Application Deadlines by Program

Winter/Spring

At VCFA, we see every applicant as an individual. If your program’s application deadline has passed but you’d still like to apply, please contact your program to inquire about flexibility.

 

PROGRAM

PRIORITY

REGULAR 

Visual Art September 1 October 1
Writing September 1 October 1
Writing for Children & Young Adults September 15 October 15
Music Composition September 30 November 30
International MFA November 1 December 1
Writing & Publishing N/A November 1
Graphic Design February 1 March 1
Film February 1 March 1
Art & Design Education N/A N/A

Summer/Fall

At VCFA, we see every applicant as an individual. If your program’s application deadline has passed but you’d still like to apply, please contact your program to inquire about flexibility.

 

PROGRAM

PRIORITY

REGULAR

Writing February 1 March 1
Writing & Publishing February 1 rolling
Writing for Children & Young Adults February 15 March 15
Visual Art March 1 April 1
Music Composition April 1 June 1
Art & Design Education April 30 June 15
International MFA May 1 June 1
Graphic Design July 30 August 30
Film August 1 September 1

How to Apply

Slideroom

Sign up for an account on VCFA’s Slideroom online application portal and select your program. You will submit your application form and all other materials (except transcripts) through Slideroom. (Please note that it is important to sign up for the service early in the process to identify and contact those providing letters of reference for your application.)

General Application Requirements

Application Form

Complete the application form online through Slideroom. The application fee is $75.

Academic Transcripts

Applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Official transcripts of all previous undergraduate coursework should be sent directly from the institution either electronically via Parchment, National Student Clearinghouse, or email to [email protected], or they can be physically mailed to the address below:

Office of Admissions – [Program of Interest]
Vermont College of Fine Arts
36 College Street
Montpelier, VT 05602

Letters of Recommendation (2)

Identify two references to provide letters of recommendation describing your qualifications for master’s level study and your aptitude for independent learning. The recommendations can be submitted directly into your Slideroom application. Your recommenders can also email their recommendations to us and we can upload them to your file. (You do not have to wait for the recommendations to be submitted to submit your application. However, you should contact references early in the process to avoid delays in reviewing your application.)

Additional Application Requirements by Program

International MFA in Creative Writing & Literary Translation

Personal Essay

Submit 2-3 pages on how long ago and how you came to seriously writing and/or doing literary translation; previous study in writing, literature, and literary translation; the strengths and weaknesses of your writing and/or literary translation; and any additional experience relevant to the application.

Critical Essay

Provide a critical essay that addresses the craft of writing and/or literary translation.

Manuscript Sample

  • Fiction/Nonfiction: Submit 20 manuscript pages of creative work.
  • Literary Translation: Submit 20 manuscript pages of translated literary fiction or nonfiction (include a copy of original-language text) or 10 manuscript pages of translated literary fiction or nonfiction plus 10 manuscript pages of creative work.
  • Dual-Genre Fiction/Nonfiction: Submit 20 manuscript pages of creative work in each genre.
  • Dual Writing/Literary Translation: Submit 20 manuscript pages of creative work and 20 manuscript pages of translated literary fiction or nonfiction (include a copy of original-language text) or 10 manuscript pages of translated literary fiction or nonfiction plus 10 manuscript pages of creative work.

Contact

Ann Cardinal, Director of Student Recruitment
802-828-8589
866-934-8232, ext. 8589
[email protected]

MFA in Writing

Personal Essay

Submit 2-3 double-spaced pages addressing the following:

  • How long have you been writing seriously?
  • What is your previous study in writing and literature?
  • Do you have additional experience relevant to your application?
  • Are you prepared to use direct criticism of your work?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of your writing?
  • Are there any challenges that may prevent you from devoting 25 hours per week to study or corresponding regularly with your faculty advisor?

Critical Essay

Submit a writing sample of 3-4 double-spaced pages that demonstrates your abilities as a reader and critical thinker. This sample may be something formal written previously for a class or a short essay on a literary work recently read. The essay should in some way engage questions dealing with the writer’s craft, subjects and thematic concerns, and/or the ways in which the writer’s work has served as a model for your own literary ambitions. Please refer to the Critical Essay Resource Page before submitting an essay.

