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Portland State University’s Department of Art offers a three-year flexible residency program, with a one month in residence requirement in the Spring, leading to the Master of Fine Arts degree in Contemporary Art Practice with a concentration in Art and Social Practice. Application for admission to the program must be completed by January, prior to the fall term in which the student intends to begin work towards the degree. Interested applicants are encouraged to schedule a visit the program and to familiarize themselves with program Handbook.

Shortlisted applicants are invited to a video interview with a committee of students and faculty. The decision making process is part of the course curriculum and current students have equal weight to faculty in admissions decisions.

PSU’s School of Art + Design is a vital part of Portland’s progressive, nationally recognized arts community. Graduates from the program come from a variety of diverse backgrounds and have gone on to successfully engage with the expanded field of contemporary art through traditional and unorthodox avenues. More about admissions requirements can be found here or by emailing


Application for admission to the MFA Contemporary Art Practice: Art and Social Practice program must be made by January 11th prior to the fall term in which the student intends to begin work towards the degree.

A $65 non-refundable application fee and a $2 processing fee will be required to successfully complete the application. Payment can be made with a VISA or MasterCard.

In addition to the Portland State University Office of Graduate Studies application, the MFA Social Practice program requires a submission of a digital portfolio through SlideRoom.

  • First, begin the application process through the Portland State University Office of Graduate Studies.
    Application Information
    Apply Here
  • Second, submit your portfolio for the Social Practice program through SlideRoom.

Application Requirements

Degree Requirements
Applicants to the Art and Social Practice MFA Program must have a B.A., B.S. or B.F.A. degree.

Office of Graduate Admissions Application
Application is a dual process between the Department of Art and the Office of Admissions. The applicant must contact the PSU Office of Admissions for a graduate admission application.  In addition to the PSU application form, the applicant must send an application fee and sealed, official transcript(s) from each post-secondary institution attended by the applicant. The Office of Admissions can be reached directly at 1-800-547-8887 ext. 3511, or 503-725-3511 if living in Oregon.

Social Practice Program Application Requirements (SlideRoom)

  • Digital porfolio of applicant’s work — Maximum 15 images, video, audio or text based examples of past work and/or proposals for future projects. Please do not submit traditional studio based work samples unless the studio based work connects to your socially engaged work. Please be explicit about this in your descriptions.
    Guidelines: Images (jpg, gif, png) up to 5 MB each, videos (flv, wmv, mov) up to 60 MB each, audio (mp3) up to 10 MB each, documents (pdf) up to 10 MB each. It is a requirement to supply a description for each work sample.
  • Statement of intent — The statement of intent must include the applicant’s reasons for applying to the MFA program, relevant aspects of significant past experience and achievements, future plans, and any additional information that may aid the selection committee in evaluating aptitude for graduate study. (500 words max)
  • Traditional Curriculum Vitae
  • Transcripts — Transcripts from all degree-granting institutions the applicant attended in the past (unofficial transcripts acceptable).
  • Letters of Reference — Names and contact information of three references. Short-listed applicants may be asked to have letters of reference emailed by February 22.
  • Social Practice CV — In addition to a traditional one-page CV, applicants are asked to submit an alternative one page Curriculum Vitae specifically for Social Practice. The format should be modeled after a standard CV, but instead of traditional content (formal education, exhibitions, etc.) this CV should focus on less orthodox but equally important aspects from applicant’s life of experiences and research that have prepared the applicant for being a social practice MFA student.
  • Three video assignments — While video quality is not important (cell phone/web cam videos are acceptable), the videos are an important part of the application because they allow us to meet applicants in a more personal way.
    1. Tour of the highlights in your neighborhood. Create a short video of what you consider to be the highlights of your neighborhood (3 min maximum).
    2. Ask a stranger the significance of the clothes they are wearing. Create a short video of you having a stranger describe for you the significance of the clothes they are wearing (3 min maximum).
    3. Demonstrate a talent. Create a short video where you demonstrate a talent (3 min maximum).

Office of Graduate Studies

Information about funding resources for graduate students may be found on the Graduate Studies website.

Financial Aid
A financial aid packet may be obtained from the Financial Aid Office.

Peruse scholarship opportunities at

If you have any further questions, please contact the School of Art + Design at or phone1-800-547-8887, ext. 53515, or 503-725-3515.