Admissions and Applicant Information

Entrance Requirements

The MFA Steering Committee makes admissions decisions based on its belief, as determined upon review of all application materials and interviews, that a matriculating student has the capacity for graduate level work and is likely to thrive in the low residency environment. The Committee prefers that a student matriculating into the MFA program at Maine Media College holds a B.F.A., B.A., or B.S. degree (or the equivalent in the case of international students), has had extensive practical and/or academic experience in his or her area of endeavor, and is conversant with the history of his or her chosen media. In extraordinary circumstances the MFA Committee may admit an applicant who does not hold an undergraduate degree. In these instances, the applicant must provide persuasive and ample documented evidence of an education equivalent in breadth and depth (Please see “Special Considerations for Applicants without an Undergraduate Degree” below.)

Application Procedures 
  • •Completed application form and $75 application fee (make checks payable to “Maine Media College”)
  • •Official transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended
  • •Resume
  • •An essay, approximately 500 words in length, describing: the applicant’s background and formative influences, either aesthetic or experiential, in his or her discipline, his or her interest in pursuing an MFA degree, and the applicant’s goals beyond graduate school
  • •Three letters of recommendation from academic and/or professional colleagues
  • •A portfolio, reel, or other documentation of work

(please see “Admissions Advice” below for more detailed information on application materials)

International Students

Proficiency in spoken and written English is critical to students’ success in the MFA program at Maine Media College. Applicants whose first language is not English are required to submit TOEFL scores. International students who have previously earned an undergraduate or graduate degree from a college or university at which instruction is provided in English are exempted from this requirement. TOEFL test scores must be reported directly to Maine Media College through Educational Testing Service (ETS). The ETS institutional code for Maine Media College is B686. For more information about ETS and TOEFL scores please contact the registrar at [email protected]

There are no minimum-score requirements for admission. Test results are considered in light of other factors used to determine preparedness for graduate study.

Deadlines & Notification

Applications are accepted for consideration at any time, however the deadline for application submissions for fall retreat admissions is September 30 and for spring retreat admissions the deadline is April 15. Admissions materials are reviewed by the core MFA faculty and acceptance decisions are made prior to retreats.

Applicants are notified of admissions decisions within three weeks of receipt of completed applications.

Submission Guidelines

Transcripts and letters of recommendation should be sent to:

MFA Admissions
Maine Media College
70 Camden Street
Rockport, Maine 04856

All other materials should be submitted via one of the following options:

  • Website gallery (in the case of a password protected gallery, please provide the password).
  • Vimeo page (please provide password if necessary).
  • USB flash drive mailed to the above address.

Images for digital portfolios should be JPG files and not exceed 1200 pixels in any dimension.


A member of the MFA Committee may, in the interest of making informed decisions, contact an applicant upon receipt of the application materials to schedule a telephone interview.

The Retreat

Students accepted to the program who choose to attend the retreat will present work for critique and participate fully in all retreat activities. Students should be prepared to discuss their work, describe artistic goals and provide historical and cultural context for their work during critiques at the retreat.


A prospective applicant may audit a retreat as an opportunity to experience this aspect of the program without making a commitment to apply.

Admissions Advice

The low-residency program at MMC is for artists interested in engaging in a rigorous educational experience leading to the MFA degree in the media arts fields of photography, filmmaking and multimedia. The College seeks those who are motivated to produce high-quality creative work under the guidance of experienced mentors and eager to participate in a community of artists striving for artistic growth through individualized practice and study. The MFA at Maine Media College offers an intimate, vibrant and intense community sensitive to the creative needs and goals of each student.

The MFA Committee holds that the program flourishes by attracting and enrolling a student body with a broad array of interests, diversity of experiences and wide-ranging educational backgrounds. This approach to admissions makes for a rich environment in which to make, think, and talk about art. Therefore, the Committee makes no specific requirements with regard to undergraduate majors nor does it specify a minimum number of undergraduate credits in art or art-related disciplines.

MFA Committee members review completed applications (all application materials) as they are received and render opinions regarding admissions to the MFA Steering Committee. MFA admissions materials are reviewed with regard to evidence of a prospective student’s unique visual statement, cohesiveness of voice, and competency in their chosen medium, as well as their level of understanding of their work and their potential to succeed in a low-residency program. Not only are an applicant’s qualifications and preparedness to pursue the low-residency MFA degree considered, the faculty also takes into account the population of current students and strives to admit students who add diversity and breadth of experience to the body.

