Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design at University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Why you should consider this program

The Stamps MFA in Art is an open, highly customizable, cross-disciplinary program designed for those artists whose creative projects encompass studio-based investigations, as well as inquiry in fields of knowledge outside the traditional scope of art practice. Past graduates have engaged with fields as diverse as neuroscience, immigration law, ecology, economics, and gender studies to inform and expand their creative work. 

The MFA program fosters close faculty mentorship and provides a rich array of studio, technical, and digital resources. Students engage in a self-directed, funded international project during the summer between their two years of study, and Stamps support continues for students transitioning into professional practice with post-graduate funding for residencies, exhibitions, and project development. 

Benefits for Coverdell Fellows

Tuition/fees for Complete Program Value of Coverdell Fellowship Net cost *
In state $ 43,768 $ 43,768 $ 0
Out of state $ 88,444 $ 88,444 $ 0
* Net cost is equal to tuition/fees minus fellowship value. For some universities, the fellowship value includes non-tuition/fee benefits such as health insurance or housing—see the first point below for more details.

Where the cost savings value of the Coverdell Fellowship comes from

The Stamps School offers generous merit-based financial support to all graduate students, from stipends and discretionary funds that offset studio expenses to teaching/research assistantships and full tuition waivers.

Students Entering in Fall of 2016 (graduate Spring 2018) received:

  • 100% Tuition Waiver $85,060
  • Stipend $18,343
  • Health Care Benefits $4,157
  • Stamps Discretionary Funds $4,000
  • MDes Summer Fieldwork Studio OR MFA Summer International Project $4,500
Total Funding $116,060

Fellowships awarded per year (average)


Other benefits or opportunities

Students conduct their creative work in spacious, fully equipped studios and are each provided software-loaded laptops and peripherals to support them in their creative production, research, and communications. This all takes place at an outstanding university and in a community offering a culturally and resource rich environment. 

Annual cost of living (estimated)

$ 21,240

Application fee waived?



The Stamps School has a variety of opportunities for social engagement and collaborative industry partnerships. Below are a few examples. They include:

Brightmoor Food System Design Build
We are partners with Neighbors Building Brightmoor (NBB) to design and build structures that support and expand their local food system.  NBB is responsible for a series of community gardens. We will use a co-design process and natural building techniques to enhance their food processing and marketing. We will conduct site visits of regional food system infrastructure, such as the Washtenaw Food Hub, certified organic farms, etc., as research for the design.

Detroit Connections: In the Classroom
We work with Bennett Elementary School in Detroit to create a semester long art experience for the fourth grade students. The children are eager and excited about art, which is a special activity in a school with limited resources. We create project that integrate analytic and synthetic experience into the art making process, using concepts and processes that are shared with academic areas.

Many Ways of Seeing
We partner with Detroit Public School students, who are visually impaired and have multiple impairments to create art. Students are able to expand their spatial understanding, self-expression and communication skills.

Jobs for program alumni

Stamps' Graduates are prepared to thrive in a variety of public and private roles and become cultural leaders in a rapidly changing global culture.  Please select this link to learn more about professions of Stamps' Alumni. 

Other details

Program length

2 years

Application requirements

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree (in any field), demonstrate the ability to carry out independent creative work, have a strong educational background along with an interest in interdisciplinary inquiry, and substantive life experience to draw on in charting new directions for creative practice. Applicants will apply online through the Rackham Graduate Admission Application Form. The application form will require a statement of creative work, personal statement, official transcript, resume, three letters of recommendation, and the nonrefundable application fee. In addition to the application, applicants will submit (via SlideRoom) a portfolio of no more than 20 examples of recent work.

Admissions process

Send an email indicating your interest in becoming a Coverdell Fellow to:
[email protected]

When we inform you of whether or not you’ve been admitted into the Stamps Graduate program, we will also inform you of whether you’ve been accepted as a Coverdell Fellow.

Program begins

Early September

Year Coverdell Fellows partnership started



Meghan Jellema, Graduate Programs Coordinator

2000 Bonisteel Boulevard
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109