Application Information for Prospective Students



The Department of Art and Design's primary goal is to prepare undergraduate students for careers in either teaching or the applied and fine arts. Requirements in nine different emphasis areas address the specific needs of each career. The Department of Art and Design also serves the University community by offering courses in the University Studies program and by offering training in applied art areas for students in related degree programs. In addition to these undergraduate objectives the department offers courses that lead to a Master of Fine Arts degree.

Department Head: Kathy Puzey

Specializations: Art Education, Art History, Ceramics, Drawing & Painting, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture

Degrees, Curriculum, and Admissions Requirements

Art + Design offers four undergraduate degrees with 11 areas of specialization and three minors. Curriculum and admission requirements 



Depending on the degree you are interested in, additional admission requirements may need to be completed.

Requirement Changes: Graduation requirements shown are subject to change. Students should check with the department and advisor concerning possible changes.
Artwork: The Department of Art and Design faculty reserves the right to retain any student works of their choice for purpose of display, exhibition, and addition to the permanent collection.



The Master of Fine Art degree is the terminal degree in the visual arts field. The MFA program is designed to allow students to mature to a level of professional competence in the making of art. Related studies augment a rigorous studio program. The prospective student must exhibit both academic excellence and a well-developed personal artistic vision. The MFA is a three year degree.

Graduate Program Coordinator: Janet Wilhelm

Specializations: Ceramics, Drawing/Painting, Graphic Design, Interior Architecture & Design, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture

For more information, please review the Graduate Handbook.

Degrees Offered

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


The following classes are required:

  • 42 credits of graduate level studio art, determined by the student in consultation with the Thesis Supervisory Committee Chair, including a minimum of: 6 credits studio art outside of the declared emphasis area (consult professor before registering)
  • 3 Credits of ART 6900: Graduate Seminar: Professional Practices (required for studio arts disciplines; optional for graphic design and interior design students in the case that a related course, more specific to their area of study, be taken in its place at the recommendation of the students Thesis Advisory Committee)
  • 3 credits of ARTH 6755: Contemporary Art 1989-present
  • 3 credits of additional Art History (6000 level), area specific theory, or theory-related credits outside the department as advised by the Thesis Advisory Committee
  • 3 credits of ART 6910: Graduate Interdisciplinary Critique
  • 3 credits outside the art department as specified by the supervisory committee
  • 3 credits of ART 6970: Research and Thesis

Students must earn 60 credits total.

Students must complete a minimum of four semesters in residence as full-time students. For students not serving as graduate assistants otherwise employed on campus, nine credits per semester is the minimum for full-time status. (12 credits is considered a maximum.) For students employed on campus, full-time status is dependent upon the number of hours per week that the student works. For instance, for a graduate student who is employed on campus for 20 hours per week (.50 FTE), 6 credits is considered full-time. Students in their last semester, who require fewer credits to complete their Program of Study may also be considered full-time.

Graduate student forms:

Admissions Requirements

All applicants are required to have earned a BFA degree in the Visual Arts, or its equivalent, including a minimum of 12 credits of Art History. GPA in art courses during the last two years of undergraduate work must be at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale. A digital portfolio of recent work must be included in the application for MFA consideration.

Students may submit either MAT or GRE scores. MAT scores should be at or above the 40th percentile; applicants taking the GRE should have verbal and quantitative scores at or above the 40th percentile. These are not required for admission [1], however, they are required for consideration for an “Excellence Tuition Waiver” offered at Utah State University.

Completed applications must include:

  • Completed application form
  • Letter of intent
  • Official transcripts of all previous graduate and undergraduate work
    • Must be sent by the institution in a sealed envelope. Or sent through an official transcript clearing house. Or sent by the school by their official e-mail.
  • Three letters of recommendation from qualified professionals
  • A portfolio of recent work (20 digital images combined into a single PDF) submitted electronically
    • Work depicted must be recent, i.e., no more than two years old
    • Individual image requirements are 1080x1080, 1080x720, or 1080 in the longest dimension @ 72dpi
  • One-time $55.00 application fee, paid at time of application


  1. Create a USU account if you don't already have one.
  2. Start the application. After you select the “Start Application” menu option, choose “New Graduate
         Application.” Complete and save each section in the left pane.
  3. Add supplemental items. Enter additional required information and materials by choosing “Submit Supplemental Items” from the “My Account” page. This is where you will enter names and email addresses for people you want to provide letters of recommendation, and it is also where you will enter your letter of intent and portfolio. Supplemental items will be added to your application after you submit the application fee.
  4. Check your application status on the "My Account" page.
  5. Send a copy of your transcript(s) to the School of Graduate Studies. An official transcript must be ordered from each previously attended college and/or university. Official transcripts should be sent directly from each previously attended college and/or university to the Graduate School using the following address: 0900 Old Main Hill, Logan UT 84322-0900.
  6. International applicants must take the TOEFL or IELTS and have your score sent directly to the School of Graduate Studies by the testing service.

When complete, applications will be forwarded by The School of Graduate Studies to the Department of Art & Design for review.

Completed applications and portfolios must be received by February 1.

Please note that:

  • Applications will be considered only at this time
  • Only completed applications will be reviewed
  • Admission will be considered for Fall semester only
  • Deadlines for Financial Aid may be earlier

Review Process

Applications are reviewed by the Department of Art & Design faculty. Candidates are selected primarily on the basis of their portfolio, which should demonstrate a level of development beyond the need of classroom instruction and encouragement. The faculty will also look for evidence of significant personal exploration in the portfolio.

Secondary to the portfolio, but important nonetheless, the applicant's letter of intent and letters of recommendation will also be given careful consideration. In reviewing these letters, the faculty will look for, among other things, indications that the applicant will be capable of prolonged and concentrated effort, guided by realistic personal goals. Letters should address both academic and artistic accomplishments as well as potential for further growth in both of these areas.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to visit the USU campus and meet with the faculty in their proposed field of study well in advance of the February 1 application deadline.

Important Note

Please note that the graduate program has limited enrollment; admission is very competitive. Because only a small fraction of applicants can be accommodated, there can be no guarantee that applicants who meet admission requirements will be accepted into the program.

Financial Assistance

Departmental support is available to graduate students on a competitive basis. Students requesting financial support should apply to the department by February 1. Other assistance is available through the University Financial Aid Office.

[1] Please disregard any emails stating that your application won't move forward with out these tests. It is an automated email that the department cannot change.