The MFA Committee bases its judgments on materials applicants are required to submit: portfolio, reel, or other documentation of work; essay; transcripts; resume; three letters of recommendation; and interviews with applicants. What follows is a discussion of these elements of the application packet and the ways in which Committee members consider them. Generally speaking, they are presented in the order of priority that reflects their significance in admissions decisions.

  1. Documentation of Work: The MFA is a Fine Arts degree. The Committee would prefer to see recent work that makes a coherent statement representative of your creative focus and unique “voice.” Therefore, it is not a good idea to submit work done commercially over which you did not have exclusive creative control, nor is it recommended that you send work with the sole intention of demonstrating your versatility or technical virtuosity. Submit work that most clearly identifies your personal creative interests. The work should be technically strong enough to support the content of the work. This is to say that the Committee values technique primarily in relation to artistic statement.
    • Applications in Photography: An applicant in photography should submit 20 – 25 images that represent a coherent body of creative or documentary work made within the past three years. This work is to clearly show the applicant’s personal artistic orientation, fundamental areas of concern (especially in the case of documentary forms) as well as the working processes significant to the applicant’s practice. In instances where the applicant is developing a project incomplete at the time of application, the applicant may submit this work to supplement the primary portfolio if they believe it represents a significant change in either statement or process. The applicant should include a brief statement (in addition to the required essay) explaining how the work departs from that submitted as the portfolio. Additional professional or contract work is reviewed, but is of secondary importance.
    • Applications in Film: Applicants working in film production should submit a video or videos representing personal creative work made within the past three years. Running time for all materials together shall not exceed 30 minutes. Those most interested in screenwriting should submit a portfolio of written work that includes the following: 1) a concept for a feature script or a documentary that you might find it interesting to develop (no more than one typed page); and 2) a short screenplay of no more than 15 pages or two scenes in screenplay format. If the latter option is chosen, one scene should provoke the reader’s curiosity and engagement via visual storytelling and an absolute minimum of dialogue (no more than four pages); the other scene should be driven by dialogue and character development (no more than seven pages). Each scene should compel the reader to want to follow the character into a more developed story. Additional professional or contract work is reviewed, but is of secondary importance. Professional work should be labeled as such. All material presented must indicate the creative role of the applicant. Serving “below the line” on a project is not acceptable for application material. Writers may submit scripts as well as other writing samples. A multimedia applicant may submit a URL for web-based work.
    • Applications in Multimedia: An applicant in multimedia should submit material representing personal creative work made within the past three years. If an applicant engages more than one medium, either in combination (installation, performance, books) or as discrete components of ongoing artistic practice, they should submit photographic or time-based documentation of these works as well as a brief written description of the project. Such time-based documentation should not exceed 30 minutes in duration. Still photographic documentation for all projects represented should not exceed 25 images. Those submitting documentation of books may separately include excerpts of writing in .doc or .pdf form. Such samples shall not exceed ten pages, total. A multimedia applicant may also submit a URL for web-based work. Additional professional or contract work is reviewed, but is of secondary importance. Professional work should be labeled as such.
  2. Essay: Your essay should be approximately 500 words in length, describing your background and formative influences. Include information that you deem especially relevant to your artistic evolution and the development of content in your work. This means that you ought to consider contexts, artistic or otherwise, in which your work might be discussed, particularly if you have experiential or educational background in these areas. For example, if your work is involved with areas of thought outside of the arts (psychology, sociology, anthropology, science, etc.) this is information the Committee would appreciate. As best you can, please connect this information to the work you submit with your application. We would also like to know your reasons for pursuing an MFA degree as well as your current and longer-term goals. These might be practical or artistic, or both.
  3. Letters of recommendation:The Committee accepts letters from academic and/or professional colleagues. Compelling letters from arts practitioners and teachers who are well known to Maine Media College can be persuasive, especially if you have worked or would consider working with these individuals as mentors. If this is not the case, the next item, your resume, may be more informative. Letters writers should attest to your talents, commitment and cognitive abilities, or other personal qualities that would have bearing upon your involvement in the MFA program.
  4. Resume:This should be an artist’s resume including your educational background and degrees earned (whether or not these degrees are in the fine arts) as well as your professional activities (only if they are art-related). Information regarding professional activities is typically categorized along the following lines: Exhibitions, Screenings, and Publications; Awards and Grants; Bibliography (reviews or other critical discussion of your work. If you have worked commercially in the arts, this information is relevant. If this work has been done in collaboration with others, please indicate your creative role in each item listed. If you have been employed as an educator or administrator in an arts-related capacity, this information is also relevant.
  5. Transcripts:Transcripts serve as documentation of degrees earned and areas of study pursued. They are also helpful to program administrators in understanding the educational backgrounds of applicants and eventual students. GPAs or grades earned for specific courses are of less significance to the Committee in making admissions decisions.
Special Considerations for Applicants without an Undergraduate Degree:

