Visual Art

Apply to Herron’s M.F.A. in Visual Art program

Successful applicants to the program value academic rigor, constructive collaboration and interdisciplinary exploration.  They take creative risks and incorporate thinking, making, experimentation and research into their evolving artistic vision.  They are ready for intensive, high-level study that will push the boundaries of their conceptual and theoretical knowledge of art.

Application components

  • Complete the online application

    Visit IUPUI's online graduate applicationPlease note: SAFARI and CHROME users must enable pop-ups and third-party cookies in order for the application to function properly.

    On that application, you will declare your area of emphasis in ceramics, furniture design, painting and drawing, photography and intermedia, printmaking, or sculpture.

    On the "Application Information" tab, you must select a Fall term in the "Term" section. Herron does not admit students into the Visual Art M.F.A. program in Spring or Summer terms.

  • Personal statement

    Be prepared to submit a 2–3 page (approximately 500 words) personal statement describing your intentions for applying to this program, including a concise description of your past experiences qualifying you for this program, as well as your future career goals. 

  • Recommendations

    Provide contact information (including names, street addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses) of two faculty members or professional references who will submit letters of recommendation via the online application system.

    After you submit the application, the online system will e-mail your contacts with instructions on how to submit their recommendations electronically.  They will respond to several prompts by rating your abilities on a given scale.  They will also have the opportunity to type, paste or upload a letter into the system.  The letters should address your potential for academic success in the M.F.A. program.

  • Transcripts


    Official transcripts are required from all undergraduate and applicable graduate programs you have attended. Contact each school and request that your official transcript be sent directly to Herron. Official transcripts are not required from IUPUI or another IU campus.

    Transcripts must demonstrate a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, as well as 18 or more credit hours of studio art. These prerequisite credits do not have to be completed before applying to the program, but they must be completed before the start of the first semester of the visual art program. If the original transcripts are not in English, the documents must be in the native language and must be accompanied by verified English translations.

    If you are in the process of completing a bachelor’s degree when you apply, a transcript showing your first three years of study is acceptable. If admitted to Herron, you must submit a final, official transcript to the Office of Admissions and Student Services, verifying the completion and award of your degree prior to your matriculation.

    Transcripts may be mailed to:

    Herron School of Art and Design
    Office of Admissions and Student Services
    c/o Graduate Admissions
    735 W. New York Street HR 126
    Indianapolis, Indiana 46202-5222

    Electronic Transcripts

    Herron accepts official transcripts that are electronically generated from official university or college system. We do not accept emailed PDFs of transcripts.

    Electronic transcripts may be sent to If your school is sending limited-time login credentials that allow us to access their transcript system, be sure to make your request during regular business hours.

  • Portfolio

    Submit 18-25 images online at  The cost to use the site is $10.  It is possible to submit time-based work using SlideRoom.

  • Proof of English proficiency for international applicants

    Proof of English proficiency is required for international students unless the applicant's undergraduate degree is from a university that is located in a country where English is the official language.

    Most commonly, students submit TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores. TOEFL scores must total 79 or higher on the iBT (550 or higher on the paper-based test). IELTS scores must total 6.5 or higher.

    Applicants must request that an official copy of their test results be sent directly to IUPUI by the testing agency. The IUPUI reporting code for TOEFL is 1325. Other tests or ELS coursework may be accepted in order to verify English proficiency.

    For a list of all options and minimum scores required, please see the IUPUI Office of International Affairs English Requirements.

  • Further documentation for international applicants

    For a full list of required documents, please visit the IUPUI Office of International Affairs.

Application fees

  • IUPUI online graduate application fee: $60 for U.S. citizens, $65 for international applicants.
  • Herron portfolio submission fee: $10 (non-refundable; cannot be waived)

Herron will waive the $60 online application fee for U.S. citizens who attend the Herron Grad Open House or who talk with a Herron representative at the Chicago Graduate Portfolio Day event. Unfortunately, the $65 online application fee for international students cannot be waived.

Application deadline

The fall admission deadline is February 1. This program does not accept applications for spring or summer admission.


Ask an admissions advisor, or contact Herron’s Office of Admissions and Student Services directly at 317-278-9400 or