month later...

From talking to others post-bac programs are great for people who do not come from an art background and those who want to build their portfolio. If funding is no concern it is a valid option. 

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