Grad School

So you’re thinking about grad school!

  • This is a crowdsourced list of BFAMFAPhD Free/Paid MFA programs with a visual arts focus (last updated in 2018)
  • Below are some additional informal notes we’ve been collecting about Grad MFA programs in the US that provide some funding. (Or do you have EU citizenship? Go to grad school there, for free!)


  • UCSD (full ride + teaching stipend)
  • UC Irvine
  • UCLA (both DMA and the regular arts program give up to 100+% funding with teaching, Full ride possible only with in-state status, DMA is a great experimental art/design/technology program)
  • USC (This program was affordable but the school has changed its economic model and is in transition)
  • UCSB (full funding + excellent stipend and teaching, Especially good for art and tech)
  • Stanford (full ride + excellent stipend and teaching. Also, check out the CRMA phd in experimental music)
  • UC Berkeley (full ride tuition for instate peeps, out of staters pay difference)
  • Mills (possibly up to 50+% funding, great sound MFA)
  • UC Davis (50-70% funding)
  • UOregon (full ride + teaching stipend)
  • UW (full ride)
  • ASU (Arizona State) (full ride or 50% tuition + Merit Scholarships: for International Students)


  • UIowa (possibly full funding avail here)
  • Indiana (possibly full ride)
  • UChicago (75% tuition funding + teaching stipend, this program is growing and has fabulous Logan Arts Center)
  • UI-C (full funding, Program is small but good, but may be lacking in institutional support.)
  • Northwestern (full ride + excellent stipend and teaching)
  • SAIC (possibly full ride but really competitive)
  • SIUC (Southern Illinois) (full ride + stipend)
  • UMichigan (full ride, first year travel funding, free computer, + stipend)
  • Ohio (both state and university) (full rides + stipend to both universities)


  • UGA (Georgia) (excellent funding)
  • LSU (Louisiana) (excellent funding)
  • UF (Florida) (full funding)
  • UTex-Austin (50% or more funding)
  • Georgia Tech (MS in Digital Media is a full ride)


  • Alfred (full ride + stipend)
  • RPI/iEAR (half the admits get full finding)
  • Carnegie-Mellon (70+% funding)
  • RISD (Pres. Scholarships range 40K, 20K and 10K, but most pay)
  • Rutgers (possibly full funding)
  • SUNY Buffalo (good-to-full funding here)
  • Tyler/Temple (sometimes they do offer full funding + stipend to some first year MFAs, but 2nd yr seems to get best funding)
  • SFMA (has been known to dish out some decent money, but not all the time)
  • Yale (if you are low income, along with your parents (regardless of your age, they ask for your parent’s financials), you can qualify for excellent funding. If not, you will pay)
  • MIT/ACT (possibly up to 50% funding)
  • Univ of Maryland (full ride + teaching stipend)
  • VCU (70+% funding)
  • Cornell (full ride + teaching stipend)
  • MICA (25-50% tuition for some)
  • Bard (possibly up to 50% funding)
  • Montclair State (possibly excellent funding here)
  • CUNY Hunter College, NYC (good price if you’re in state)

Big name expensive art schools:

  • Columbia University
  • Yale
  • UCLA (good deal)
  • USC (good deal)
  • SAIC
  • RISD
  • Cal Arts
  • Bard College (it’s a summer program, so you could technically work off the money during the year?)
  • CCA
  • Art Center Los Angeles
  • SFAI

Non-degree granting, MFA-like artist run schools:

  • Bruce High Quality Foundation University – NYC: Offers free to cheap classes on a range of topics in contemporary art. Also has a few residencies. Started and run by the artist collective BHQF: >
  • Mountain School of the Arts – LA: Totally free seminar style program with a highly interdisciplinary curriculum (you might go to an artists studio one day then hear a presentation from the District Attorney of LA the next, European style). Meets 3 nights a week in a bar in Chinatown, great “in” to Los Angeles, but quite competitive: >
  • DIY art school in Oakland, CA: >

Other lists/