Applicants are required to submit three letters of recommendation from instructors or practicing professionals.
Online submission is available through the online application. Applicants will be required to provide the email address and contact information for their references. A "Send Email" button for each recommendation is provided to send the online form to the email address you provided for your recommender.
If your recommender is experiencing difficulty (uploading the letter via the recommendation portal, receiving emails, etc.), please instruct them to email the letter to Graduate Admissions and include your full name and graduate program in the email.
Note: The School of Visual Arts does not provide letter of recommendation forms.
Applicants from institutions in India should request and submit official transcripts directly through TrueCopy Credentials. Requests are processed by TrueCopy Credentials and will be sent electronically to SVA Graduate Admissions.
Check with the registrar’s office at your institution to see if your school issues its own digital transcripts or if it’s a member of any of the organizations mentioned above. (Important Note: Please be sure that all electronic transcript submissions are directed to “Graduate Admissions” at email@example.com.)
Transcripts may also be submitted in an unopened envelope that is stamped and sealed by the college registrar of the issuing institution.
Please address to:
School of Visual Arts
209 East 23rd Street
New York, NY 10010
Pending acceptance, all graduate applicants currently enrolled in school for their Bachelor's degrees for the Spring or Summer 2020 semesters are required to submit verification of graduation before they attend SVA.
All transcripts from foreign institutions must be officially translated into English and U.S. grading equivalencies. For more information, see the below accordion.
Applicants who have academic documents from institutions outside of the U.S. are required to provide original, attested or certified true copies of academic records for all institutions attended. These records should be in the original language issued.
Please Note: SVA does not review PDFs or screenshots sent directly via email from applicants.
Records Not in English
For records not in English, applicants must also submit an official translation of all academic documents. Translations must be a complete, literal, word-for-word translation in the same format of the original academic document.
All foreign post-secondary (university level) transcripts should be converted into U.S. educational equivalencies. Those records that are not converted into U.S. equivalencies must be evaluated by an external evaluation agency. The evaluation should be course-by-course and include:
Name of educational institution
Country where institution is located
Length of study
U.S. educational equivalent (two-year or four-year college)
Courses studied per academic year
Conversion of grades/marks/final examination results into equivalent U.S. grades of A, B, C, D or F for each course evaluated
Total credits earned
Conversion of course hours into U.S. semester hours of credit
Cumulative grade point average (GPA) on a 4-point scale
U.S. degree equivalent
The School of Visual Arts should be listed as the recipient of the evaluation. Transcripts may take up to six weeks to be evaluated. The original academic records must be submitted in addition to the evaluation.
The School of Visual Arts strongly recommends that international academic records be evaluated by either of the following approved external evaluation agencies:
Please note: Pending acceptance, all graduate applicants currently enrolled in school for their Bachelor’s degrees for the Spring or Summer 2020 semesters are required to submit verification of graduation before they attend SVA.
In addition to the general application requirements, international applicants whose primary/native language is not English must demonstrate proficiency in written and spoken English. The following are acceptable ways to demonstrate English proficiency:
This requirement may be waived for native English speakers who are citizens of any of the following countries and attend schools where English is the primary language of instruction: England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, India, South Africa and Common Wealth Caribbean (Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago).
SVA will consider waiving the English proficiency exam requirement for students who have earned a degree at a regionally accredited U.S. college or university. Students seeking this waiver must submit a written request with their application materials.
Applicants must upload their portfolio to the Graduate Admissions SlideRoom account. To create an account and for further instructions, visit the SlideRoom Portal. (Important note: Portfolios submitted via CD, DVD, URL or email will not be reviewed.)
Applicants will have the ability to upload the following to SlideRoom:
Still imagery: 15–20 images. All images should be JPEG format. Digital images should be no larger than 1500 pixels on the largest dimension, at 72ppi.
Video: MOV, FLV, or WMV files, not to exceed 10 minutes in length, up to 60MB each.
Audio: MP3 not to exceed 10 minutes in length, up to 10MB each.
Applicants must submit a 500–750 word writing sample. This may take the form of an academic paper or an original essay describing an event in your life that has proven to be central to your artistic development.
Online submission is available through the online application. After you submit your application, you will have access to a checklist to upload materials like the Writing Sample.
If you are experiencing difficulty uploading your materials via the online application, please email them to Graduate Admissions and include your full name and date of birth in the email.
All applications are reviewed by our Admissions Committee, which includes several MFA Art Practice faculty members and the Chair of the Department.
Applications received by December 1st will be considered for Early Decision and will receive an informal decision prior to the holidays. Applications received by January 15th will be considered for the Regular Decision process.
We begin by reviewing portfolios in SlideRoom and reviewing the statement and writing sample submitted with the application, then conduct interviews with selected applicants before meeting as a group to discuss each application in detail.
Applications submitted after the January 15 deadline are screened by a single member of the committee and interviewed as appropriate if there are spots remaining.