Top Masters Programs in Visual and Performing Arts

12 universities offer graduate programs in Visual and Performing Arts. George Mason University had 0 international graduate students in its 12 program, which is one of the highest counts in the country. George Mason University had the most women graduates in this program.

Columbia University in the City of New York logo
Ranked as:  #18 in Best National University
Tuition:  $51,194 per year
Total Cost:  $102,388 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  New York
Acceptance:  6.66%

The Visual Arts Program offers students many opportunities to expand the depth and complexity of their studio practice as well as their ability to think critically in the context of contemporary art theory. To that end, students have regular studio visits with full-time and adjunct faculty, who offer critical insight into both the form and underlying ideas of students’ work.

Students are also encouraged to take electives outside of the Visual Arts Program: in the Writing, Theatre and Film programs of the School of the Arts; and in art history, architecture, philosophy and other areas of study throughout Columbia University. These electives ensure that students develop a broad base of art history and theory upon which they can build a solid and provocative studio practice.

The MFA degree in Visual Arts is an interdisciplinary two-year studio program, allowing students to pursue moving image, photography, painting, printmaking, sculpture, and expanded practice.

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MFA in Visual Arts

  • GRE Required:  Yes
  • Research Assistantships:  1081
  • Teaching Assistantships:  1757
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Syracuse University logo
Ranked as:  #62 in Best National University
Tuition:  $41,714 per year
Total Cost:  $83,428 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  New York
Acceptance:  68.72%

Please note: Students will begin their studies in the summer. A background in design is required for admission to this program. All students will attend a summer orientation to gain an understanding of the many opportunities for focused research on our campus. They are also required to take DES 648 Intro to Design Communication along with DES 601 Design Thinking and Strategies in preparation for the fall semester.

Step 1: Syracuse University Graduate School Link.

Three letters of recommendation. Consult online application for details.

Academic transcript.

Personal statement essay. Describe in approximately 500 words your main academic interests, why you wish to study for the degree you have chosen, why you wish to study at Syracuse University, how you expect to finance your studies, and your plans after you receive your degree.

Application fee.A non-refundable application fee of $75. See online application for details.

Once you application to the Graduate School, please allow up to 3 business days of processing. Upon completion, you will receive a confirmation email along with instructions on access your portfolio portal.

Submit either a portfolio of design work or artwork. Please include three to five projects with a concept statement for each project and a description of your contribution to the project. In addition, you are encouraged to submit an academic or professional writing sample (20 pages max).

Applicants must submit the portfolio online through the applicant portal.

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M.F.A. Design Admission Requirements

  • GRE Required:  Yes
  • Research Assistantships:  327
  • Teaching Assistantships:  771
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Clark University logo
Ranked as:  #97 in Best National University
Tuition:  $47,730 per year
Total Cost:  $95,460 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Massachusetts
Acceptance:  47.13%

Students studying in the Visual and Performing Arts develop skills as imaginative practitioners, understand art as a meaningful human endeavor, and explore creative works in dialogue with the past and our current moment.

The Visual and Performing Arts Department comprises six separate majors. In our classes, you will learn the history of creative practice, from the ancient Greek architects and the plays of William Shakespeare to the music of Duke Ellington, the films of Maya Deren, and the contemporary photo-collages of Mickalene Thomas.

By studying the history, theory, and practice of the arts in a liberal arts context, you will make and explore creative works while connecting the past to the present.

Throughout the academic year, our on-campus arts venues host a range of shows, exhibitions, plays, and concerts.

Clark and WAM partner on course, exhibition identity.

Traina Center for the Arts 92 Downing Street Worcester, MA 01610.

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Visual and Performing Arts

  • GRE Required:  Yes
  • Research Assistantships:  43
  • Teaching Assistantships:  103
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174 universities offer the Master's program in Visual and Performing Arts.

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The University of Texas at Dallas logo
Ranked as:  #136 in Best National University
Tuition:  $28,610 per year
Total Cost:  $57,220 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Texas
Acceptance:  79.36%

Master of Arts in Visual and Performing Arts.

The master of arts in visual and performing arts degree program fosters integrated study and practice in the arts and is designed to allow graduates to pursue a career in the arts or arts-related fields or to continue on to doctoral study.

