Creative Visual Arts M.F.A. (Ithaca)

Field of Study


Program Description

Contact Information

Phone: 607 255-6730

235 Sibley Dome
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY  14853

Concentrations by Subject

  • painting
  • photography
  • printmaking
  • sculpture
  • studio art



Application Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadlines:

As of December 17, 2021, the Department of Art at Cornell AAP and Cornell Graduate School will pause the acceptance of applications for our Master of Fine Arts program for the 2022-23 academic year. We thank you for your patience and understanding as the college plans for transformative updates to The Foundry, a historical building housing the art department's private M.F.A. studios, flex spaces, and sculpture studio.

We look forward to reopening a state-of-the-art facility to our community as soon as the renovation is complete.

We expect to open applications next year. Please contact the AAP Admissions ( team for more information.

Requirements Summary:

Applicants to the Master of Fine Arts program must submit a portfolio of visual materials.  Details regarding content and submission can be found here.

  • Graduate School requirements
  • GRE scores are not required for admission to the M.F.A. program. Applicants who have already taken the GRE are welcome to submit scores with the application.
  • The TOEFL or IELTS exam is required for non-native English applicants.
    • TOEFL (iBT): The Graduate School’s official minimum sub-scores for each element of the TOEFL iBT are: Speaking: 22, Reading 20, Listening 15, Writing 20
    • IELTS: The Graduate School requires an overall band score of a 7.0 or higher on the IELTS Academic exam.

The English language proficiency requirement may be waived if the applicant meets at least one of these criteria:

  •  is a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, or a citizen of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or Canada (except Quebec). Applicants who are citizens of India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc. are not exempt from the requirement.
  • at the time you enroll at Cornell, you will have studied in full-time status for at least two academic years within the last five years in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand, or with English language instruction in Canada or South Africa. Even if English was the language of instruction at your school, if you did not study in one of these countries you are not exempt from the requirement. You must submit a transcript that shows you attended college in one of the approved locations, and that your academic program was at least two years in length.

For a complete list of application requirements please visit the M.F.A. admissions webpage.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will cultivate and develop unique and individual ideas appropriate for expressions in various studio/post-studio forms and demonstrate comprehensive technical knowledge and skills in their area of practice becoming competent and reflective practitioners.
  • Students will exercise professional standards in their understanding of theoretical, art historical and contemporary issues in the visual arts appropriate to their creative practice, as demonstrated in ongoing written and oral discourse.
  • Students will refine general professional skills supportive of their studio/post-studio practice, such as research, presentation and exhibition.