MFA admission requirements

Admission to the ACAD graduate program is competitive and is based on academic standing, demonstration of an active studio practice and a commitment to take on a rigorous program of study.

General Information

  • Applications to be submitted via Apply Alberta
  • Portfolio, statement of intent, CV to be submitted via Slideroom
  • Official transcripts to be mailed directly to the Office of Research and Graduate Studies
  • Two letters of recommendation in addition to the recommendation form to be submitted with your application

Academic Requirements

A Bachelors degree in Fine Arts or related discipline or equivalent, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 from a recognized university, or equivalent institution. 

Academic Transcripts

An official transcript is required from all post-secondary institutions you have attended. If you are currently enrolled in classes send an official interim report of grades and follow up with a final transcript showing final grades and degree conferred.

Transcript requests from Alberta post-secondary institutions can be securely processed through Apply Alberta during the application process. Transcripts from institutions outside of Alberta can be mailed to:

Coordinator, Office of Research + Graduate Studies
Alberta College of Art + Design
522-1407 14 Avenue NW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 4R3

International Students, please note that transcripts from non-English speaking institutions must be sent in the original language and accompanied by an official, notarized English translation of the transcripts.  Please contact the Office of Research and Graduate Studies for information on equivalency as the minimum requirements differ by country. 

Portfolio and Supporting Documents

The portfolio portion of your MFA application includes examples of your work, statement of intent and Curriculum Vitae. 

1. Portfolio

Up to 20 examples of work (images, video, music), indicating an in-depth understanding of material and critical discourses, and demonstrating a personal direction and potential for future growth. You may include any relevant publications (such as reviews or critical essays) authored by yourself or others as evidence of your professional activity.

How do I submit my portfolio?

Your portfolio, statement of intent, and CV must be submitted via Slideroom. Please note, articles, letters and other documents must be submitted in PDF format. Learn more about submitting your portfolio.

2. Statement of intent

Your statement of intent may briefly address the conceptual, historical and/or theoretical context of your practice. The main purpose of your statement of intent is to help us understand how you anticipate your work evolving during the period of your MFA studies. Suggested length is 750 to 1250 words.

3. Curriculum Vitae

Your CV should concisely outline related professional experience (exhibitions, publications, awards) and activities that convey a sense of commitment to a career in the arts. Maximum length is four (4) pages.

Letters of recommendation

We require the submission of two references, each written by an independent individual who can provide an objective assessment of your academic and/or professional background, and your capabilities with respect to the MFA program. Unless you’ve been out of school for more than four years, at least one letter (and preferably both) should be written by an academic professional. Letters from non-academics should be written by someone who has supervised you directly in a professional setting.  The reference form is a form that is sent through the slideroom system.  Once you have entered the referee information in the appropriate field, your referee will receive an email with a link to the reference form and will also have the ability to upload a letter into slideroom.  All reference forms must be complete in full, and letters must be uploaded directly to the system by the referee.  If any issues are encountered, please contact the Coordinator in the Office of Research + Graduate Studies.  

English Language Proficiency Requirements for International Applicants

To be considered for ACAD’s MFA program, you must demonstrate an adequate level of proficiency in English by meeting one of the following criteria:

  • Successful completion of an undergraduate degree from a school where English is the primary language of instruction
  • Completion of an official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a score of at least 93 on the internet-based test (IBT), with a minimum score of 22 in each of the four testing sections, 580 on the paper-based test (PBT), or 237 on the computer-based test (CBT)
  • A score of 7.0 or higher on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the equivalent in other accepted measures of English proficiency

For further assistance with the Master of Fine Arts, Craft Media, application process, the Research and Graduate Studies Office can be contacted at graduatestudies@acad.ca