Welcome to the the graduate programs page for the Department of Art & Art History at the University of New Mexico. Please take the time to explore our site. Most of your questions can be answered here.

The deadline for graduate applications to the Art Studio MFA is January 15th, 2017 for Fall 2017 admission. This program does not offer spring admission.

The deadline for graduate applications to the Art History MA and PhD is December 15th, 2016, for Fall 2017 admission. This program does not offer spring admission.

The deadline for the MA in Art Education is October 30th for Spring 2017, or March 30th for Fall 2017.

All application materials, including official transcripts must be received in the Department by the deadline, via the online system. Late items are the responsibility of the applicant, and may disqualify your file from consideration.

We have a new all-online application process. You must submit all application materials (except official transcripts, which still must be mailed from your college/university) at http://unm.edu/apply

Offical transcripts must be mailed to the Office of Admissions.

Graduate Admissions
1155 University Blvd SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106

NOTE: ***Do NOT submit your application until you have attached ALL required documents!***
This includes:
-Letter of Intent
-Artist Statement
-Resume
-MFA Portfolio (PDF, powerpoint, or website link) / or Art History Writing Sample

The portfolio content must be 15-20 images of your best artwork.

You MUST include all of these before pressing the Submit button! We cannot add them to your application later!!!

Also, your letters of reccomendation MUST be submitted online. You will enter the email addresses of your letter-writers, and the system will contact them. They must then UPLOAD their letter to our site. We cannot upload mailed-in letters later.

To apply, go to the link above, and select the College of Fine Arts, Department of Art & Art History, and then the degree & program to which you are applying.

Instructions for the MFA in Art Studio (all areas) >

Instructions for the MA & PhD in Art History >

Instructions for the MA in Art Education >

For our admissions guidelines & requirements, please read the Admissions Requirements, below.

About Our Programs
    Art History

    The Art History graduate program is organized into two major areas of concentration, each of which integrates several fields of specialization: Art of the Americas and a general concentration in Art History.

    Art of the Americas:
    Art of the Americas brings together the arts of pre and post- conquest cultures. Along with the study of the acknowledged discontinuities in form and series brought about by European conquest, this concentration promotes the equally important study of architecture. The goal is to promote a clearer understanding of the Art of the Americas within the larger unity now perceived for American art traditions.

    Art History
    We also offer a degree in Art History. Students may pursue a specialization within either of the preceding major areas of concentration. While focusing on a specialized field in preparation for their M.A. thesis or Ph.D. dissertation, students must also familiarize themselves with their general area of concentration. Students are also encouraged to select courses in other graduate units within the University.

    Art Studio

    The MFA is a terminal degree in studio art. Its primary emphasis is on the creative aspects of an individual’s work. The M.F.A. usually requires at least three years of intensive study and research beyond the bachelor’s degree. Although the formal requirements for the M.F.A. degree are in some respects comparable to doctoral degrees in other fields, the scope and objectives of the M.F.A. degree are uniquely different. As such, the M.F.A. degree represents strong creative attainment in studio art, an assured grasp of an area of concentration, a sound knowledge of critical and historical artistic thought, and demonstrated expertise in conceiving and executing a significant body of creative work. Thus, as with the doctoral degree, its attainment is not simple matter of “meeting requirements.”

    The M.F.A. requires a concentration on the creative aspects of the studio work culminating in a dissertation, which entails planning, installing and documenting a solo exhibition of the student’s own creative work, producing a catalog, and giving an oral public presentation.

    M.F.A. in Studio Art
    For the most part, degree requirements for the M.F.A. are comparable to the Ph.D. (see UNM Catalog). Major differences are as follows:

    • Transfer credits are limited to 12 hours.
    • There is no language requirement.
    • Minimum total credits are 60 hours.

    Art Education

    The Art Education Program at the University of New Mexico prepares art professionals to meet the needs of diverse populations in the state and nation. The program supports art professionals in their examination of multiple approaches to art education; these include, but are not limited to image-focused, discipline-based, and issues-based art education as well as visual culture.

    The undergraduate program educates students toward becoming reflective art teachers who can encourage students to create artworks in response to life experiences.

