IMA Admissions Guidelines

Quick links: IMA-MFA Application Materials | Hunter Graduate Admissions Materials | Admissions FAQ

The IMA-MFA Program is selective, enrolling approximately 20 students each year.  The opportunity to study with the top media practitioners and scholars that serve as IMA-MFA faculty attracts talented students from all over the world.

In order to apply, you do not need prior professional experience and it is acceptable if you never formally studied media making.  If your background includes experience with only one art form, do not assume that you will be unprepared to enter our program.  Our students work in a number of forms and use diverse technologies, but virtually all have enhanced and expanded their toolkit since enrolling. What you must demonstrate is a commitment to immerse yourself in the study of integrated media arts and recognition of the inextricable connection between what you plan to study and what you hope to accomplish as an artist.

IMA-MFA Program Application Materials

To complete application for admission you must submit all required materials to Hunter’s Graduate Admissions Online Application.  You can find instructions here.

You will need:

  • A completed Graduate Online Application
  • Application Fee $125
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation are only acceptable when submitted electronically directly from the recommender to the online application
  • TOEFL test scores (if applicable)
  • Your Personal Statement
  • Transcripts
  • Project Summary
  • Online Portfolio

Personal Statement (approx 500 words)

Use the personal statement to describe your long-term objectives as a socially engaged media maker. You should also explain your reason for pursuing graduate study, and in particular, why Hunter’s IMA-MFA Program is relevant to your creative goals.  The personal statement is your opportunity to give us a sense of who you are, what you’ve done, and what you hope to do.  Tell us what  you hope to accomplish in the IMA-MFA Program.  You might even use your personal statement to share with us how you imagine combining new forms and technologies that you have yet to master.  Make your personal statement “personal,” not generic.  We have to read a lot of these, so make sure it specifically reflects your personality and perspective and how these fuel your interest in media making.

Project Summary (approx 500 words)

Describe a media project you could envision making in the IMA-MFA Program (an existing project can be discussed in your Personal Statement). How would you explore the subject matter or issue?  What creative tools would you use to tell the story?  How might you present the work, as a film, a website, an audio piece, an installation, or in another form?  How does your past work inform your approach to this imagined project?  In what ways would the piece reflect your personal approach or connection to the material?  This is an opportunity to share your ideas and creative vision with us.

Portfolio (including Cover Sheet)

Your portfolio submission contains examples of your creative work on which you had creative control or a significant creative role.  Your portfolio can include multiple projects, in their entirety or in segments.  Creative work can include films, sound recordings, web pages, game designs, interactive installations, reportage, photographs, etc.

The preferred format for submission of the portfolio is via the web through the Portfolio Submission sheet within the Hunter Graduate Admissions Application. Please provide a URL to the specific pieces you’d like to show.  Make sure the link continues to work and that your portfolio remains accessible throughout the application review period (through April).

For each piece you submit, provide a brief summary on the sheet that explains when and under what circumstances you made the pieces (including your specific creative role) and the running time (if applicable).  When submitting portions of a work, tell us how what we are viewing fits into the work as a whole. When relevant, include information about the project history, and future plans.

Applicants who have had only minimal media production experience should submit an example of their best creative work, in any visual medium.

Applicants with no media production experience should create a visual documentation of a subject using video, photographs, graphics, animation or mixed media.  If you created portfolio work specifically for your application, you should clearly indicate this.  You can also submit an analytical writing sample, particularly if it is a published work.


Can I apply for spring admission?
No.  Students are accepted for fall semester enrollment only.

Are applicants interviewed?
Applicants may be scheduled for interviews (in person or remotely) by the graduate committee after all required application materials have been reviewed. Interviews are not required for admittance.

Can I submit student work as part of my portfolio?
Yes.  Indicate the course and program in which the work was completed.

Can I visit the program?
Yes, we encourage you to visit.  We hold several informational meetings about the IMA-MFA Program for prospective students.  We can also arrange for you to tour our facilities, observe classes, and view thesis projects.  Prospective students are also welcome at program events like thesis shows, the fall and spring gatherings, screenings, and guest artist presentations. Please email the Program Assistant, Natalie Conn, to set up a meeting at:

When do I have to decide whether to accept the offer?
We expect accepted students to inform us by May 15 whether or not they intend to enroll in the program.  This deadline enables us to offer any available spaces to applicants on the waiting list in a timely manner.

Can I defer my admission?
No. Applicants interested in enrolling the following year must reapply.