Apply to a SUNY New Paltz graduate program

Admission Requirements

  • One official copy of all undergraduate and graduate course work; the baccalaureate transcript should be from a regionally accredited institution with a 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA). New Paltz is encouraging of interdisciplinary scholarship and we support applicants with degrees from non-studio areas who are able to demonstrate a strong body of work.

  • Two letters of reference from former teachers or other professionals in the field familiar with the candidate’s qualifications who can support the candidate’s ability to do graduate work.

  • Completion of the online application process requires uploading a minimum of 20 images, the majority of which must be in the major field to which application is made.

  • Please note that we require a minimum of 12 individual pieces; additional detail photographs and installation documentation can be included. You may include external links to videos as part of your portfolio. Each work sample must be labeled with the title of work, medium, size, and date. Images can be labeled and ordered as they are uploaded. For good image quality and fast upload, we recommend jpeg images no larger than 1280 x 1280 pixels @ 72 ppi.

  • Each image should document a finished work, or present a detail or alternate view of a finished work. Please do not submit composite images that include explanatory text, preparatory drawings and comparisons with other pieces. Our online portfolio includes a label section and we encourage you to provide more details and context about your work there and in your artist statement.

  • Completion of the online application process requires a 300-500 word artist’s statement that discusses the candidate’s concepts, material processes, research methods and influences.

  • Completion of the online application process requires a 300-500 word letter of intent that states the candidate’s goals for graduate study.

Priority is granted to applications received by January 15. Applications will still be considered after this date as long as studio spaces remain available. We encourage potential applicants to check with the faculty to verify availability. In order to maintain a cohesive community we prefer admissions to take place for the Fall semester. We strive for a dynamic and highly qualified cohort and recognize that students often come from diverse backgrounds; exceptions to application requirements, deadlines and matriculation dates will be reviewed on a case by case scenario.

Area of Specialization (30 Credits) 1
Select 6 graduate courses (18 credits) in your area of specialization. 1,218
ARS790Thesis in Art Studio12
Liberal Arts, Art History and Theory Coursework (12 Credits)
ARS501Graduate Art Seminar 3
ARS700Graduate Critical Dialogues3
ARH569Art in Contemporary Culture 3
Select one course under advisement3
Electives (18 Credits)
Select 6 courses (18 credits) of electives with approval by graduate coordinator.18
Total Credits60

Transfer Credit

With the approval of your academic advisor and the Assistant Vice President of the Graduate & Extended Learning Office, students can transfer up to 6 graduate credits.

Program Requirements

File a degree plan of study during the first semester after matriculation.

Convene a Thesis Review Committee including an external evaluator by the conclusion of the second semester.

Complete prescribed course work and other requirements within five years after matriculation.

Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better in all courses taken at New Paltz, with no more than two grades below B-.

International students must meet graduate school requirements for language proficiency. If remedial work in English is necessary, a student may be required to enroll in English as a Second Language. All entrance/placement examinations must be taken before any student may register for graduate classes.

Present a thesis exhibition approved by recommendation of your primary advisor.

Final documentation of thesis exhibit must be filed with the library in accordance with departmental guidelines. Complete submission is as follows:

  1. The thesis document is a self-published pdf document that is uploaded to the SUNY Digital Repository (DSpace).

  2. To upload your paper you will need to submit a MFA Electronic Thesis Approval Form: This document must be printed, signed by you and your thesis advisor and uploaded to DSpace as a pdf with your thesis paper. It can be downloaded from the following site:

  3. The thesis paper will contain a table of contents, followed by the thesis paper and bibliography.

  4. Table of Contents: The table of contents contains headings indicating separate sections and page numbers.

  5. Thesis paper (minimum 5 pages double-spaced not including images). This paper details the conceptual and material development of your research. Detailed  thesis content guidelines are provided during the course of study.

  6. Bibliography and citations: Use Modern Language Association (MLA) format.

  7. Library Documentation Process: To submit your thesis electronically, you will need to register for an account through the SUNY Digital Repository (DSpace). Specific instructions will be reviewed during your third semester. Once you have completed this training session you will register with your New Paltz email address and follow the instructions for submitting your thesis.

  8. Your complete and approved thesis paper must be uploaded to DSpace by the time specified during the library training session. Failure to turn your thesis in on time will result in an H grade (hold) and delay your graduation. If you fail to complete the thesis exhibition or paper within one year the H grades turn into an F without recourse for change. If you did not complete your thesis exhibition or paper you must enroll in a 0 credit continued registration course until you thesis is approved. Please contact the graduate coordinator for information about how to enroll in this course.