    The graduate program, culminating in a Master of Arts in Art Education degree, supports students with a wide range of interests. Students can focus their investigations on making and studying art in cultural, social, and historical contexts. We believe that studying and making imagery is a life-long pursuit for art professionals working in our diverse and visually complex society.

    more information on Art Education degrees can be found here

    Facilities

    Our limited admission policy allows us to control the size of our graduate program and to insure that students have adequate access to our faculty and our on campus facilities. The department currently has two buildings devoted to these needs.

    Graduate Studios

    The Art Annex is located on the southwest corner of the main campus. It is the graduate facility for our painters, printmakers and photographers. The Annex has 24 individual studio spaces, 11 darkrooms and our non-silver photo lab, as well as a copper etch lab for printmaking. Darkroom spaces are assigned to one or two students per darkroom. Upon entry into the graduate program, each graduate student receives a graduate studio. The Art Annex has a small centrally located exhibition/ critique space is on the first floor which is used for student and graduate reviews.

    Mattox Sculpture Center

    The Mattox Building houses the Mattox Sculpture Center, with studio space for our 3-D students. The Mattox Building also houses additional studio space for printmakers, photographers and painters. There are 31 graduate studios in the Mattox. This 3-level, 29,000 square foot converted auto body shop has 2 bay doors on street level and drive-up ramps between floors. After completion of Graduate Shop Foundations, all MFA students enjoy 24-hour access to the ceramic facility, wood shop, metal fabrication facility, and three large areas devoted to assembly and installation.

    The metal fabrication lab is equipped with TIG, heli-arc and oxy-acetlyn welding, horizontal band saw, metal chop saw, bench grinders, a small-guage combination roller and brake, beam hoist, engine hoist, vise, anvil, trip hammer, forge, and state of the art ventilation system. MIG welding and plasma cutting facilities are also available in the Art Building.

    The wood shop has a table, panel, chop, radial arm, and band saws, lathe, thickness planer, joiner plainer, and combination sander.

    The ceramic facility includes a car kiln, large gas and electric kilns, slab rollers, spray booth, soldner clay mixers and easy access to two slip mixers, a soda kiln, experimental kiln, saggar, raku and pit firing area. Compressed air is available throughout the building for pneumatic tools and supplies a large spray room and sandblasting booth.

    Graduate Darkrooms

    These darkrooms are assigned on a basis of one to two students per room, and contain all equipment needed for basic black and white printing, including a 4×5 enlarger, timer, and safelight (note: students must supply their own chemicals). Individual daylight studios are also available to photo grads on a need basis.

    Accomplishments of Our Graduates in Art History
    Hemisphere: Visual Cultures of the Americas
    M.F.A. Alumni Gallery
Prospective Students
    Degrees Offered

    The general requirements for the M.F.A, M.A. and Ph.D. programs are outlined within this departmental text. Specific requirements regarding these degrees may be found in the UNM Catalog. Copies of the UNM Catalog may be purchased at the UNM Bookstore.

    Art Studio
      Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.):

      • Major: Studio Art
      • Focus areas: 3D (Sculpture and Ceramics), Painting & Drawing, Photography, Experimental Art + Technology, Printmaking or Art & Ecology.
    Art History
      Master of Arts (MA):

      • Major: Art History
      • Concentrations: Arts of the Americas or Art History

      Doctor of Philosophy (PhD):

      • Major: Art History
      • Concentrations:
        Arts of the Americas

          Native American Art
          History Pre-Columbian Art & Architecture
          Spanish Colonial Art

         
        Arts of the Modern World

          History of Architecture
          History of Graphic Arts
          History of Photography
          Modern American and European ArtBr.
          Modern Latin American Art
    Graduate Minor in Museum Studies >>

    Art History Admission Requirements

    The deadline for all graduate applications to the Department of Art & Art History for Fall 2016, is December 15th, 2015. We do not do spring admissions. All application materials must be received in the Department *by the deadline*. Late items are the responsibility of the applicant, and may disqualify your file from consideration.

