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Information for Applicants

Graduate Degrees and Certificates Offered by the School of Art

  • MFA in Studio Art with tracks in Ceramics, Drawing and Painting, Fiber, Illustration/Animation, Metals, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture/4D, and Wood
    • Please note that the Graphic Design Track is not available for fall 2021 admission
  • MA in Art with a Concentration in Art Education
  • MA in Art with a Concentration in Art History
  • Certificate in Museum Studies
    • Please note that the Certificate in Museum Studies is not available for fall 2021 admission. However, Museum Studies coursework may be pursued through the MA in Art History

Application Requirements

Admission to a graduate degree program at CSULB is a two-part process that requires application to and acceptance by both the University and the School of Art. There are two separate applications, reviewed by separate groups of university staff and School of Art faculty. Both need to be submitted before the deadline of January 15th for fall admission. Individual programs may conduct interviews, in which case they will contact you directly.

  1. CSULB Application: (available Nov 1- January 15th);
  2. $70 application fee, payable online only through Cal State Apply;
  3. Official sealed transcripts, mailed directly from all previous universities or colleges to Enrollment Services, California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90840;
  4. Any additional materials as requested by the university.
  5. In addition, International Students should contact the Center for International Education by email. To be accepted to the university, international applicants, as well as those who completed an undergraduate degree in select countries must have a TOEFL score of 80 or better on the iBt, or earn 6.0 on each sub-section of the IELTS.
  6. School of Art Application: Graduate applications are available Nov. 15- Jan.15th. There is no fee for the School of Art application. Applicants will need to create a Slideroom account if they don’t have one already and select the program they would like to apply to.
  7. A list of undergraduate coursework and grades received.
  8. Two letters of recommendation. You will enter email addresses for your recommenders through Slideroom. They will be contacted and will upload their recommendations directly to Slideroom.
  9. Supplementary materials:
  1. MA Art Education
    1. Writing Sample/Statement of Purpose: A 2-3 page, double-spaced paper addressing your research interests in Art Education
    2. Portfolio of student work (see image requirements below)
  2. MA Art History 
    1. Writing Sample: the standard sample is a term paper from a previous Art History course or a senior thesis.
    2. Listing of courses taken to meet prerequisites
    3. Statement of purpose (reasons for pursuing graduate study)
  3. MFA in Studio Art
    1. Portfolio of 20 images of your studio work (see image requirements below)
    2. Artist statement or statement regarding work submitted
    3. Statement of purpose (reasons for pursuing graduate study)

Preparing Images and Videos for Slideroom:

Uploaded image files may not be larger than 5MB each. Supported image formats are: jpg, png, gif, tif, bmp, and tga. Slideroom processes all images so they have a maximum of 1280 pixels at the longest length. Information required for each image includes: Title, dimensions (H x W x L), medium, date. Videos, where required, can be embedded from YouTube or Vimeo, or uploaded directly to Slideroom. Longer works of film and video must be excerpted (max. 10 min). Uploaded videos can be no larger than 60MB. Supported video formats for uploading are: m4v, mov, mp4, wmv, flv, asf, mpeg, mpg, and mkv.

General Prerequisites for Graduate Admission

An applicant may be accepted if, in addition to having satisfied srequirements set by the School of Art for the degree concentration, the applicant has satisfied the following minimum university standards. To qualify for admission in conditionally classified graduate standing, these conditions need to be met:

  1. Applicant holds an acceptable baccalaureate degree from an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association or has, as determined by an appropriate CSULB authority, completed equivalent academic preparation in a university outside the United States;
  2. Applicant has attained a grade-point average of at least 2.5* (A = 4.0) in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units attempted;
  3. Applicant has been in good standing at the last college attended.

Special Action: In rare and compelling circumstances, an applicant who doesn’t qualify for admission under the previous School of Art and University provisions may be admitted by special action if, on recommendation of the appropriate faculty of the department/college concerned and in the judgment of the Associate Vice President for Graduate and Undergraduate Programs or his/her designee, there exists acceptable evidence that the applicant possesses sufficient academic, professional, and other potential pertinent to her/his educational objectives to merit such action, as shown through aptitude scores, recent academic performance, and experiential background.

Prerequisites for Concentrations within the School of Art

NOTE: Courses taken to fulfill prerequisites for a graduate degree may not be counted toward the graduate degree program of study. Please note that The School of Art requires a GPA of 3.0 in all prerequisite units for acceptance to our graduate programs.

MA Degree in Art: Art Education Concentration Prerequisites

Applicants must complete 36 units of prerequisite coursework approved by the Art Education faculty to include:

  • 15 approved upper-division units,
  • 9 upper-division units of Art or Education electives,
  • 12 units Art History (6 may be lower-division, 6 must be upper-division).

MA in Degree Art: Art History Concentration Prerequisites

Applicants must complete 33 units of prerequisite coursework approved by the Art History faculty to include:

  • 3 units of Art 448, 449, 450, 548, 549 or 550 (theory and criticism courses);
  • 9 additional upper-division units of Art History;
  • 9 units upper-division Art or Art History electives;
  • and 12 units (or the equivalent) of foreign language. Please Note: Art History applicants should have completed at least two years (or a minimum of 12 units) of college-level French or German with an average grade of "B" or better. (With approval from the Art History faculty, another language may be substituted.) Students without this preparation are advised that all students accepted for the Art History MA must pass the In-house Foreign Language Exam within the first two semesters of study.
  • Applicants without this prerequisite coursework may be admitted conditionally and required to complete remaining coursework within the first year of graduate study.

MFA in Art: Studio Art Concentration Prerequisites

The School of Art prefers, but does not require, that Studio Art applicants have undergraduate degrees in Art. Application to our graduate programs is competitive and most applicants to the studio programs will have an undergraduate degree in Art, many with a BFA in their chosen media. For Studio Art admissions, the part of the application that is given the most weight is the portfolio of work. The School of Art invites all applicants who feel they have strong portfolios to apply. If the reviewing faculty members feel the application is strong, but the applicant needs additional preparatory work, the School of Art may admit the applicant with Conditionally Classified graduate standing, with specific prerequisites stated on a case-by-case basis at the time of admission.

Conditionally Classified Admissions

An applicant who has deficiencies in prerequisites for a concentration, but who in the judgment of the School of Art can meet these prerequisites with additional preparation specified at time of admission, may be admitted with Conditionally Classified graduate standing. Students who have deficiencies in prerequisites for a concentration, but who are willing to engage in additional preparation to meet prerequisites, are encouraged to apply.

Acceptance to a degree program in Art

After submitting the School of Art application materials, those who pass the program review are recommended by the faculty to be admitted as either Classified or Conditionally Classified. A Classified Graduate has satisfied all prerequisites. A Conditionally Classified Graduate has outstanding prerequisites to complete. Acceptance is not complete until the applicant has received both notification of acceptance from the School of Art and a formal letter of acceptance from the CSULB Office of Enrollment Services. Acceptance decisions are normally sent out by April 15th for fall admission and by November 15th for spring admission.

Transfer Units

Transfer units are allowed on a case-by-case basis and must have been completed within the 7-year limit.

Additional Information:

Additional information about the degree, committee procedures, and other graduate processes may be found in the “School of Art Graduate Guidelines,” given to each student accepted into a master’s program in the School of Art at CSULB.


School of Art Graduate Advisor: Rebecca Sittler (available Jan. 4-17, on sabbatical in spring 2021); Briana Stanley (Graduate Advisor Jan. 18-May 14, 2021)

You can also book an appointment with the Graduate Advisor during the fall or spring semester.


Both of these applications are required in order to apply for all graduate programs in the School of Art: