MFA Portfolios TRACK: Lesson 4, MFA Interviews

MFA interviews

Getting an interview is great news! This means the school is interested in your candidacy and they want to know more about you as an artist.

Purchase an artist call, Lauryn Welch

That said, interviews are always nerve-wracking! Practicing what to say out loud, and how to say it is a great way to prepare.

practice questions
  • Why do you want to enroll in an MFA program?
  • What do you hope to gain from an MFA program?
  • What was your undergraduate experience like?
  • What are your future plans as an artist?
Lauryn Welch
Lauryn Welch
  • What books are you reading right now?
  • Where does your studio practice fit within the landscape of contemporary art?
  • Why do you use the media you use?
6 min. video


  • Practice speaking when you are alone in the car. (we know it sounds ridiculous, but this is exactly how Prof Lieu prepares for all her lectures!)
  • You can get a friend or family member to help you practice answering questions, but for some people this can be too distracting sometimes, so don’t feel badly if this doesn’t work for you.
Gallery Exhibition, Clara Lieu
Prof Lieu
  • The speed of your speech is important, the vast majority of people speak too fast when they are nervous. Err on speaking on the slower side, it may feel too slow to you, but it will probably make you come across as more relaxed.
  • Making eye contact is important during an interview, it projects confidence when you speak and shows that you are fully engaged in the conversation.
  • If you can, find out who the interview will be with, then Google the heck out of that person.

MFA Interview Tips

This video provides concrete tips for how to go about interviews for MFA programs in studio art, covering the types of topics you will likely be expected to discuss, as well as logistical parts of how to handle the interview process.

Discussion led by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artist Lauryn Welch.

Public Speaking Tips for Artists

Public speaking is a skill that is important for visual artists to develop, your artwork won’t speak for itself in today’s industry! Artists often have to give lectures, workshops, pitch ideas to publishers, companies, and more.

You’ll get concrete tips for what to consider to improve in this important skill. Discussion led by Teaching Artists Alex Rowe and Jordan McCracken-Foster.

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