Manuscript Sample

Provide 10 pages of poetry or 20-25 pages of fiction or creative nonfiction. (Applicants may apply in one or more genres.) Each manuscript should be typewritten, single sided, double spaced (except for poetry), numbered in the lower right-hand corner, and in Times New Roman 12-point font.

Optional Items

You may also submit a list of workshops/classes you have taken and a list of awards/publications you have achieved. Publication is not required for admission, but an applicant’s publishing history is helpful information for the faculty reviewers.

Contact

Lucy Bourgeault, Director of Admissions & Financial Aid
802-828-8819
866-934-8232, ext. 8819
[email protected]

MFA in Writing & Publishing

Statement of Purpose

Submit 2-3 double-spaced pages addressing the following:

  • Why are you applying to the MFA in Writing & Publishing?
  • What is the history of your relationship with writing?
  • How have your previous studies in writing and literature informed your writing style?
  • What are some strengths and weaknesses of your writing?
  • Are you prepared to use direct criticism of your work?
  • Do you have additional experience relevant to this application?

Manuscript Sample

Provide approximately 20 pages (typed, single sided, double spaced pages for prose). You may submit writing in different genres, though this is not required. Poets must include at least 5 pages of prose: for example, an essay or short fiction.

Writing Resume/CV

Submit a writing resumé/CV that includes the following:

  • Workshops, writers’ conferences, and other non-credit literary courses attended (including dates, location, workshop leader)
  • Previous work experience related to the literary arts
  • Publications, prizes, honors, and grants related to your work.

Contact

Ann Cardinal, Director of Student Recruitment
802-828-8589
866-934-8232, ext. 8589
[email protected]

MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults

Personal Essay

Submit 2-3 pages addressing the following:

  • How long have you been writing seriously?
  • What is your previous study in writing and literature?
  • Do you have additional experience relevant to your application?
  • Are you prepared to use direct criticism of your work?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of your writing?
  • Are there any challenges that may prevent you from devoting 25 hours per week to study or corresponding regularly with your faculty advisor?

More than transcripts or letters of recommendation, the essay gives the Admissions Committee some understanding of your experience with writing and criticism, your goals for work in the program, readiness to work in the low-residency format, and the appropriateness of admission into the program.

Critical Essay

Submit a critical essay (3-4 double-spaced pages) that demonstrated your abilities as a reader and critical thinker. The committee strongly encourages applicants to submit a piece on children’s literature. The essay should in some way engage questions dealing with the writer’s craft, central ideas, and/or the relationship of the writer’s work to your own work. Please refer to the Critical Essay Resource Page before submitting an essay.

Manuscript Sample

Submit 20-25 pages of middle-grade prose, 20-25 pages of young adult prose, or 2-3 picture book stories. (Applicants may apply in one or more genres.) Each manuscript should be typewritten, single sided, double spaced, numbered in the lower right-hand corner, and in Times New Roman 12-point font.

Contact

Ann Cardinal, Director of Student Recruitment
802-828-8589
866-934-8232, ext. 8589
[email protected]

MA in Art & Design Education

Statement of Purpose

Describe the settings in which you currently teach visual art and/or design. Discuss any issues or problems you are interested in investigating and why. Describe how you imagine this investigation would impact your teaching, whether in a school or community setting.

Portfolio/Creative work

Submit 12-15 images of work that represent a combination of both your work and the work of your students. Each image description should contain the following:

  • Attribution (yourself or your student)
  • Size
  • Medium
  • Approximate date of completion

Resume/CV

Submit a resumé/CV, including any professional certifications and/or awards.

Contact

Jennifer Skinder, Program Director, MA in Art & Design Education
802-828-8553
866-934-8232, ext. 8553
[email protected]

MFA in Graphic Design

Applicants should also be familiar with design history and contemporary visual culture studies. The program requires significant emphasis on critical and conceptual content in creative and written work. This familiarity may come from previous coursework in art history, visual culture, communications, and design and/or professional experience in the field of graphic design or equivalent.