The latter is especially relevant for those who plan to pursue doctoral study, and students who choose the research options may submit a creative project as part of their portfolio.

Career settings may include higher education, nonprofits, cultural and historical organizations, publishing houses, government agencies, international development organizations, museums and archives, business corporate entities and independent consulting.

Review the marketable skills for this academic program.

A baccalaureate degree (BA or MA) or its equivalent from an accredited institution of higher education in an arts and humanities field.

AHT Graduate AdvisingPia K.

School of Arts, Humanities, and Technology The University of Texas at Dallas, JO31 800 W.

Healthcare Leadership and Management Dual Degree MS Professional Flex MBA.

Human Development and Early Childhood Disorders MS.

Information Technology Management Dual Degree MS Professional Flex MBA.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Dual Degree MS Professional Flex MBA.

International Management Studies Dual Degree MS Professional Flex MBA.

Management Science Dual Degree MS Professional Flex MBA.

Master of Business Administration Full-Time MBA Program.

Master of Business Administration Professional MBA Evening Cohort.

Master of Business Administration Professional MBA Flex.

Master of Business Administration Professional MBA Online.

Chain Management Dual Degree MS Professional Flex MBA.

Systems Engineering and Management Dual Degree MS Professional Flex MBA.

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Master of Arts in Visual and Performing Arts The University of Texas at Dallas

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George Mason University logo
Ranked as:  #137 in Best National University
Tuition:  $37,410 per year
Total Cost:  $74,820 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Virginia
Acceptance:  89.2%

The MFA in Visual and Performing Arts is a terminal degree which prepares students as professional artists and scholars who can work within their specialty (Dance, Graphic Design, Theater, and Visual Art), and teach at the university level. Candidates are required to complete 60 credits, of which 30 are made up from core requirements. An additional 30 credits are based on concentration area and comprehensive experience.

Certain courses may fulfill multiple requirements across the Mason Core general education program, the college or school, and or the specific program.

Creative work and skill building are at the core of the study. Each concentration includes comprehensive core requirements in research methods, writing, aesthetics, history theory, teaching and other areas, and a set of concentration requirements in which students can delve deeply into particular interests within their chosen form of art.

The MFA in Visual and Performing Arts, concentration in dance, is a highly selective 60-credit program of study grounded in the modern dance genre that emphasizes mastery in performance, choreography, and teaching in higher education. Applicants must have significant (5 years or ) professional performance experience in modern or ballet at the national or international level. They must also demonstrate professional competence in choreography as exemplified by a significant body of work, and have experience teaching technique at the advanced level.

The MFA in Visual and Performing Arts, concentration in Graphic Design includes both comprehensive core requirements in research methods, writing, aesthetics, history theory, teaching, choreography and other areas, and a set of concentration requirements in which students can delve deeply into particular interests in graphic design. The program explores typography, web design, image making, and brand design, and prepares students for an academic career in Graphic Design.

AVT 611 Graduate Design Seminar Credits: 1 (must be taken 5 times).

AVT 618 Visual Communication Theories Credits: 2.

AVT 599 Special Topics in Art and Visual Technology Credits: 1-6.

AVT 641 Graduate Graphic Design I Credits: 4.

AVT 646 Graduate Graphic Design II Credits: 4.

AVT 647 Advanced Graduate Graphic Design l Credits: 4.

The MFA in Visual and Performing Arts, concentration in Theater, is a terminal degree that prepares students to become professional artists, work in theater or arts-related fields, and teach at the university level. Theater MFA students are admitted to a specific emphasis: acting, design technology, directing, musical theater, or playwriting dramaturgy. Specific programs of study will be designed for each individual, based on previous experience and expertise.

Track Requirements (3 credits) In each area of emphasis, students must pick either a professional or academic track.

THR 694 Graduate Field Experience Credits: 1-6.

THR 755 Academic Track Practicum Credits: 3.

THR 590 Special Topics for Graduate Study Credits: 1-6.

AMGT 602 Seminar in Arts Management Credits: 3.

AMGT 609 Performing Arts Management Credits: 3.

