Oct. 13, 2022

UNLV MFA ART Application deadline February 1, 2023

The UNLV Department of Art invites artists to apply for the Fall 2023 Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Program in Art. We are seeking applications that present unique perspectives, rigorous artistic skill and research, and a potential for dynamic growth. We welcome artists from diverse backgrounds who want to participate in the  dialogues within contemporary art and culture and the creation of powerful sensory experiences and shared knowledge through art practice and exhibition.

The MFA Experience

The three-year Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program is self-directed, studio-based, and research-focused with an emphasis on creative practice, interdisciplinarity, community engagement, and professional development. Each MFA candidate is provided with private studio space with 24-hour access and approved access to department studio labs. Throughout the program students conduct practice and text-based research, presenting their work in studio visits, exhibitions, MFA Open Studios, and group critique with faculty, peers, visiting artists, curators, scholars, and community members. The full cohort consists of 10-12 candidates; each year the Department admits 3-5 new students.

By the end of the 3-year program, each MFA candidate will have developed a significant body of creative work and possess a critical awareness of their art within a broad and diverse context of contemporary culture, art, design, history, and theory. The program culminates in a public solo thesis project at the Donna Beam Gallery their final semester. Our MFA Art alumni go on to exhibit, curate, write, teach, and work in leadership roles in cultural institutions and as small business owners. 

Graduate Assistantships

We encourage all applicants to apply for a Graduate Assistantship during the application process. Graduate Assistantships are awarded based on the submitted application and portfolio materials. We will be awarding Graduate Assistantship packages to all of our accepted applicants for Fall 2023. 

Assistantship packages include: 

  • Tuition waivers* 
  • $15,000 stipends for 9-month contracts 
  • Healthcare insurance

* If the candidate enrolls in 9 credits each Fall and Spring and 3 credits each summer, the GA tuition waiver is the equivalent of a full-tuition waiver.

Applicants may apply for Graduate Assistantships in teaching, research, and professional development which financially support and advance students who have rare opportunities to engage in cutting-edge research, contribute to the development of curriculum, manage studios and shops, and work alongside community members, local organizations, and other departments on campus. It is expected that the Graduate Assistant will spend a maximum of 20 hours per week fulfilling research or teaching requirements. 

Virtual Information Sessions

Join representatives from the MFA program online on:

Our virtual information sessions will discuss the personal and professional benefits of graduate education at UNLV, the MFA Art program, and the graduate school application process. Our presentation will be immediately followed by a Q&A session with Wendy Kveck, Department of Art Graduate Coordinator, Lyssa Park 3rd year MFA candidate and Graduate Program Assistant and current MFA Art students. For more information, contact art.gradcoord@unlv.edu 


The application is a two-step process: 1) The application to the Graduate College via the Graduate College website and 2) The Artist PDF packet to be submitted directly to the Department of Art Graduate Coordinator.

Application Part I: Graduate College Application Materials

Applications are available on the UNLV Graduate College website. This includes:

Additionally, the following application materials are required by the Department of Art:

Application Part II: Department of Art MFA Application Supplemental Materials

To be considered for admission to the program, applicants must submit  items 1-3 as a single PDF file: 

1) A written statement of intent (500-800 words). The statement of intent should describe the motivations and objectives of your artistic research and discuss how the UNLV MFA Art Program, faculty, community, and time to focus on art will help you further your academic and career goals. 

2) Portfolio of 20 recent work samples which represent your strongest work from the past three years, with an emphasis on work from the past year. Please submit high-quality images (jpeg files max dimension of 1024 px @ 72 dpi, up to 5MB each). We recommend submitting no more than 1-2 large images per page for ideal viewing. Under each image please include the  title, medium, dimensions, date, and a 30-word max description, as applicable, for each work. For time-based or interactive media please submit as a link (website link, Vimeo or YouTube channel link) and note that we will review up to 15 minutes of time-based work per applicant. Include title, media details, password for password protected videos, date, and a 35-word max synopsis, as applicable, for each work. 

3) Curriculum Vitae/Resume with relevant experience and education. 

4) Label PDF: first name_last name_MFA_year.pdf  ie. J_Chavez_MFA_2023.pdf 

These materials should be emailed to Wendy Kveck at art.gradcoord@unlv.edu with the subject heading “Fall 2023 MFA Art Application” no later than February 1, 2023. 

Selection criteria for graduate students include:

  • Potential for dynamic growth and leadership within the Department of Art, the College of Fine Arts, and the UNLV and Las Vegas communities; 
  • Artistic excellence: the work demonstrates exceptional research and skill in its execution; 
  • Content of the work: the artist presents a unique perspective and ambitious, creative exploration of formal and conceptual relationships within the work and a consideration of historical/contemporary social, political, or cultural context. The artist poses interesting questions and transforms ideas into new forms that are productive, exciting, and promising for future work; 
  • Professional experience. 

See College Art Association’s guidelines on how to write an Artist’s Resume here.

Please visit this Graduate College page for comprehensive information about Graduate Assistantships and how to apply.

Please find more detailed information about the Department of Art here.

Find more detailed information about the MFA Degree Program here.

Please direct questions about the MFA Art Program and application to Wendy Kveck at art.gradcoord@unlv.edu

We look forward to receiving and reviewing your applications!

Image: Detail, Erin K Drew, Naked on a Motorcycle (MFA 2022)