• Black and white painting of a man in angst holding his phone to his open mouth
  • Abstract art

Art, Design, and Art History

Students will demonstrate skills and intellectual awareness that contribute to creative and professional achievement.

Undergraduate Art Degrees

Our programs offer studio-based experiences as well as opportunities for research and theoretical analysis.

  • Bachelor of Arts in Art
    • Concentration in Painting, Drawing, and Printmaking
    • Concentration in Photography
    • Concentration in Sculptural Practices

Admission Requirements

B.A. Degree Programs

Minimum university GPA: 2.30, and maintain a minimum 2.70 in art courses.


Minimum university GPA: 2.30 AND attain and maintain a 3.00 GPA in all departmental courses throughout the program.

All declared art majors must satisfactorily complete the following core program of introductory-level courses before declaring an intent to pursue a B.F.A. degree in an area of concentration within the program: ART 101, ART 107, ART 108, ART 156, ART 260, ART 261, ART 266.

After completion of 59 to 74 credits, a portfolio review by the full department faculty is required for acceptance into the B.F.A. program. Accepted students will then select a committee of three full-time art faculty members to guide and evaluate their progress through the program.

Students who do not meet the minimum GPA may be admitted on a probationary status at the discretion of the art faculty.

Graduate Art Degrees

The three-year Master of Fine Arts (MFA) is studio-based and research-focused with an emphasis on interdisciplinarity, community engagement, and professional development. Each MFA student is provided with private studio space with 24-hour access. Throughout the program students conduct practice-based 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. By the end of the program, each MFA candidate will achieve a critical awareness of their work within a broad and diverse context of contemporary culture, art, design, history and theory, culminating in a solo public graduation thesis project at the Donna Beam Gallery their final semester. Our MFA Art alumni exhibit, curate, write, teach, and work in leadership roles in cultural institutions and as small business owners.

Create Vegas, Deadline 2.1.22 MFA Art

Through academic and public programming, the Department of Art collaborates with UNLV’s Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art, a network of campus galleries, and The College of Fine Arts. The College of Fine Arts boldly launches visionaries not only in art and design, but also in dance, film, theater, set design, entertainment design, music, and architecture. Graduate students have the opportunity to work with a diverse art/art history faculty whose work engages a variety of media, including site-based installation, sculpture, ceramics, photography, painting, drawing, printmaking, performance, intermedia, graphic design, and digital art. The Department regularly presents visiting speakers and hosts artists-in-residence. Students gain valuable professional development and work experience while connecting with community partners through Graduate Internships.

The MFA Program, which is a part of the UNLV Graduate College and fully accredited by The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), is jointly administered by the Department of Art and the Graduate College.

The UNLV Department of Art invites self-directed artists and designers to apply for the Fall 2022 MFA Program in Art. The deadline to apply is February 1, 2022. More information about the application here.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the program leading to this degree must hold a Bachelor of Arts in Art (or an equivalent degree) from an accredited university.

Applications to apply for Fall 2022 are available on the UNLV Graduate College website. The application for admission, annual application for graduate assistantship, 3 letters of recommendation and transcripts should be sent directly to the Graduate College by February 1, 2022. Additionally, the following application materials are required by the Department of Art:

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

  1. A written statement of intent (500-800 words). The statement of intent should describe the philosophy, motivations and objectives of your artistic research and discuss how the UNLV MFA Art Program and faculty, the University community, and time making art in Las Vegas 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 twelve months. 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: title, medium, dimensions, date, and a 30-word max description, as applicable, for each work. 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_year.pdf ie. J_Chavez_MFA_2022.pdf 

These materials should be emailed to Wendy Kveck at art.gradcoord@unlv.edu with the subject heading “Fall 2022 MFA Art Application” no later than February 1, 2022. 

Please direct questions to Wendy Kveck at art.gradcoord@unlv.edu

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 into 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 of future work; 

  • Professional experience. 

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

For more information, visit the degree page.

Extra Curricular Activities

Las Vegas is becoming a center for inventive, resourceful, transformative art and design practice. One of the most affordable big cities in the US, it is a cultural crossroads and dynamic metropolitan region, home to 1.5 million people. Of note in the area: The Neon Museum, The Believer Festival, Rogers Art Loft, Area 51, Meow Wolf, The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, Michael Heizer’s Double Negative and City, Hoover Dam, and Seven Magic Mountains. Beyond the spectacle of the Las Vegas Strip, the surrounding desert landscape is jaw-dropping; it is an easy drive to Red Rock National Conservation Area, Valley of Fire State Park, and Gold Butte National Monument which includes cultural sites sacred to the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians and the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe. The Grand Canyon, Los Angeles, and the coast are also easy day or weekend trips.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships are awarded based on the submitted application and portfolio materials.

We encourage all applicants to apply for a Graduate Assistantship during the application process.

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. Assistantship packages include: tuition waivers for 9 credits in the Fall, 9 credits in the Spring and 3 credits in Summer session; $15,000 stipends for 9-month contracts; and healthcare insurance. It is expected that the graduate assistant will spend a maximum of 20 hours per week fulfilling research or teaching requirements.

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