Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to the MFA program?
Admission to the East Carolina University School of Art and Design MFA degree program is a 2-step process, including an application through the Graduate School and a Portfolio shared with the School of Art and Design. You can view the directions and materials required for this process here [].

When are applications to the MFA program due?
Following are the application deadlines:

Fall Admission
– February 1, Financial awards priority date: US and International
– March 15, Application closes (hard deadline): US and International

Spring Admission*
– November 1, Application deadline: US and International

Summer Admission
– N/A: US and International

*Since our main admission period is in the Fall with financial awards designated for the academic year, Spring admission, if there are any, will be a case-by-case basis for assistantships and remissions depending on the availability of SoAD Graduate Program budget.

How many graduate students are currently enrolled in the program? How many students are accepted each year?
There are currently 23 graduate students enrolled in the program. The number of students accepted each year depends on the quality and quantity of applications to the MFA program.

Where do I send my transcripts? Can I send my transcripts electronically?
Please have the official transcript sent electronically to [].

Can I apply for an application fee waiver?
A non-refundable application fee of $75 is required for each application submitted. Your application is not reviewed by the Graduate School until after your application fee is received.

I need help with or have a question about the application. Who should I contact?
Please contact Seo Eo [] to inquire about the program.

Can I take a tour of the School of Art and Design or visit a class?
Yes, please contact Seo Eo [] to inquire about tours.

What facilities, equipment, or technology are available to graduate students?
The School of Art and Design is housed in the Leo W. Jenkins Fine Arts Center (Jenkins) is approximately 150,000 square feet and contains classrooms (studio, computer lab, seminar, or lecture), dedicated to graduate and undergraduate studios, faculty offices, the School’s Main Office, the Wellington B. Gray Gallery, and Burroughs Wellcome Senior Gallery. The facilities include more than eight computer labs, a letterpress shop, a foundry, a wood kiln, and digital shops within the School of Art and Design that offer various formats for digital printing and scanning in a number of labs, as well as laser cutters, CNC routers, 3D printers, and TC2 digital jacquard loom. A newly established, ECU-run hot-glass studio in nearby Farmville (15 miles west of campus) offers courses in glass art Specialized equipment for making across a broad array of disciplines is housed throughout Jenkins. You can see the available facilities and studios specific to each program here [].

Do all graduate students have studio space?
MFA students are assigned an MFA Studio space or office upon admission to ECU. These spaces are assigned by area faculty, secure, and available 24/7. Graduate students also receive 24/7 access to the School’s computer labs and facilities in their area of concentration.

When will I be notified about a decision on my application?
Accepted applicants in the Priority Pool (all required materials received by February 1) will be contacted by February 20.

Do I need to submit GRE scores with my application?
No, the MFA program does not require standardized test scores for admission.

What financial assistance is available to graduate students?
The School of Art and Design offers a variety of financial assistance to MFA in Art students through various methods. If you have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher, a portfolio and application materials that are meritorious, and your application is received by February 1, you will be considered for assistantships, scholarships, and out-of-state tuition remissions for the following academic year. The out-of-state tuition remission ($13,149 as of 2019) is the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition. This award is applied directly to your tuition bill. With this remission, students are still responsible for the in-state portion of their tuition, typically around $7,600 per year.

How do I apply for financial aid within the School of Art?
Merit-based scholarships are available to current and future students. To apply for grants, loans, and some scholarships you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is used to determine your eligibility for federal, state, and university aid programs. Even if you think you may not be eligible, we encourage you to apply. The FAFSA is available on October 1. We encourage you to file your FAFSA online as soon as possible to avoid errors and ensure faster processing. ECU’s priority deadline is March 1.

Do you offer graduate assistantships?
There are a number of graduate teaching and research assistantship opportunities for full-time, on-campus MFA students. A full-time assistantship at ECU School of Art and Design is 20 hours per week and pays $12,000 per academic year. Assistantships oftentimes include a variety of assignments such as monitoring and maintaining studios, working on special projects, gallery installation, teaching a class, or a combination of the above. MFA students receive their contract one semester in advance outlining their assistantship obligations and supervisor(s).

ECU also offers special assistantship positions for MFA students, funded by the Student Center Gallery []. These graduate assistantships provide gallery management and curatorial positions and are 20-hours per week assignments for nine months starting in August. Total compensation is around $17,000 per year; a $9,427 stipend and a $7,500 award equal to the cost of tuition and fees for a full-time in-state graduate student per academic year.

Do graduate students teach?
Art studio teaching assistantships (Instructor) are awarded once you have successfully completed 18 hours (6 classes) of art studio (ART) coursework. Prior to teaching, you must complete a course focused on art and design pedagogy which includes a semester of observation and mentorship to prepare you for teaching. MFA students are given opportunities to teach undergraduate courses, and many are able to teach several different courses.

What is the minimum TOEFL or IELTS score?
The Graduate School accepts either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or Pearson Test of English (PTE) and scores must be forwarded to the Graduate School by the testing service. An iBT TOEFL score of 18 on each section for a total minimum score of 78, IELTS score of 6.5, or PTE score of 65 (with 60 on each section) is required to meet the language exam requirement

What is the TOEFL code for the School of Art?
East Carolina University Graduate Admissions Code is 5180, and the department code for Fine Arts, Art, Design is 15.

I am an international student who has previously studied in the United States. Do I still need to take the TOEFL exam?
If you have studied in full-time status for at least one academic year (minimum of 18 credit hours) within the last five years in a United States school, you may be exempt from the exam.

How long is your program?
The MFA at ECU is a 60-hour degree program and typically completed over three years.

I studied something else for my undergraduate degree. Can I still apply?
The School of Art and Design Graduate Committee will consider an application without a BFA if you have an exceptional portfolio of work and completed an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution.

What are the areas of study?
We offer the MFA in Art with concentrations in ceramics, graphic design, metal design, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and textile design.

Can I have a secondary/related area of study or interest?
Yes. Depending on the scope of the study, it may extend the length of the program.

Do you have a visiting artist program?
Yes, we have a program led by student organizations that bring in visiting artists, designers, and scholars for guest lectures, workshops, portfolio reviews, or discussion forums. You can view the current schedule here [].

Are there exhibition opportunities for students?
Yes, there is an annual juried exhibition opportunity partnered with the Joyner Library. There are also often opportunities through the Graduate Artists Forum, around the School of Art and Design, each departmental guild, and the community of Greenville.