Master of Fine Arts


The Master of Fine Arts program at Colorado State University fosters excellence in artistic inquiry & achievement.

Who We Are


For more than forty years, the Department of Art and Art History has demonstrated its commitment to graduate education. With 7 concentrations, ours is the most comprehensive visual arts program in the Rocky Mountain West and one of the largest academic departments at Colorado State University.

We believe in the transformative nature of community & encourage our students to engage in art at the local, regional, national, & international levels.


Students accepted into our program work closely with nationally recognized faculty who guide a wide range of research and experimentation in studio media. In each phase of the curriculum, a student’s individual studio practice is enriched by research in art history and clarified through engagement with contemporary discourse surrounding art, craft, and design. Graduate students exhibit work and give presentations at venues throughout the region and beyond as they prepare to move forward in their careers.

We believe in the transformative nature of community and encourage our students to engage in art at the local, regional, national, and international levels. Graduate students are supported in their artistic and professional development by faculty mentorship and peer-based collaboration through the Masters of Visual Arts Association (MoVAA).

Meet other passionate, dedicated students, & be immersed in arts, culture, & wider social issues.

Campus life at CSU is rich, with ample opportunities to meet other passionate, dedicated students, be immersed in arts, culture, and wider social issues, and explore what Fort Collins and Colorado have to offer. CSU is a R1land grant university and graduate students have access to a large span of knowledge, facilities, and classes to enrich their learning experience.

Our alumni exhibit their work nationally and internationally, teach at schools, universities, and workshops, and are active in the arts community. CSU alumni also jury and curate exhibitions, work as designers, contribute to conferences and arts publications, and work with arts organizations.

Campus Life



develop an in-depth body of work within your area of specialization

Graduate students develop an in-depth body of work within their area of specialization. We offer graduate studies in drawing, fibers, graphic design, metalsmithing and jewelry, painting, printmaking, and sculpture. Elective coursework promotes involvement with other media, expands creative strategies, and ensures interaction with faculty who have expertise in a variety of disciplines. The MFA program leads to the completion and exhibition of a mature body of artwork. During this period of rigorous study, students maintain a high level of studio and scholarly activity.

The 60-credit MFA program emphasizes substantial work in an area of specialization. In these concentration areas, students typically enroll in a total of 30 credits that include studio courses, independent research, and thesis work. Graduate students also enroll in approximately 30 additional credits comprised of studio and art history courses and seminars, as well as academic electives.

The first two years of the program are marked by technical and conceptual exploration, critical investigation, and research in art history. Students review work in individual and group critiques, participate in open-studio tours, and invite faculty from any field for studio visits and reviews. Graduate students participate in a second year qualifying review, receiving constructive feedback from the whole faculty along with targeted support from their main advisor.

The third year of the program is devoted to shaping a body of work for the thesis. During this time, students write an abstract and formal paper to accompany their work and prepare art for inclusion in the spring graduate exhibition at the Gregory Allicar Museum of Art


Admission Requirements

The deadline for graduate program applications is February 1 to start in August of the same year.

Application Materials

All applicants should be prepared to submit:

  • Portfolio of 15-20 high quality images representative of your creative practice
  • At least two letters of reference from persons who can testify to your professional qualifications, character, and potential for graduate study.
  • Transcripts from every undergraduate institution that you have attended, with a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA.
  • Statement of Purpose, outlining what you hope to accomplish in the program in 250 words or fewer.
  • Artist statement, describing your vision as an artist in 250 words or fewer.

After submitting your online application and paying your application fee, begin submitting your supporting materials to complete your application. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable for the application process.  Upon acceptance into the program, official transcripts will be required before registration for the second semester. To submit official transcripts, contact your previous institutions to request they submit official transcripts to Colorado State University and use institution code 4075.

To be considered for scholarships within CSU, please apply to CSUSA after submitting your application to our MFA program. You will need your CSU eID (eName and password) which will be generated after you apply. The application deadline for CSUSA is March 1st.

If you reside in western half of the US, you may qualify for in-state tuition rates through the Western Regional Graduate Program.  Please visit the Western Regional Graduate Program page for more information.

For international students who need to submit test scores, contact the testing agency to request that scores be sent to Colorado State University and use institution code 4075.

Check Your Application Status

View the status of your application at any time to ensure your application checklist is complete or check for updates. If you’re selected as a finalist for Printmaking or Graphic Design, you will be required to send original artwork to the department.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

The links below will give you more information about financial resources, aid, and available scholarships.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships

For more information about Graduate Teaching Assistantships, please contact the Graduate Advisor in your concentration of interest.


Our Facilities


Graduate students have dedicated semi-private studios in the Visual Arts Building. Students have access to communal studio facilities, computer labs, & the Digital Fabrication Lab and Woodshop.


The department and the Allicar Museum regularly host a robust series of events that include the Critic and Artist Residency Series and the Scott Artist Series. These bring in acclaimed artists from around the world. Graduate students interact directly with these guests via one-on-one and group studio visits, critiques, and collaboration.


We provide our graduate students with numerous opportunities to experience and exhibit art through the many galleries and museums on campus. The five teaching galleries housed in the Visual Arts Building give our students access to the work of visiting artists, faculty, and other students.

Interested in Applying for our program?

Prospective students are encouraged to contact the department's Graduate Program Assistant for more information about our MFA program or to schedule a tour of our facilities.