    Application Procedure

    Eligibility: Applicants for admission the MA program should preferably have an undergraduate major in art history with a minimum of 24 semester hours as well as advanced courses in history, literature, and philosophy. Any deficiencies in this required preparation must be removed during the first year of coursework for the degree. Graduate credit will not be given for courses taken to remove a deficiency, but graduate study courses may be taken concurrently. Candidates for the MA degree will be required to demonstrate a general knowledge of the history of art.

    In making application for admission to the doctoral program, the potential candidate is urged to state aims clearly and to specify the field of art history to be investigated. A candidate will not be accepted unless these aims can be realized. Fieldwork and travel will inevitably be necessary in support of research at the doctoral level.

    Applicants for admission to the Ph.D. program should have an MA in art history, or exceptional circumstances as approved by the admitting faculty, in such cognate disciplines as history, anthropology, archeology, or American Studies. Admission to the Ph.D. program without an M.A. in Art History is very rare. Those admitted to the Ph.D. program without the MA in art history may be required to take additional graduate courses beyond the minimum Ph.D. requirement of 48 hours of coursework. Any deficiencies in the required preparation must be removed during the first year of coursework for the degree.

    To apply for the MA or PhD in Art History, you need to submit:

    • Online application, $50 fee, pay with credit card. http://www.unm.edu/apply
    • Letter of intent
    • CV or Resume
    • Three letters of recommendation
    • Official transcripts from every college or university you have attended, whether you earned a degree there or not. (Unofficial transcripts can be uploaded during application; official transcripts must be mailed to the Admissions Office.)
    • A writing sample, demonstrating your best academic writing. This should be a 7-10 page Art Historical research paper.

    Note: The Art Studio programs in Printmaking, Experimental Art + Technology, and Art & Ecology, and the Art History programs in Art of the Americas and Art of the Modern World (both MA and Ph.D.) are recognized by the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE) for inclusion in their Out-Of-State Programs at In-State Tuition. Qualified residents of the 15 participating states in the commission may enroll at reduced tuition rates in these three programs.

    Special Note for Fulbright and Project 1000 applicants: if you are applying through an outside agency such as Project 1000 or Fulbright, it is your responsibility to ensure that all materials are sent to the Department of Art and Art History, not to the Admissions office. The Department is not responsible for materials that are not received before the January 18th deadline. We strongly advise sending a duplicate copy of all materials directly to the department, and not relying on the Admissions office to provide them.

    International applicants: Please see http://geo.unm.edu/admission_graduate.html to complete the international application in addition to the departmental application. International applicants go through the same process as domestic applicants, with a few additional steps, including English language exam scores, certified translations of transcripts, and financial paperwork related to applying for a United States student visa.

    Art Studio Admission Requirements

    The deadline for all graduate applications to the Department of Art & Art History for Fall 2015 is January 15th, 2015. We do not do a Spring admissions process. All application materials must be received in the Department *by the deadline*. Late items are the responsibility of the applicant, and may disqualify your file from consideration.

    Apply online, at http://www.unm.edu/apply
    Applicants will be notified by mail of the admissions decisions in February.

    If you have questions during the application process, please email or call the Graduate Advisor, Kat Heatherington, at art255@unm.edu, or 505-277-6672 (Monday-Thursday, 9-5).

    A prospective student in the graduate studio program must have completed an undergraduate degree including 42 hours in studio courses and 18 hours in art history. 3-D students must also have completed a course in shop foundations, which includes the proper use of shop machinery and equipment and related safety practices. Any deficiencies in the required preparation must be removed during the first year of course work for the degree. MFA students must apply to one of our content areas: Art & Ecology, Ceramics, Experimental Art + Technology, Painting/Drawing, Photography, Printmaking, or Sculpture. Once in the program, you will have the opportunity to create artwork in any media, but you must choose an area to apply to. Your application will be reviewed by the faculty of that area.

    Application Procedure:

    Eligibility: A prospective student in the graduate studio program must have completed an undergraduate degree including 42 hours in art studio courses and 18 hours in art history. Deficiencies of up to 9 hours in the required preparation must be removed during the first year of course work for the degree.

