Master of Fine Arts [MFA Course] Program, Colleges, Syllabus, Jobs and Salary 2020-2021

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Sakshi Gupta

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Master of Fine Arts or simply MFA course is a postgraduate degree in the study of fine arts which includes many aesthetic art forms. This course offers subjects such as Applied Arts, Painting, Art History, Sculpture, Visual Communication, Printmaking, Ceramics, etc.

MFA course duration is of 2 years, consisting of 4 semesters and the basic eligibility is graduation in Fine Arts.

Jamia Millia Islamia Application form for MFA program is now available. The exam will probably take place in June.

There are more than 300 fine arts colleges in India, offering MFA course in full-time mode, part-time mode and through distance education from IGNOU.

The following are considered the best MFA colleges as per the India Today ranking:

India Today Ranking College Name Location Average Fees
1 Faculty of Fine Arts, BHU Varanasi INR 5000- 6000
2 Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda Vadodara INR 12,000
3 Faculty of Fine Arts, Banasthali Vidyapeeth Jaipur  -
4 Amity School of Fine Arts Noida INR 1- 1.2 Lakhs
5 Dept. of Fine Arts, Kurukshetra University Thanesar INR 72,000
6 Dept. of Fine Arts, Aligarh Muslim University Aligarh  -

The average fees to study MFA course is around INR 20,000-2 Lakhs. In MFA private colleges like Lovely Professional University, the course fees is around INR 1.4 Lakhs, but in government colleges like Banaras Hindu University, you can complete this course in just INR 5000.

After completing this course, you can work with museums, art galleries, dance academies, music studios, gaming industry, TV channels, and many academic institutions.

Major MFA jobs include that of a Curator, Graphic Designer, Animator, Art Designer, Lecturer, etc. The average starting salary ranges from INR 4.5-6 LPA

MFA Admission Process

Master of Fine Arts Admission

Admission to MFA Degree programme is either based on an Entrance Exam and/or Merit marks in qualifying examination followed by a personal interview. Few colleges taking Entrance Exam for Fine Arts are Banaras Hindu UniversityMahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith and Aligarh Muslim University.

Most of the application forms of entrance exams are available after March, and the entrance exam occurs usually after May. The admission process takes place until June, and results are announced in July or August.

It is suggested to have a portfolio with you at the time of the interview so that the panel can see your work and judge your skills. 

College Application forms are available offline and online. They can be collected from the college or you can apply online by going through the university’s official website.

Quick Links: 

Master of Fine Arts Eligibility

The main eligibility for pursuing Master of Fine Arts or MFA course is a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from a recognized institute or college. 

A minimum of 50% marks should have been obtained. Some colleges like Jamia Millia Islamia requires atleast 60% in graduation. Therefore, the minimum percentage range is between 45-60% depending upon the minimum criteria set in different colleges.

How to get admission in a good Master of Fine Arts college?

  • After checking that you are eligible to apply for MFA program, you should start working on your personal interview round.
  • The basic selection procedure is the performance in the qualifying exams, followed by a personal interview in which the panel will judge your interests and skills. Hence, you should have your portfolio with you at that time. 
  • Keep your portfolio updated and ready. Learn new skills and techniques, and include them in your portfolio.
  • Stay updated with all the important application and registration dates to avoid last-minute chaos and delay.
MFA: What is it About?

Master of Fine Arts: What is it About?

  • Master of Fine Arts is a professional postgraduate course suitable for students who are interested to study visual arts and performing arts.
  • This 2-year duration course studies the importance and the application of Arts and its aesthetic values. It is a term that covers multiple disciplines under it. The course imparts knowledge and skills of visual and performing arts which would help students make a stunning career in the art and craft industry and contribute further contribute to the art industry.
  • You get to study interesting subjects such as Photography, Sketching, Drawing and Illustration, Oil Painting, Printmaking, Ceramics, Sculpture, Wood Carving, Graphic Designing, Interior Design, etc.
  • If you have a creative mind and soul, who love to play with colors and art, then this course is a perfect choice for you.
  • Major career fields are in Commercial Art, Theatre, Television Industry, Animation, Exhibition Designing, etc.

Quick ReadMajor Career Options after doing Master of Fine Arts

Master of Fine Arts: Course Highlights

Course Level Masters
Examination Type Semester-wise/Year-wise
Eligibility for the program Bachelor's in Fine Arts from a recognized institute.
Duration of the program 2 years
Average Tuition Fee INR 20,000- 2 Lakhs
Average Salary (per annum) INR 4.5-6 Lakhs
Job Profiles Curator, Graphic Designer, Animator, Art Designer, Lecturer, Art Critic, Commercial Artist, etc.
Top Recruiters Television industry, Art Galleries, Newspapers and Magazines, Publishing Houses, Museums, Government Institutes, Fine Art Colleges, etc.
Why study MFA?

Why study Master of Fine Arts?

