2008 - 2009 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

Painting, M.F.A.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall: January 15

Applications are evaluated together after the deadline date.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 3

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from college/university faculty members, gallery directors, and/or curators familiar with the applicant's academic and artistic competence.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:

40 undergraduate studio credits and 12 art history credits are required.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A baccalaureate degree and a portfolio specific to Painting are required.

Statement of Goals:

The Statement of Goals should be approximately 500-1,000 words in length and should include the following elements: your interest in Tyler's program; your research goals; your future career goals; and your academic and artistic achievements.

Standardized Test Scores:

Minimum TOEFL score needed to be accepted: 550 paper-based, 213 computer-based, or 79 internet-based.


As a Master of Fine Arts applicant, you must submit a portfolio consisting of twenty 35mm color slides or a CD-ROM of 20 images representative of the immediate direction of your work.  Please place work in chronological order.  If you are applying with a slide portfolio, you should label each slide with your name and indicate "top."  Submit your slides in a slide sheet, not in a box.  An accompanying description list should indicate title, date completed, medium, and dimensions.  Images on a CD-ROM must be in .jpeg or .tiff format and should not exceed 1024 X 768 pixels at 72 dpi.  Include instructions for viewing your work.  You must also submit 10 pages of printouts on 8.5" x 11" paper, two images per page (20 images total).  Larger paper will be folded or trimmed to size.  An accompanying description list for the CD-ROM images should include title, date completed, medium, and dimensions.  In addition to still images, a DVD may be submitted for time-based work.  Include viewing instructions.  Quick Time is the preferred file format.  Please limit the total time-based media selection to five minutes.  Original work, slide carousels, catalogs, photographs, zip disks, floppy disks, books, and/or large binders cannot be accepted and will not be returned.  Please provide a sturdy self-addressed envelope with sufficient U.S. postage for the return of your slides, CD-ROM, or DVD.  Materials that are not accompanied by return postage will be discarded after review.


A resume is required.

Transfer Credit:

Upon approval of the appropriate department chairperson and the Associate Dean, up to 9 credits of graduate work may be transferred into the M.F.A. program as Art History or Studio electives. Only credits received within five years of the transfer request are eligible. No decisions are made concerning transfer credits until students have successfully completed 15 matriculated s.h. at Tyler. The maximum number of credits a student may transfer is 9.

Program Requirements
General Program Requirements:

Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 60, including 33 credits in Projects and Seminar Classes, 12 credits in Art History, and 12-15 credits in Studio Electives.

Projects and Seminar Classes (33 credits):

21 credits over 4 semesters of:

PDS 8011:  Graduate Drawing

PDS 8183:  Graduate Projects: Sculpture

PDS 8383:  Graduate Projects: Painting and Sculpture  

PDS 8483:  Graduate Projects: Painting

PDS 8502:  Graduate Seminar (4 semesters)

TYLER 8000:  Interdisciplinary Seminar (1 semester)

Art History (12 credits):

Of the four required courses, two must be Art History Seminar classes chosen from a range of graduate offerings (5000 to 5800 or 8000 to 9980).  Please visit the Art History course listing for more information.

Studio Electives (12-15 credits):

Course descriptions can be viewed on the Graduate School website and in the Undergraduate Bulletin. Please note that taking any course under the 5000 level for graduate credit requires prior approval from the studio area head.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.

Internship: No internship is required.

Culminating Events:

Thesis Exhibition:

An approved thesis exhibition, written statement, and slide and/or CD portfolio are required at the final review in order to meet the M.F.A. requirements.  Approval of the student's graduate committee is required.

Program Contact Information:


Department Information:

Graduate Admissions Office

Tyler School of Art
2001 N. 13th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19122


Department Contacts:


Carmina Cianciulli


Program Coordinator:

Margo Margolis


Graduate Chairperson:

Margo Margolis



Margo Margolis


About the Program

The graduate program in Painting is a two-year, 60-credit program leading to the Master of Fine Arts degree. The program emphasizes Painting as an ongoing discipline that is rooted in a rich history. It derives its vitality from what painters share with artists of the past in conjunction with the contemporary world. We are committed to providing our students with an understanding of the broad cultural and historical context in which art is made and experienced.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 4 years

Campus Location:


Full-Time/Part-Time Status:

Full-time status is required.

Department Information:

Graduate Admissions Office

Tyler School of Art
2001 N. 13th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19122



Interdisciplinary Study:

The focus in Painting is augmented and balanced by specially designed graduate-level Art History courses and seminars; a required interdisciplinary seminar; and studio electives that ensure cross-disciplinary contact among students.


Not applicable.

Study Abroad:

The graduate student in Painting can elect to spend one of the two years in the program at Temple's campus in Rome, Italy. Since space is limited, faculty approval is required. Students can also elect to spend a summer in Rome or with the Crafts Department program in Scotland.


The M.F.A. program in Painting is ranked among the top seven graduate programs in Painting in the 2008 Graduate Edition of U.S. News & World Report.


This degree program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

Areas of Specialization:

We encourage independent artistic exploration and development in an atmosphere of free and open exchange between students and a professionally active faculty. Our aim is to produce artists who will be creatively active throughout their lives, enriching their communities in many different capacities.

Job Placement:

The M.F.A. program prepares graduates for careers as professional artists, craftspersons, designers, and educators.


Not applicable.

Non-Degree Student Policy:

M.F.A. courses are restricted to matriculated students.

Financing Opportunities

The principal duties of a Teaching Assistant (TA) or Academic Intern (AI) include assisting faculty members in preparing and teaching undergraduate classes.

Updated 3.19.09