    ALL application materials must be submitted to the Department Graduate Office by the January 15th deadline. Incomplete or late application packets will not be processed. The GRE is not required for admission.

    To apply for the MFA program, you need to submit:

    • Online application, $50 fee, pay with credit card. http://www.unm.edu/apply
    • Letter of Intent (see guidelines below)
    • CV or Resume
    • Artist Statement (no more than one page, under the “writing sample” section of the application)
    • Three (3) letters of recommendation
    • Official transcripts from every college or university you have attended, whether you earned a degree there or not. (Unofficial transcripts can be uploaded during application; official transcripts must be mailed to the Admissions Office).
    • An image portfolio, consisting of 15-20 images that best represent your work. Images should be compiled into a single PDF, PowerPoint, or website link, and uploaded during the application process. (to submit video, upload to Vimeo and include the link).
    • A portfolio ID sheet, with thumbnail images, listing the title, medium, dimensions, and date of each image in your portfolio.

    Note: The Art Studio programs in Printmaking, Experimental Art + Technology, and Art & Ecology, and the Art History programs in Art of the Americas and Art of the Modern World (both MA and Ph.D.) are recognized by Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE) for inclusion in their Out-Of-State Programs at In-State Tuition. Qualified residents of the 15 participating states in the commission may enroll at reduced tuition rates in these three programs.

    Special Note for Fulbright and Project 1000 applicants: if you are applying through an outside agency such as Project 1000 or Fulbright, it is your responsibility to ensure that all materials are sent to the Department of Art and Art History, not to the Admissions office. The Department is not responsible for materials that are not received before the January 18th deadline. We strongly advise sending a duplicate copy of all materials directly to the department, and not relying on the Admissions office to provide them.

    International applicants: Please see http://geo.unm.edu/admission_graduate.html to complete the international application in addition to the departmental application. International applicants go through the same process as domestic applicants, with a few additional steps, including English language exam scores, certified translations of transcripts, and financial paperwork related to applying for a United States student visa.

    Art Education Admission Requirements

    The application process is entirely online, and consists of application for admission, application fee, and one official transcript from each college attended.

    Upload the Letter of Intent, Three (3) Letters of Recommendation, Resume, and a portfolio of ten (10) images of your artwork (as a single PDF) along with the application form and $50 fee.

    Art Education Program Application: http://unm.edu/apply

    Upload the following at the time of application:

    Letter of Intent (specify whether applying for an MA or MA with licensure)
    • The letter of intent is written to the art education faculty. This is your important official letter introducing yourself to us and indication what you wish to accomplish in your graduate study with us. The letter should be written in standard business format and should include the following: a brief introduction of yourself; a clear statement of your goals or objectives or ideas for your art education graduate study with us including why you want to study at UNM; a brief statement about your current general concept or philosophy of art education; and anything significant you think we should know about you. The letter need not be long — one (1) or two (2) pages maximum.
    Letter of Recommendation (3) (no more than three (3) years old)
    • Recommenders: Select people who have known you professionally such as former professors and/or supervisors who have observed you teaching or working in an educational capacity.
    Resume
    • Relevant personal information (name, address, phone, etc.)
    • Education (colleges and universities attended, dates enrolled, degree(s), graduation date, major and minor fields);
    • (Optional) teaching licensure (including subject matter, grade levels, state(s), current status);
    • Professional experience (teaching experience, position held, institution, location, dates of teaching, brief description of responsibilities);
    • Art exhibitions or published research or writing;
    • Scholarships, awards, honors, and any other information you feel is important.
    Artwork
    • A selection of ten images as a single PDF. Each image should be labeled with your name, the media, and approximate size of the piece.

    If you have any questions about the above, please call (505) 277-6672 or email art255@unm.edu.

    Deadline Dates for Receipt of all Application Material

    The Art Education Program admits graduate students at the beginning of Fall Semester and Spring Semester. The deadline dates for receipt of all application materials are:

    Fall Semester – March 30
    Spring Semester – October 30

    The art education faculty will review application folders only when they are complete. After the review, the applicant will be informed of the faculty’s decision in approximately two weeks – a letter will be mailed to you with the results.