  • Fine Arts study includes a wider range of performance possibilities and opportunities. Artists have the freedom to choose their own thing by considering their skills and passion.
  • You get to specialize in fields such as Applied Arts which includes graphic designing, interior design, fashion design, etc., Oil Painting, Water Colors, Modern Art History, Sculpture, Printmaking, Lithography, Digital Art studies, Animation, etc.
  • Career opportunities are diverse. You can work for ad agencies, marketing companies, museums, art colleges and small non-profit organizations or companies. You could even start your own graphic design firm if you have the skills and idea to do so. You can become your own boss by doing freelance work as well in digital art and commercial art.
  • You can teach people advanced skills of sketching, drawing, illustrations, oil painting, etc. and earn well by taking classes or workshops. You can collaborate with local galleries and/or artists and showcase your art which can bring you business opportunities.
  • You get to be creative in your workplace with ideas and solutions because of advanced studies in Master of Fine Arts program. You can practice and hone your skills and play with colours to produce some high-quality art.
  • Having Master of Arts degree will provide you an edge in your career which not only be beneficial to you but to your workplace as well. 

Master of Fine Arts Course Comparison

  • Master of Fine Arts (MFA) VS Master of Arts (MA): MFA is a creative degree and MA is a liberal arts degree. Both these postgraduate degrees has the following differences between them:
Parameters MFA MA
Qualification Master of Fine Arts Master of Arts
Focus Has more Fine Arts subjects like Photography, Oil Painting, Painting, and much more Has more Liberal Arts subjects like History, Engish, Sociology, Philosophy, and much more
Practicals Most of the subjects are practical based like sculpture, painting, poster colours, oil painting, water colours, etc. They are inclusive of more theory subjects like Philosophy, Sociology, History, etc. than practicals
Career Scope Best to pursue MFA if you want to enter and follow the traditional path of painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.  Diverse career opportunities in Humanities and Liberal Arts subjects, in a variety of fields in both government and private oraganizations
MFA Specializations

Master of Fine Arts Specializations

Following are the major specializations in Masters of Fine Arts course:

master of fine arts specializations

  • MFA in Applied Arts: This is one of the most common MFA specializations. MFA in Applied Arts includes subjects such as interior design, graphic design, logo design, etc. 
Average Fees INR 1-4 Lakhs
Average Salary INR 3.5-5 LPA
MFA Applied Arts Colleges
  • MFA in Painting: This course is more focussed on painting as the name suggest, and includes the study of modern art, impressionism, oil painting, etc. MFA in Painting is considered to be one of the top MFA courses in India.
Average Fees INR 1-5 Lakhs
Average Salary INR 3-5 LPA
MFA Painting Colleges
  • MFA Ceramics: Ceramics is a filed which includes different types, styles and techniques of ceramic work. Students who are interested in this type of art, usually pursue MFA Ceramics course. 
Average Fees INR 1-4 Lakhs
Average Salary INR 3-9 LPA
MFA Top Colleges

Master of Fine Arts Colleges

There are more than 300 fine arts colleges in different states of India. Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi and Baroda are considered the main centres of art culture in India.

The following list shows some of the best Master of Fine Arts Colleges in India according to

Rank College Name Location Average Fees
1 College of Arts, Delhi University New Delhi INR 46,600 
2 Faculty of Visual Arts, BHU Varanasi INR 5300
3 Faculty of Fine Arts, Jamia Millia Islamia New Delhi INR 20,800
4 Sir JJ Institute of Applied Arts Mumbai INR 20,000
5 Dept. of Fine Arts, Kurukshetra University Thanesar INR 72,000
6 Vishwa Bharti University, Kala Bhawan Shantiniketan INR 11,360
7 Dept. of Fine Arts, AMU Aligarh  .
8 Bhartiya Kala Mahavidhyalaya Pune INR 1.15 Lakhs
9 Amity School of Fine Arts Noida INR 80,000

Read More:  Top MFA Colleges in India

In many MFA colleges like the College of Art, DU and ASFA, Noida there are many internship opportunities in various art and entertainment companies which provide a minimal stipend of around INR 3-8000.

MFA degree through distance education is very popular among students because it provides flexibility to complete the course in minimum 2 years to maximum 6 years. IGNOU is considered one of the best colleges to pursue Master of Arts course via distance.

Master of Fine Arts College Comparison

Parameters College of Arts, Delhi University Amity School of Fine Arts Faculty of Fine Arts, MS University of Baroda
Overview College of Arts was established in 1942, and is a part of the Faculty of Music and Fine Arts at Delhi University. It offers courses like BFA, MFA, etc. in various specializations. Amity School of Fine Arts (ASFA), is a part of Amity University, Noida and offers specializations such as Applied Arts and much more It is one of the top fine arts colleges in India. It offers bith UG and PG programs.
Location New Delhi Noida Vadodara
Average Fees INR 46,600  INR 80,000 INR 12,000
Average Salary INR 3-5 LPA INR 2.2-4 LPA INR 2.5-6 LPA
Top Recruiters TCS, Adobe, DRDO, L&T, etc. Visual Myth, Entrayn Education, Morphed Studio, TCS Life Sciences, Global Logic, BYJU’s: The learning App, etc. Bank of Baroda, Bombardier, Atos, Business Standard, Hyatt, HT Media, etc. 
MFA Syllabus & Course Curriculum

Master of Fine Arts Syllabus

MFA Syllabus is almost same in all the colleges, apart from the choice of electives which can be Photography, Illustration, etc. 

