Laguna College of Art + Design

How to Apply Painting MFA


Your LCAD application process begins when you submit your FREE online application. To make sure you have all of the help you need for completing the admissions process after you submit your application, we will assign you an LCAD Admissions Counselor. Please keep in mind that you do not have to have all application materials ready to begin the application process. 


While many schools have a “hard” deadline for applications (meaning they won’t accept applications postmarked or received after the deadline), LCAD has a rolling admissions policy, which means that we accept applications until we’ve filled all spots in an incoming class.


Fall priority date

February 2nd

Spring priority date

December 1st


To be admitted to LCAD’s Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program in Painting, you must have earned a Bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA in studio subjects. Your degree must be awarded from an institution accredited by an appropriate regional accrediting body. Please carefully read the following requirements for admission to LCAD’s Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program in Painting:


All materials should be sent to:

Laguna College of Art + Design

Office of Admissions

2222 Laguna Canyon Road

Laguna Beach, CA 92651


Official Sealed Transcripts Mailed Directly to LCAD’s Office of Admissions

Official transcripts from all accredited colleges attended are required for admission. Unofficial transcripts will not be accepted. 


500-Word Personal Statement

The 500-word personal statement of your educational and artistic goals related to the MFA in Painting is required for admission. 


Résumé/Curriculum Vitae

Please submit an outline of your educational, professional, and work-related experiences.


Two (2) Letters of Recommendation

You must submit two (2) letters of recommendation from previous instructors, practicing artists, or college administrators. Letters can be mailed in a sealed envelope or emailed directly to your Admissions Counselor as an attachment by the recommender. Applicants are responsible for contacting their references.


Portfolio of Fifteen (15) to Twenty (20) Works

You must submit a portfolio of fifteen (15) to twenty (20) works along with an inventory list of works in the order they appear. Include the title, medium, dimensions, and date of completion for each piece. We recommended that you have your works photographed by a professional photographer, or, at the very least, by a competent individual using quality equipment. Poor image resolution, lighting problems, distracting backgrounds, cropped artworks, etc. will adversely affect portfolio presentation and ratings.


Your portfolio ideally will include recent (2-4 years) images of figure, portrait, and/or nature drawings and/or paintings done from direct observation. Still life, room interior, landscape, or narrative figure paintings (including work from imagination in part or whole) are encouraged, especially if representative of your current creative work, or reflective of themes you wish to pursue in your graduate program studies.


Personal Interview (Optional)

We encourage all applicants to arrange a personal interview with Peter Zokosky, LCAD’s Chair of the MFA program in Painting. 


Upon successful submission of all admission requirements and a completed review by the Graduate Admissions Committee, you will receive notification of your Admissions status.