MUSI 621 Graduate Applied Music Credits: 1.

The MFA in Visual and Performing Arts, concentration in Visual Arts, is a terminal degree that prepares students to become professional artists, work in technology or arts-related fields, and teach at the university level. Students select an emphasis in one of the following: New Media, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, or InterArts. Students have the opportunity to combine art forms in projects that may be installation, performance, publishing, time-based, or writing-based, and combine creative and critical approaches in their work.

AVT 620 Theory, Criticism, and the Arts Credits: 3.

AVT 599 Special Topics in Art and Visual Technology Credits: 1-6 (must be taken for four credits).

AVT 676 Graduate Sound Art Credits: 4.

AVT 632 Graduate Painting I Credits: 4.

AVT 6 Graduate Painting II Credits: 4.

AVT 634 Advanced Graduate Painting I Credits: 4.

AVT 635 Advanced Graduate Painting II Credits: 4.

AVT 652 Graduate Photography I Credits: 4.

AVT 653 Graduate Photography II Credits: 4.

AVT 654 Advanced Graduate Photography I Credits: 4.

AVT 655 Advanced Graduate Photography II Credits: 4.

AVT 642 Graduate Printmaking I Credits: 4.

AVT 643 Graduate Printmaking II Credits: 4.

AVT 644 Advanced Graduate Printmaking I Credits: 4.

AVT 645 Advanced Graduate Printmaking II Credits: 4.

AVT 662 Graduate Sculpture I Credits: 4.

AVT 663 Graduate Sculpture II Credits: 4.

AVT 664 Advanced Graduate Sculpture I Credits: 4.

AVT 665 Advanced Graduate Sculpture II Credits: 4.

Concentrations in Visual Arts and Graphic Design Located 30 minutes west of Washington D.C., the School of Art connects all graduate students to phenomenal regional resources. Our MFA graduates receive semi-annual fellowships at CulturalDC Flashpoint Gallery. Other professional development opportunities include access to esteemed artists, curators, collectors, and art dealers, an off-campus graduate gallery at the Lorton Workhouse Center in Virginia, and post-graduate residencies at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, Virginia.

Concentration in Dance The MFA is a highly selective 60-credit program of study grounded in the modern dance genre that emphasizes mastery in performance, choreography, and teaching in higher education. Applicants must have significant (5 years or ) professional performance experience in modern or ballet at the national or international level. They must also demonstrate professional competence in choreography as exemplified by a significant body of work, and have experience teaching technique at the advanced level.

Housed in the inspiring and award-winning Donald and Nancy deLaski Performing Arts building, Mason Dance brings together the professional dance world and the artistic resources of the Washington, D.C. area to ensure that your experience at Mason will be a rich and rewarding one. Frequent guest artist residencies such as Kyle Abraham, Mark Morris, Andrea Miller and Robert Battle expand the continued creative interaction that will connect you to the exhilarating possibilities that dance offers.

The Mason Players perform in the TheaterSpace, a 150-seat flexible venue the Harris Theater, a 460-seat traditional proscenium stage with a counterweight fly system, and the 1900-seat Center for the Arts Concert Hall. Mason Theater Program provides professional interaction among our students and the working professionals of the vibrant Washington, D.C. theater community and beyond. Alumni from Mason Theater Program are working professionally in Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Their training at the university has helped them land positions in acting, directing, stage management, technical work, design, and literary management.

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Visual and Performing Arts, MFA

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logo
Ranked as:  #6 in Best Regional University in South Coast
Tuition:  $29,544 per year
Total Cost:  $59,088 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Virginia
Acceptance:  80.49%

MiKyoung Lee exhibits work at the Center for Emerging Visual Artists.

JMU MFA student named VMFA Visual Arts Graduate Fellow.

Michelle Smith, an MFA student at James Madison University School of Art, Design, and Art History, received a 2023-2024 Visual Arts Graduate Fellowship from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Forbes Center for the Performing ArtsMSC 2107 147 Warsaw Avenue Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807.

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logo
Ranked as:  #25 in Best Regional University in South Coast
Tuition:  $30,036 per year
Total Cost:  $60,072 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  South Carolina
Acceptance:  63.94%

College of Visual and Performing Arts Graduate Studies.