An undergraduate degree is a generally accepted indicator that the holder has acquired knowledge and has developed skills in the arts and sciences, including the capacity for critical thought and the ability to synthesize ideas and practice in ways adaptable to environments and circumstances outside of the undergraduate program, whether these involve professional work or higher levels of education. Applicants without an undergraduate degree must demonstrate by other objective measures, to the satisfaction of the MFA Committee, that they have acquired commensurate knowledge and skills. a. For those with some college experience, the Committee will further evaluate transcripts and coursework  including syllabi, when available and desired) in an effort to better assess specific knowledge and competencies applicants have acquired in the course of their studies as well as the extent to which these intersect with the goals of the MFA.

  1. The Committee requires that, in its majority judgment, the creative work submitted by applicants will be superior in both clarity of artistic statement and technical proficiency. The Committee may seek support for its judgment in this area through close examination of applicants’ resumes (awards, grants, work/life experience, etc.).
  2. The Committee may require, especially when there is insufficient other information on which to base an assessment about the applicant’s ability to analyze, evaluate and make judgments about works of art, that the applicant submits an additional 500-word essay so demonstrating.

Because of the specialized nature of the training offered, transfer credits are not accepted. The school does not guarantee the transferability of credits to another school, college, or university. Credits/clock hours or coursework are not transferable; any decision on the comparability, appropriateness and applicability of credit and whether credit should be accepted is the decision of the receiving institution.

It is the policy of Maine Media College to not discriminate any individual in the United States on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability, political affiliation or belief, and against beneficiaries on the basis of either citizenship/status as a lawfully admitted immigrant authorized to work in the United States.


Diploma mill definition – An entity that:
  1. Charges someone a fee and requires him to complete little or no education or coursework to obtain a degree, diploma, or certificate that may be used to represent to the general public that he has completed a program of secondary or postsecondary education or training; and
  2. Lacks accreditation by an agency or association that is recognized as an accrediting body for institutions of higher education by the Secretary (pursuant to Part H, Subpart 2 of Title IV) or a federal agency, state government, or other organization that recognizes accrediting agencies or associations.
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 

The school complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and is wheelchair accessible. If enrolled under training with a government agency, institution district, and/or other entity, students must meet the admission requirements set out in the training agreement and/or applicable state licensing or certifications requirements.

Policy Granting Credit (only applies to 180-hour courses)

Maine Media College will collect information provided by a prospective student to provide a record by which previous education and training may be evaluated and credit given to the student and to provide a record of such credit and reduction of program length/cost as required by the law.

Policy on Transferring/Earning Credits

Coursework and/or credit from this school may not be transferrable to other institutions of education and acceptance is at the discretion of the receiving institution. MMC does not accept the transfer of credits from other institutions, and transferable credits will not be earned by completing MMC programs.

Policy on Transferring Between Programs within the Institution

Programs offered at Maine Media College are self-contained. Students do not transfer from other institutions, nor do they transfer between programs within Maine Media College.

 Veterans Benefits/Other Funding Sources

All programs of study at Maine Media College are approved by the Maine State Approving Agency for Veterans’ Educational Programs for enrollment of those eligible to receive benefits under Chapter 33, Title 38, United States Code, section 3676. The determination for Chapter 33 funds is made directly through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Additional funding may, at times, be obtained through Maine Media College via funds donated specifically for Veterans or through other private scholarship funds. The determinations for these funds are made through the respective organizations.

Incarcerated Applicants

A student is considered to be incarcerated if she/he is serving a criminal sentence in a federal, state, or local penitentiary, prison, jail, reformatory, work farm, or similar correctional institution (whether it is operated by the government or a contractor). A student is not considered to be incarcerated if she/he is in a halfway house or home detention or is sentenced to serve only weekends. Our attendance policy specifies that all classes and practical studies require attendance at the school’s physical location; therefore, incarcerated students are not eligible for admissions.