 

Statement of Purpose

Submit 500-1000 words addressing the following:

  • What are your current design goals and specific reasons for seeking an MFA in Graphic Design at VCFA?
  • What experiences led you to this point, and how might they have shaped your current visual work?
  • What do you hope to achieve during your MFA studies?
  • What topics in design are you most interested in studying?
  • As independent study is an essential feature of the low-residency model, it is important for us to assess your aptitude for defining your own educational direction. What other independent educational experiences have you pursued?

Portfolio/Creative work

Submit a portfolio of design work demonstrating a commitment to the design field and an aptitude for expressing content and voice. Design work should convey an understanding of visual communication and basic design concepts. The portfolio may chronicle your development as a designer and tell the story of your interests and experience. You can choose to submit digital images of various visual media if you feel they represent and clarify your design goals. The committee assessing your aptitude for success will look less for polished professional experience and more at your potential to develop content and communicate visually, bringing context and richness to the generation of form and content. If collaborative projects are included, please clearly identify your role in the project.

Submit 20-40 single images or up to 5 projects or videos. Media sample excerpts should not exceed 8 minutes.

Please include an image list in PDF that identifies medium, date of completion, and a brief description of each piece.

Resume/CV

Submit a resumé/CV, including a list of exhibitions.

Contact

Brittany Powell, Associate Director, MFA in Graphic Design
802-828-8772
866-934-8232, ext. 8772
[email protected]

MFA in Visual Art

Statement of Purpose

Submit a brief statement (1000 words at most) describing the formal, conceptual, and technical aspects of your current artistic practice. Be as specific as possible about your motivations and methodologies. Discuss the social, historical, and/or cultural context in which your work exists. Discuss the influence, if any, that reading and research has on your practice. Describe your strengths in comparison to your limitations as an artist, including a sense of both studio work and academic research and writing skills. Discuss what you hope to achieve in the program and how this achievement serves your larger goals as an artist.

Portfolio/Creative work

Submit a portfolio of visual work that demonstrates a sustained, focused body of work over an extended period of time or, if the work is varied, an indication that it has moved beyond or changed from where it was at the start. The portfolio also should show clear ideas behind the production of the work, beyond the desire to make pleasing aesthetic creations, and a sense that the work has a personal quality in addition to technical skill.

Slide/Image Portfolio Specifications:

  • Submit 20 images representing work that was completed within the last five years.
  • Include with the image presentation the title, medium, dimensions, and date of each image in the title/description spaces.

Video/Performance/Time-based Work Specifications:

  • If you are working in video or performance, you may submit up to 20 minutes of video files. You may also embed Vimeo links into your portfolio for viewing.
  • If you are working in audio, you may submit up to 10 minutes of audio files. You may also embed Soundcloud links into your portfolio.
  • With all time-based mediums, please indicate in the title/description spaces the title, medium, duration, date, and any timeframe you’d like the review committee to focus on with longer pieces (for example, [5.34s-15.54s]).

Resume/CV

Submit a resumé/CV, including a list of exhibitions.

Contact

Thatiana Oliveira, Associate Director, MFA in Visual Art
802-828-8636
866-934-8232, ext. 8636
[email protected]

MFA in Film

Introductory Narrative Statement

Submit 200-300 words describing the interests and activities leading to your decision to pursue an MFA in Film. Note your educational, professional, and technical background and the form(s) of filmmaking you intend to explore at VCFA.

Essay #1

In 200-300 words, define one or more elements of your “voice” as a filmmaker/screenwriter. Discuss your approach to storytelling and your interests in exploring form and/or structure in innovative or personally compelling ways. You may mention the films that inspire you or other influences and your thoughts on the effects your films are intended to have on audiences.

Essay #2

In 500-700 words, provide a critical analysis of one of your own films or scripts by discussing your creative intentions, the ways in which you achieved (or didn’t achieve) those intentions, any aesthetic or technical aspects you wish to call attention to, and any influences or references that helped inform your film.