The College of Visual and Performing Arts offers graduate programs in the following areas: the Master of Arts in Arts Administration, Graduate Certificate in Arts Administration, the Master of Music in Conducting, the Master of Music in Performance, the Master of Music in Music Education and the Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art.

The College of Visual and Performing Arts is one of only 37 university arts programs in the nation accredited in all the arts domains and the only comprehensive collegiate arts program nationally accredited in all the arts in the State of South Carolina, public or private. Our programs are accredited nationally by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD), the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST), the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

Students desiring initial certification in music or art at the graduate level may apply for admission to the Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) degree program administered by the Richard W. Riley College of Education, Sport, and Human Sciences.

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logo
Ranked as:  #43 in Best Regional University in West Coast
Tuition:  $18,910 per year
Total Cost:  $37,820 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Texas
Acceptance:  90.3%

Programs 8va (Octavo) Choir Preparatory Choir Private Guitar Instruction Private Instrumental Instruction Private Piano Instruction Private Voice Instruction Suzuki Guitar Class Teeny Tikes Tunes TMEA TCDA Audition Coaching Treble Choir Kindermusik Family Time Kindermusik Our Time Kindermusik Village Kindermusik SUMMER Family Time Kindermusik SUMMER Our Time Kindermusik SUMMER Village All-State Choir Camp Drum Major Leadership Camp Jr. Summer Musical Camp Summer Art Workshops All-State Choir Camp High School Art Camp.

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Conservatory of Music

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logo
Ranked as:  #80 in Best Regional University in South Coast
Tuition:  $8,349 per year
Total Cost:  $16,698 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Virginia
Acceptance:  50.13%

Whether your dream is to become a graphic designer, illustrator, art critic, journalist, or public relations professional, Liberty has a graduate program for you.

Choosing a path in communication or the arts is a great way to prepare for a huge variety of occupations on the cutting-edge of technology.

Our Master of Arts in Communication degree is designed to develop your communication knowledge and expertise for use in a variety of professional settings.

Our Master of Arts in Strategic Communication degree emphasizes the principles and practices needed to succeed in the growing digital communication field.

Our Master of Fine Arts degrees provide a creative atmosphere where you can develop professionally through various seminars, internships, exhibits, and real-world learning experiences. Our degrees offer a community where evaluation, critique, and open exchange stimulate artistic excellence and innovation.

Set yourself apart in the competitive digital design industry with an MFA, the highest academic achievement an artist can obtain.

Earning your degree from a nonprofit university with state-of-the-art resources like ours can help set you apart from your peers.

Message and data rates may apply. For additional information, text HELP to 49596. You may opt-out at any time by sending STOP to 49596.

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Master’s Degrees in Communication and the Arts

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logo
Ranked as:  #87 in Best Regional University in North
Tuition:  $30,153 per year
Total Cost:  $60,306 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Massachusetts
Acceptance:  76.18%

The MFA in Artisanry Fibers is a 60 credit, 2 to 3-year program of study.

The Fibers program offers you the opportunity for concentrated studio work involving both technical and conceptual challenges. Graduate students pursue individual areas of interest, which may take the form of two or three dimensional structures, garments and costume, functional or non-functional work.

The required studio and academic course work to earn a Master degree in Fibers includes seminars in professional and aesthetic issues, art history, philosophy of art, and support studios. Studies culminate in a visual and written thesis.

Visual Resources Center: than 150,000 archived images.

CVPA, the College of Visual Performing Arts at UMass Dartmouth, prepares students for careers in the arts.

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UMass Dartmouth

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What kind of scholarships are available for Graduate Programs in Visual and Performing Arts?

We have 13 scholarships awarding up to $80,853 for Masters program in for Visual and Performing Arts, targeting diverse candidates and not restricted to state or school-based programs.

Scholarship nameAmountCredibility
Music Assistantships in the Department of Music at University of Mississippi $5,750
Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago Academic Scholarship$4,000Medium
The Anne van Biema Fellowship$2,500Medium
Madison Chautauqua Scholarship for the Arts in Memory of Bob Fourhman$1,100Medium
Support Creativity Scholarship$1,000High

Find scholarships and financial aid for Visual and Performing Arts graduate programs

$500 $20000

How much does it cost to get a Master's in Visual and Performing Arts and how to find the most affordable Masters program?

