Program details

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Integrated Visual Arts (IVA) graduate program is committed to the professional development of artists and arts innovators. It offers unique opportunities for collaboration with students and faculty from around the world in art and design programs that represent a wide spectrum of professional activities. This dynamic interdisciplinary environment within the College of Design allows IVA graduate students to develop a personal visual language, refine media skills, and work on projects addressing social and environmental concerns within a global context.


The MFA in IVA is a distinctive and unique interdisciplinary program offering integrative study among a combination of the following areas: ceramics, computer applications, drawing, textiles, illustration, jewelry/metal smithing, painting, printmaking, photography, furniture design, and areas outside of Art and Design. It’s an innovative curriculum aligned with emerging art and design markets.

The MFA in IVA is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Recent Student Work

Application requirements

Anyone applying for admission to the Master of Fine Arts in Integrated Visual Arts program must complete the Iowa State University Graduate College online application. As part of the application, you will be asked to provide:

  • Official undergraduate and/or graduate transcripts; an undergraduate cumulative general point average (GPA) of 3.00 or above is required
  • A digital portfolio containing 15-20 individual artworks and an artist statement; include titles, dimensions, and dates of the works and save as a single, multi-page PDF titled “Portfolio”
    • Include your artist statement of 100-300 words as the first slide of the portfolio
    • The portfolio may include multiple images (details, front/back, etc.) of each artwork, and may include video excerpts totaling 3 minutes
    • For digital media, video, and web-based work, please provide URLs that link to directly to the works
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals from your educational or professional background who can most directly speak about your ability to complete graduate level course work and teaching duties
    • You will be asked within the application to provide the names and email addresses for your three references; when you submit the application, the three individuals will receive an email notification from ISU Admissions with a link to the recommendation form
  • A resume or CV that contains educational experience, scholarships, honors, awards, exhibitions, publications, outstanding extracurricular activities, employment experience, and research
  • A statement of purpose that answers each of the following questions, saved and uploaded to the application as as a PDF; the statement should be 300-500 words in total
    • Give a brief account of your background in relation to education, employment, and activities relevant to the field of art and design.
    • What do you hope to achieve during your graduate studies at Iowa State University?
    • What are your long term professional goals beyond your graduate school education?
    • Which artists or designers have had a significant influence on your work, and in what ways?
  • English Proficiency Exam (international applicants only)
  • Financial statement (international applicants only)


The graduate faculty of the Department of Art and Visual Culture will review the submitted materials to determine whether or not the applicant has appropriate skills and development for graduate study in the department. A personal interview of the applicant may be requested. Graduate credits may be accepted for transfer in the program from any accredited institution by approval of the Major Professor and the Program of Study Committee.

Consideration date

The priority application submission date for spring admission is November 1 and applications for fall are due January 15, and applications received after the deadline will be considered for program admission, but applicants may have fewer assistantship options.

A student paints project on the floor.

An Artist in the Making

Find your place at Iowa State University’s College of Design, where we like to ask questions, poke and prod, create something new, and make a difference through design.