    Review of Application Folders—Materials and General Criteria

    The art education faculty reserve the right to exercise their professional judgment in evaluation the applicant’s folder for graduate work in art education. Since we are in a field that involves aesthetics, the general “look” of the application materials in considered, although the content and substance of the materials are of utmost importance.

    M.A. Requirements
    Ph.D. Degree Requirements
    M.F.A. Degree Requirements
    Letter of Intent and Portfolio Guidelines

    The letter of intent and the portfolio are complementary; each completes the other. Both need to be strong for an application to be successful. We want to see coherence and excellence in both the art and the letter, and a solid connection between the two.

    The letter can also complement the portfolio by filling in information. For instance, if your portfolio is all recent painting, but you also sculpt, you can discuss your sculpture and its relation to your painting, or how one grew out of the other, in the letter.
    We highly recommend having a faculty mentor at your current school review your letter and portfolio, and acting on their informed feedback.

    Letter of Intent

    Your letter of intent should not be less than one page, and not more than three pages. Your name, address, phone number, and email address must be at the top of the first page. In the first paragraph or the title, indicate what area you are applying to (Painting & Drawing, Photography, Printmaking, Experimental Art + Technology, Sculpture, Art & Ecology, or Ceramics).

    The letter should demonstrate focus and direction. You should demonstrate a sense of what you want from the MFA program, and what you’re prepared to put into it. It should be both articulate and conceptual, and discuss the conceptual framework of your art, the ideas that tie the body of work represented in the portfolio together. Also focus on where you are going, what drives you. Our faculty are interested in students who are interested in learning, hungry to know as much as possible, who work hard at what they’ve done in undergraduate and on their own, who are deeply involved in what they’re doing in their art. What ideas motivate and drive your artwork; what concepts are you working with?

    Express what you know about your discipline—and be aware that you are talking to intelligent and articulate people who are engaged in the field. Speak to your own strengths without an arrogant or condescending attitude. Write as you do to the professors you most respect—because that’s who’s going to review your letter. It’s a very good idea to have a current or former faculty mentor review your letter of intent before you submit it.
    Avoid name-dropping unless you are discussing why you want to study with a particular professor, or discussing a particular influence on your work. The sentence that follows the name and provides context for it is of more interest than the name being dropped.

    The relationship between what you write and what you show in your portfolio will show how you place yourself in the art world. We expect our students to have a strong background both in studio techniques, and what is going on and has gone on in the art world; hence the admissions requirement for 18 hours of art history coursework.

    What are we looking for in a portfolio?

    Technical considerations: The portfolio consists of 15-20 images of your best recent work.

    Images should be submitted as a single, high-resolution PDF document, uploaded during the application process. If you are including video, please upload each of your videos to vimeo, and include the links in your application.

    Artistic considerations: We are looking for a high level technical expertise, suitable for graduate work, combined with focus and direction. Additionally, the quality of your images themselves should be high: good lighting, color balance, neutral background.

    You should present a body of work that goes beyond undergraduate assignments—work that comes from yourself, and that stands out from the crowd. It is most important in the portfolio to show your best work. Not necessarily one sample from each medium worked in or body of work you’ve completed, but the very strongest pieces of all that you’ve done. We’re looking for a consistently high level of excellence. The work that is accepted is likely to be a relatively consistent body of work that sustains itself over 15 images, and is consistently excellent in skill and content, especially in self-motivated work. You should choose work that shows how you distinguish yourself from your peers.

    Financial Aid
    WICHE

    Several of our programs are recognized by the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE) for inclusion in their Out-Of-State Programs at In-State Tuition. Qualified residents of the 15 participating states in the commission may enroll at reduced tuition rates in these programs. Qualifying programs are:
     
    Art Studio MFA:

      Printmaking
      Art & Ecology
      Experimental Art + Technology

    Art History MA:

      Arts of the Americas

    Art History PhD:

      Native American Art History
      Pre-Columbian Art History
      Modern Latin American Art History
      Modern American & European Art History

    UNM Office of Graduate Studies
Current Students