Master of Fine Arts

Application Deadline - January 15

Program Start - Fall (September)


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Applicants to the Master of Fine Arts (Studio) should possess either a BFA degree or the equivalent qualifications from a four-year university or college program, ability as an artist or craftsperson, an interest in teaching, and academic competency.

Applicants to the MFA Program will be expected to have completed the equivalent of NSCAD’s undergraduate art history and liberal arts and science requirements and to have maintained an overall “B” average in relevant academic course work.

Applicants to the MFA Program who have a four-year diploma (but not a degree) will be required to take a qualifying semester to supplement their liberal arts requirements. This study will be undertaken at the applicant’s own expense, and does not guarantee admission to the MFA Program. Such applicants must register for a minimum of three courses (nine semester credits). The courses required in a qualifying semester will be determined by the MFA director in consultation with the appropriate division chair (or designate) and the registrar. A minimum grade of “B” must be earned.

Students are selected for their capability as artists, craftpersons, or designers; their understanding of related critical information; and the personal qualities and interests that might be expected to contribute to their success as teachers and scholars.

Applicants often have in-depth training and experience in ceramics, digital media, drawing, film, installation, jewellery/metalsmithing, painting, performance, photography, printmaking, sculpture, sound, textiles/fashion or video.



By answering a series of quick questions, you can begin your online application and provide us with all the details we’ll need to review your application.


A non-refundable application fee of $70 is required.


Submit a statement explaining the direction of your studio practice in art, craft or design, and your purposes and intentions in seeking to enter the MFA at NSCAD University. Maximum length is 500 words. The file should be in a PDF format.


An academic record of current and previous post-secondary study is required from all applicants. All transcripts must be official and received directly by mail, fax or email from the issuing institution. 

Please have the issuing institution send official transcripts to


Two letters of recommendation are required as part of the MFA application process. There is no standard reference form. Referees are asked to write a one-page letter detailing their experience with you as an artist and demonstrating your suitability for an MFA program.  All letters of recommendation must be official and received directly from the issuing institution.


Your portfolio consists of 20 image files and/or media links accompanied by a numbered and annotated list, which references each file or link.

  • IMAGES: You may upload up to 20 PDF image files for your portfolio submission, or provide 20 files via a combination of uploaded image files and links to time-based material. 

  • TIME-BASED MATERIAL: Excerpts of time-based work (performance, film, sound or video) maybe uploaded to Vimeo, YouTube or personal/professional website, with links to specific works provided within the List of Works. Total running time of time-based excerpts should not exceed 15 minutes. In addition, you may provide two entire time-based projects via web links. Documentation of electronic, installation and sculptural work involving temporal, kinetic or aural elements may require a combination of images files and/or sound files and movies. Use your best judgment to represent the work with economy and clarity.

  • LIST OF IMAGE/MEDIA LINKS: Your portfolio should be summarized with an annotated list of works that identifies 20 files (uploaded and/or supplied via a web link), including titles, dates, medium/media and dimensions. These 20 files may include finished works as well as details. Files/links should be numbered 01 to 20. The list document should be uploaded as a .pdf format file.


English Language Requirement

The language of instruction at the university is English. Required courses in all graduate programs include small group seminars in which discussion, reading, and writing at the graduate level are expected. International applicants for whom English is a second language must submit evidence of their ability to conduct studies in English. Please refer to NSCAD's detailed English Language Requirement.

International applicants for whom English is a second language must arrange for the results of an English language test to be sent directly to the university. The the MFA program​ may offer conditional acceptance, based on language scores. Click here for more information on language test requirements as well as conditional acceptances.


Transfer From Other Institutions

NSCAD University accepts transfer graduate liberal arts credits at par from those public or private universities and colleges that are either members of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, or are chartered or accredited as post-secondary degree-granting bodies by appropriate agencies in other countries. Students admitted to the graduate programs may transfer a maximum of three graduate liberal arts credits.