Master's degree in Visual and Performing Arts is offered by 173 US universities. The tuition for the Master's degree can range from $21,918 per year at University of North Carolina at Greensboro to $41,714 at Syracuse University.

The tuition at public universities will be lower for in-state students when compared to private universities but you get more financial aid at private universities.

Most affordable Master's program in Visual and Performing Arts

Are there universities offering online Master's in Visual and Performing Arts?

Best Online Masters Programs in Visual and Performing Arts - Updated 2023 Online Master's in Visual and Performing Arts

What is the GRE score required for admission to Master's degree in Visual and Performing Arts?

Gre score requirements differ from school to school. Most colleges do not publish the cutoff scores. For example 174 universities offer Master's programs in Visual and Performing Arts.

Arcadia University: Applicants to the matriculated part-time program with two or years of relevant laboratory experience at a forensic laboratory may have the GRE requirement waived.

Syracuse University: GRE test scores are waived for the upcoming admissions cycle.If applicant have taken the GRE, applicant are still encouraged to scores.

Gre score requirements for Master's program in Visual and Performing Arts

Are there colleges for the Visual and Performing Arts Masters program that do not require GRE/GMAT?

Quite a few accredited universities have waived off the GRE score requirements for admissions to Masters programs. 174 offer Graduate programs in Visual and Performing Arts. Below are listed 2 universities that do not require GRE/GMAT for admission to Master's program. For viewing the all the schools that have waived off GRE/GMAT for the admission, use Match Me Masters.

No GRE schools for Masters in Visual and Performing Arts

Is it worth getting a master's degree in Visual and Performing Arts?

Before you invest 2-3 years of your life and anywhere between $40,000 - $110,00 of your hard earned money, students do ask as to what is the return on investment on the Master's degree. Here are some of the statistics from bls.gov.

Which are the accredited universities that offer phd/doctoral programs offered in Visual and Performing Arts?

2 universities offer graduate PHD program in Visual and Performing Arts

Best Visual and Performing Arts graduate PHD programs

Career Outlook

Overall employment of postsecondary teachers is projected to grow 12 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. About 139,600 openings for postsecondary teachers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

The median annual wage for postsecondary teachers was $80,560 in May 2020. Number of Jobs in 2020 was 1,276,900.

Career Opportunities with master's degree in Visual and Performing Arts


Job Title 2020 median Pay Number of Jobs Job Outlook What they do
Art Directors $97,270 98,500 Employment of art directors is projected to grow 11 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. About 11,500 openings for art directors are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire. Art directors are responsible for the visual style and images in magazines, newspapers, product packaging, and movie and television productions.
Art, Drama, and Music Teachers, Postsecondary $80,560 1,276,900 Overall employment of postsecondary teachers is projected to grow 12 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. About 139,600 openings for postsecondary teachers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire. Postsecondary teachers instruct students in a variety of academic subjects beyond the high school level.
Special Effects Artists and Animators $77,700 62,400 Employment of special effects artists and animators is projected to grow 16 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. About 7,800 openings for special effects artists and animators are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire. Special effects artists and animators create images that appear to move and visual effects for various forms of media and entertainment.
Graphic Designers $53,380 254,100 Employment of graphic designers is projected to grow 3 percent from 2020 to 2030, slower than the average for all occupations. Despite limited employment growth, about 23,900 openings for graphic designers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Most of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire. Graphic designers create visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers.
Craft Artists $49,120 48,200 Overall employment of craft and fine artists is projected to grow 14 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. About 5,900 openings for craft and fine artists are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire. Craft and fine artists use a variety of materials and techniques to create art for sale and exhibition.

Best paying jobs for Visual and Performing Arts - Updated 2023

How can I compare the Visual and Performing Arts Graduate Programs?

Compare the GRE score requirements, admission details, credit requirements and tuition for the Master's Program, from 174 universities offering Graduate School Programs in Visual and Performing Arts. Compare Graduate School Programs in Visual and Performing Arts

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