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

EARLY ACCEPTANCE

FINAL DEADLINE

Writing September 15 October 1
Visual Art September 14 October 26
Writing for Children & Young Adults September 15 October 15
Music Composition September 30 November 30
Graphic Design February 1 March 1
Film February 1 March 1

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

EARLY ACCEPTANCE

FINAL DEADLINE

Writing February 1 March 22
Writing for Children & Young Adults February 15 April 1
Visual Art March 23 April 27
Music Composition April 1 June 1
Graphic Design July 30 August 30
Film July 30 September 13

Application Requirements by Program

MFA in Writing

Application Form

The application fee is $75.

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 – MFA in Writing
Vermont College of Fine Arts
36 College Street
Montpelier, VT 05602

References

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 Slate 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.)

Note: Relatives and spouses are not eligible to provide references.

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?

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

Annie Sklar, Associate Director of Admissions
802-595-4854

[email protected]

MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults

Application Form

The application fee is $75.

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 – MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults
Vermont College of Fine Arts
36 College Street
Montpelier, VT 05602

References

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 Slate 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.)

Note: Relatives and spouses are not eligible to provide references.

Personal Statement (2-3 pages, double-spaced)

The program requires a minimum commitment of 25 hours a week of work and a willingness to accept feedback. Successful applicants usually have already spent time writing and learning about the craft. They also have a good idea of what they hope to gain from pursuing a master’s degree.

We’d love to hear about you as a writer and get a feel for your voice. Every personal statement is different, but many applicants choose to address some of the following:

  • Your previous study of writing and children’s literature
  • The books you’re reading and admiring
  • Why you want to write for young readers
  • What strengths you are most proud of
  • What you most want to learn
  • Your readiness to commit 25 hours a week to your study

Manuscript Sample

Please send:

  • From 15 to 20 pages of your fiction or nonfiction for young readers; OR
  • Two picture book manuscripts; OR
  • One picture book manuscript and 10 pages of fiction or nonfiction.

Each manuscript should be typewritten, single-sided, double-spaced, numbered in the lower right-hand corner, and in 12-point Times New Roman font. Please do not include illustrations.

Critical Essay

This should be 3–4 pages, double spaced. At VCFA, our critical essays are meant to help students understand a narrow aspect of literary craft more deeply through the close reading of published works. This close study helps our students improve their craft. You might select a favorite book for children and young readers and pick one thing it does particularly well to write about, citing specific examples in the text.

For more information on critical essays, visit the Critical Essay Resource Page.

Contact

Ann Cardinal, Director of Student Recruitment
802-595-2625
[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.

Application Form

The application fee is $75.

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 – MFA in Graphic Design
Vermont College of Fine Arts
36 College Street
Montpelier, VT 05602

References

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 Slate 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.)

Note: Relatives and spouses are not eligible to provide references.

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

Ann Cardinal, Director of Student Recruitment
802-595-2625
[email protected]

MFA in Visual Art

Application Form

The application fee is $75.

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 – MFA in Visual Art
Vermont College of Fine Arts
36 College Street
Montpelier, VT 05602

References

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 Slate 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.)

Note: Relatives and spouses are not eligible to provide references.

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

Alia Quart Khan, Associate Director of Admissions
[email protected]

MFA in Film

Application Form

The application fee is $75.

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 – MFA in Film
Vermont College of Fine Arts
36 College Street
Montpelier, VT 05602

References

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 Slate 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.)

Note: Relatives and spouses are not eligible to provide references.

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.

Essay #3

Provide a 6-month monthly breakdown of a project plan that was created for one of your submitted media.

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

Alia Quart Khan, Associate Director of Admissions
[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.

Application Form

The application fee is $75.

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 – MFA in Music Composition
Vermont College of Fine Arts
36 College Street
Montpelier, VT 05602

References

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 Slate 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.)

Note: Relatives and spouses are not eligible to provide references.

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

Annie Sklar, Associate Director of Admissions
802-595-4854

[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:

David Markow
COO/VP for Student Services
[email protected]

Questions?

Contact Our Admissions Office

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