Programs of Study

Application Requirements

CCAD's Master of Fine Arts (graduate) program accepts applications for the fall (August) semester only.

All admitted students are automatically considered for institutional scholarships. To be considered for need-based grants or other forms of financial aid, domestic applicants are required to complete and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Important Dates & Deadlines

For Fall 2016

  • Priority Application Deadline: Feb. 15, 2016
  • Financial Aid Deadline: March 1, 2016

Please note: Applications received by the deadline above will receive priority consideration for merit and need-based scholarships.

How to Apply

Applicants should start by completing the online application at

To complete the online portion of the application, applicants need to submit the following:

  • Portfolio—Should consist of 20 examples of your work or three time-based works or some combination submitted as digital files through ccad.slideroom (click here for file formats)
  • Project proposal (PDF format, click here for more details)
  • Resumé/CV (PDF format)
  • Request for Letters of recommendation—You will need to have the contact information for three people from whom you plan to request letters of recommendation. Recommendations may come from art instructors, guidance counselors, professional artists, employers or other adults not related to you.
  • Application fee—$65 application fee is required to submit your application.

College Transcrips must be submitted via mail, to:

CCAD Graduate Admissions
60 Cleveland Ave.
Columbus, OH 43215

International Students should see the International Students admissions page for information on additional requirements.

Additional Recommendations

  • Campus visit (see the Visit CCAD page for more)
  • Interview (contact the Graduate Program Admissions Officer via email or 614.222.3249 to arrange an appointment.)

Portrait of a CCAD Graduate Student

Talented and motivated students who demonstrate technical and visual skills and submit an interesting and clearly presented initial project proposal are preferred.

Applicants to the program must have attained a baccalaureate degree with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA and must demonstrate high visual, technical, and conceptual skills through a portfolio of work or the equivalent. (Transferring students must demonstrate a minimum of a 3.0 GPA in previous graduate study. Applicability of graduate transfer credit is determined by the program director in consultation with the college’s registrar and vice president of academic affairs on an individual basis.)

The organization, clarity, and creativity of the initial project proposal are as important as its actual content. Subsequent semester projects need not build on the first project, and applicants are not expected to know the form or subject of their final thesis project before entering the program.

Artists with BFA degrees are encouraged to apply. Consideration is also given to students who do not have a BFA but can demonstrate a significant degree of visual competence and aesthetic understanding.

File Standards for Digital Images

Acceptable file formats include:

  • Images (.jpg, .jpeg, .png, .gif, .tif, .tiff, .bmp, or .tga) up to 5 MB each
  • Videos (.flv, .wmv, .mov, .mp4, or .m4v) up to 250 MB each
  • Audio (.mp3, .wma, .ogg, or .flac) up to 30 MB each
  • Documents (.pdf) up to 10 MB each
  • Linked Media: Vimeo, YouTube, SoundCloud

Applicants can also upload their media using Dropbox or embed it from YouTube, Vimeo, or SoundCloud into their SlideRoom portfolio.

Through ccad.slideroom applicants will add descriptions of title, date, media, and dimensions for each work.

Submitting Time-Based Work

  • Multimedia projects should be formatted as QuickTime or MPEG files.
  • Applicants submitting time-based work in excess of 15 minutes should submit a cued-up sample video along with the full-length work.
  • Portfolios of interactive media should submit a disk with the entire interactive piece or a URL for its website.


  • If a work was a collaborative effort, you must include your role in its creation and development.

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Tips for Writing Your Project Proposal

The curriculum of the New Projects MFA is project-based. Each student works on a personal project each semester, and this project forms the foundation of your work in the program.

As a key part of your application please describe the first project you would like to undertake in the program. Be as clear and specific as possible. Although we request that your answers be in written form, we also like to view appropriate visual supporting materials. This could include websites, videos, images, audio recordings, or other materials. Your project proposal is judged not only on its creativity and originality but also on its clarity, organization, and presentation. Remember that your initial project needs to be completed in one semester, so scope and feasibility will be an issue.

Please address the following topics in your project proposal:

  1. Briefly and clearly describe the project, including: a short narrative about the work or research that has led you to this interest; visual documentation of your own or others' work that has influenced this proposal.
  2. Discuss the historical, critical, or cultural contexts for and influences on your proposal.
  3. What media/methodology will your project involve?
  4. What resources (facilities/instruction) do you anticipate needing? (What can CCAD offer you to complete your project?)

Submit a PDF version of your project proposal with the online application.


Contact a Graduate Program Admissions Officer:
| mfa AT ccad DOT edu l 614.222.3249

Or fill out the request more information form.

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