Conviction for possession or sale of illegal drugs
  • A Federal or state drug conviction can disqualify a student for FSA funds. The student self-certifies in applying for aid that he/she is eligible for by using the FAFSA.  Maine Media College is not required to confirm this unless there is evidence of conflicting information.
  • The chart below illustrates the period of ineligibility for FSA funds, depending on whether the conviction was for sale or possession and whether the student had previous offenses. (A conviction for the sale of drugs includes conviction for conspiring to sell drugs)
Possession of illegal drugs Sale of illegal drug
1st Offense 1 year from date of conviction 2 year from date of conviction
2nd Offense 2 year from date of conviction Indefinite period
3+ Offense Indefinite period
  • If a student was convicted of both possessing and selling illegal drugs, and the periods of ineligibility are different the student will be ineligible for the longer period.
  • A student regains eligibility the day after the period of ineligibility ends or when he/she successfully completes a qualified drug rehabilitation program. Further drug conviction will make him/her ineligible again.
  • When a student regains eligibility during the award year, the college may award Pell and/or Loan for the current payment period.
  • A qualified drug rehabilitation program must include at least two unannounced drug tests and must satisfy at least one of the following requirements.
    • Be qualified to receive funds directly or indirectly from a federal, state or local government program.
    • Be qualified to receive payment directly or indirectly from a federally or state-licensed insurance company.
    • Be administered or recognized by federal, state or local government agency or court.
    • Be administered or recognized by a federally or state-licensed hospital, health clinic or medical doctor.

Upon receipt of all required documents and in good order, the prospective student is eligible to enroll in the school. When all admissions criteria and requirements are met, the prospective student is given the date of the next class. The first day of class will include financial aid and academic orientation, in which the students will sign their enrollment contract, student permit form and additional required paperwork.

FAFSA Verification

Every year a number of students who are eligible for financial aid are randomly selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education by the FAFSA Central Processing System (CPS). If a student is selected for federal verification, they will be asked to complete a Verification Worksheet (provided by the Office of Student Financial Planning) and must provide additional information before financial aid can be disbursed to the student account. This documentation may include but is not limited to federal income tax transcript and W-2 forms (student’s, spouse and/or parents/guardians), proof of untaxed income, housing allowances, etc. Students will be notified in writing of all documents required to fulfill this federal requirement and what their verification code (V1 – V6) was so they can complete the required verification requirement. If after review by the Office of Student Financial Planning, there are any changes to the financial aid package the student will be notified in writing.

Facilities/ Services for Student with Disabilities

The school complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and is wheelchair accessible. The school will provide reasonable modifications and/or accommodations for students with disabilities depending on the student’s need.

If you are interested in attending Maine Media College but are in need of accommodations, you should schedule an appointment with the Director of Student Services. At this meeting, we will discuss the nature of the reported disability and its impact on learning. We will also discuss the process of receiving reasonable accommodations at Maine Media College and the types of accommodations available.

Please bring copies of current documentation of a disability to this meeting.

Documentation must be provided by a medical expert within the last three years and include:

  • a diagnosis of the disability;
  • how the diagnosis was determined (what tests were given and the results); and
  • a clinical summary, which includes an assessment of how the disability will impact the individual in a college environment and what accommodations are recommended.

Upon completion of the initial meeting, a formal request for the accommodation must be submitted in writing to the school. The school will respond to the request within 15 days of receipt. The initial meeting, formal request, and response from the school must take place prior to the pre-enrollment process.

Note: In order to be eligible for Title IV, HEA funding, you must be able to benefit from the reasonable accommodations.


Disclosure Requirement: Made available through appropriate publications, mailings, or electronic media

HEA Sec 485(a) (1)-(2), 20 U.S.C. 1092 (a) (1)-(2). Not changed by HEOA 34 C.F.R. 668.41 (a) – (d); 668.43 revised August 21, 2009 NPRM (revised 34 CFR 668, 43 added 34 CFR 668.231)

Each institution must make available to prospective and enrolled students information regarding how and where to contact individuals designated to assist enrolled or prospective students in obtaining the institutional or financial aid information required to be disclosed under HEA Sec. 485(a). This information is posted on the Maine Media College website and can be found in the student catalog. Paper copies are available upon request.

Institutional Contact Information

Name: Cathi Finnemore
Office hours:  9am – 5 pm M-F
Phone number: 207-236-8581 x 360
Email:  [email protected]