The MFA Painting program approaches graduate study with an eye toward new models of creative output, tying the history and traditions of the medium to an extended range of possibilities available to contemporary painters. During their three years, MFA candidates are granted the time and resources to explore their ideas in a supportive atmosphere while developing the requisite skills and knowledge to operate as a practicing artist upon graduation. Students can expect a high level of interaction with their peers from other disciplines, and access to faculty across the School of Art.


Studio Spaces

Generously sized private studios are available for MFA students in Painting. Located in either One East Center, Stone House, or the new Sculpture facility, these studios range 200-300sq. feet and students have 24hr per day access.



All admitted students receive Graduate Assistantships and/or Teaching Assistantships. Our full assistantships cover tuition and registration fees and offer a stipend of approximately $15,000 per academic year, as well as a Graduate Fellowship of $4,000 a year. Recent students have gained experience as Graduate Assistants in the painting studio, the School of Art galleries, visiting artist liaison, and working in the wood shop. In addition, many of the MFA students have been offered Teaching Assistantships during their 3 years of study. In an effort to foster good teaching practices, students spend their hours observing and participating in an existing course led by full-time faculty.



The University of Arkansas offers a wide-range of funding that extends beyond standard Graduate and Teaching Assistantships. Each semester, the School of Art offers a competitive research grant ($2,000) to MFA students to help fund travel, purchase materials, or pursue other research initiatives. The UARK College of Graduate Studies offers annual travel grants  ($750) to assist with research-related travel that includes presentations at conferences, exhibitions, and other events that are aspects of your creative research.  In addition, the School of Art has Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with organizations throughout the US. These MOUs help to create opportunities for our students to attend summer residencies. The School of Art has financial assistance for MFA students attending programs such as the Anderson Ranch, Vermont Studio Center, Penland School of Arts & Crafts, Arrowmont School of Crafts, Oxbow School of Art, Chautauqua School of Art,  and the New York Studio School.


Study Abroad & Travel

The J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences is a wonderful asset and celebrates international exchange between scholars. Over the past 4 years, 3 MFA students have been awarded the prestigious Sturgis Award, which provides $15,000 towards traveling to an international university to spend a semester abroad. The School of Art has also partnered with American University to allow a UARK MFA student to attend their Summer Program in Berlin. The School of Art has financial aid for this program and has been extremely popular amongst graduate students at UARK.


How to Apply

The deadline for application to the MFA program is January 15, 2019. We welcome interested students to either visit the department firsthand or to speak with the faculty about their interest in the program before applying. To request a visit to the department or for more information, please direct inquiries to Kristin Musgnug at

Specific instructions on applying can be found on the School of Art's MFA Program page.