Portfolio/Creative work

Submit two samples of your original work that best reflect your artistic vision. (All screenwriting samples should be in standard screenplay format.) This should include a list of the work samples submitted, including title, year, medium, your role(s) in the work’s creation (e.g., writer, director, cinematographer, editor, actor, etc.), and the excerpt that should be viewed and read, if not from the beginning.

  • Option 1: Submit two videos for which you played a major creative role, cued to a sample of up to 10 minutes each. The entire work should be submitted. If a work is longer than 10 minutes, it will be viewed at the committee’s discretion.
  • Option 2: Submit up to 20 pages each from two completed short or feature screenplays. If longer than 20 pages, the entire screenplay should be submitted and may be read at the committee’s discretion.
  • Option 3: Submit one video and one screenplay (see specifications above).
  • Option 4: Submit one screenplay and one treatment (see specifications above).
  • Optional (for all samples): A synopsis of up to 100 words.
  • Optional (for all samples): A description of up to 100 words of the action leading up to the sample, if it is not from the beginning of the piece.

Applying as a screenwriter or a filmmaker will not exclude a student from studying all aspects of filmmaking.

Resume/CV

Submit a resumé/CV, including a list of finished films and/or screenplays; screenings and any prizes, honors, and/or grants related to your work; a concise list of your relevant skills (such as camera operation, lighting, editing); and a list of any software related to the craft of which you have a working knowledge.

Filmography

Submit a filmography listing all film projects including title, year, medium, your role(s) in the work’s creation.

Contact

Aja Zoecklein, Associate Director, MFA in Film
802-828-8575
866-934-8232, ext. 8575
[email protected]

MFA in Music Composition

Applicants must have demonstrated compositional skills, and a bachelor’s degree in music is preferred. Applicants whose undergraduate degree is in a discipline other than music must have demonstrated knowledge of music theory appropriate to their musical goals, technical ability appropriate to musical goals, ability to read music, and ability to perform on a musical instrument.

 

Statement of Purpose

Submit up to 1000 words addressing the following:

  • What are your current musical goals and reasons for seeking an MFA in Music Composition?
  • Which areas of composition (contemporary composition, electronic music, jazz, scoring for media, or songwriting) are you most interested in pursuing through VCFA studies?

Portfolio/Creative work

Submit three sound files of original compositions–live recording, video, or MIDI–with accompanying scores in PDF in the are you wish to focus on at VCFA. If you wish to study in a genre different from your samples, address your rationale and qualifications for doing so in your statement of purpose.

Submit a list in PDF describing your samples, providing context or addressing their significance to your development as a composer or your compositional process. Provide dates of completion, performance information, instrumentation, or in the case of electronic music what programs were used.

Scoring for Media applicants: At least one sample should be composed to video format. Credit studios or collaborators involved.

Electronic Music applicants: Submit at least one sample with accompanying score. Compositions combining acoustic instruments with electronics should be accompanied by a score.

Jazz Composition and Songwriting applicants: While scores are preferred, you may submit charts in PDF.

Resume/CV

Submit a resumé/CV, including a listing of compositions (including date of composition, instrumentation, and duration), significant performances, scholarships, and professional recognition.

Contact

Sarah Madru, Associate Director, MFA in Music Composition
802-828-8534
866-934-8232, ext. 8534
[email protected]

Eligibility

Undergraduate Degree Requirement

Applicants to Vermont College of Fine Arts must have completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.

In very rare cases, Vermont College of Fine Arts will accept students who have not attained a bachelor’s degree. If you would like to apply and do not have a bachelor’s degree, speak to your program’s admissions counselor to learn more.

Students who are admitted with less than a bachelor’s degree and seek financial aid should contact the Financial Aid office:

Lucy Bourgeault
Director of Admission & Financial Aid
802-828-8819
[email protected]

Questions?

Contact Our Admissions Office

Plan a visit, confirm application deadlines, learn more about financial aid, and speak with alumni to learn about VCFA firsthand!