Following is the MFA syllabus in many top universities across India: 

Semester I Semester II
History of European Art-I History of European Art-II
Advertising Principles and Practices Advertising Principles and Practices-II
Occidental Aesthetics-I  Occidental Aesthetics-II
Visualization/ Illustration/ Photography (Any one) Visualization/ Illustration/ Photography (Any one)
Creative Painting/ Mural Design/ Portrait/ Landscape (Any one) Creative Painting/ Mural Design/ Portrait/ Landscape (Any one)
Semester III Semester IV
History of Modern Indian Art-I History of Modern Indian Art-II
Advertising (Principles and practices)- III Advertising (Principles and practices)- IV
Oriental Aesthetics-I Oriental Aesthetics-II
Visualization-III Illustration-III Photography-III Visualization-IV Illustration-IV Photography-IV 

MFA Course Book Recommendations:

Book Name Author
Making a Good Layout Lorisieber & Lisa Balla 
Air Brushing and Photo Retouching Brett Breckon
Applied Art Handbook Prof. S.K. Luthra
Sign Design: Graphics, Materials & Techniques Mitzi Sims
A History of Fine Arts in India and the West Edith Tomory

Read More:  MFA Syllabus in detail

MFA Jobs & Career Options

Master of Fine Arts Jobs and Career Prospects

In the past decade, there has been an increase in Fine Arts industry. Nowadays, students are so much interested to enter this field and follow their passion. The best thing about being an artist is that you can choose your career according to skills and interests.

If you are interested in design, you can work as a designer in some ad agency or marketing company. If you like to work on canvas, you can be a professional artist, and side by side can teach students in colleges, in workshops or through online videos. The opportunities to grow after doing an MFA degree is endless. You can be your own boss and become a freelance artist.

The following table shows some of the major areas where you can find employment after pursuing MFA degree:

Advertising Agencies Museums Film Sets and Theatre Television and Film Industry
Animation Schools and Colleges Textile Industry Sculpture

An artist can find employment easily in any area and bring creativeness to any workplace. The average salary you can expect after doing MFA course is around INR 3.5-6 LPA. But with better experience and opportunities, your payscale and name in the art community increases. 

Following table shows some of the major MFA jobs options:

Job Position Job Description Average Salary
Artist You can be an artist in any field like printmaking, digital art, traditional art, water colors, etc. INR 3.5 LPA
Graphic Designer You work with softwares like Photoshop, Corel Draw, etc. and digital designs for books covers, signages, hoardings, product packaging, etc.  INR 3 LPA
Art Teacher An Art Teacher is employed in schools or private institutes and teaches children or adults the basics of drawing, painting and other art methods like sculpture, crafts, etc. INR 3.1 LPA
Art Historian An Art Historian usually assists museum curator in day to day activities like preservation of artifacts, organizing artworks, etc. Other than that, they interpret artifacts found in archeological sites and ruins. INR 4.8 LPA
Curator A curator usually works in a museum and is responsible for acquiring objects and collections, keeping records, planning exhibitions, researching objects and collections, etc.  INR 4.2 LPA
Animator An animator illustrates and designs cartoons and animated characters and makes them interact with their surroundings. They usually work in Television, films and gaming industries. INR 3.7 LPA
Creative Director A creative director is hired to head the creative team of a company. They act as creative leads in advertising and marketing companies, working with designers, artists, copywriters, sales teams and marketers to create campaigns for products to be sold. INR 13.2 LPA
Photographer Photographers are of many types; wedding, event, fashion, product, etc. INR 3.6 LPA
Art Restorer Art restorer is responsible to repair damage to different artworks and books. INR 3.9 LPA
Art Critic Art critic write about different exhibitions of individual artists or group shows in magazines, blogs, newspapers, etc.  INR 4.5 LPA

Read More:  Career Options after MFA 

Master of Fine Arts Salary Trend Graph

Master of fine arts (mfa) salary

Similar Course:

Master of Visual Arts (MVA)

MFA Future Scope

Master of Fine Arts Future Scope

Today, a lot of young people are following their creative dream and studying MFA so that they can enter the creative field. We have discussed some of the major job profiles after doing MFA course in the above segment.

After completing MFA degree, a student can work with:

  • Museums
  • Art galleries
  • Dance academies
  • Music studios
  • Gaming industry
  • TV channels

Higher Education: You can study PhD or some certificate courses like in animation, graphic designing, etc to pump your game in these fields. You can also clear UGC NET exam to become a lecturer in an art college or university.

Some of the courses after MFA to increase your mastery and advanced skills:


Master of Fine Arts: FAQs

Ques. What is the difference between Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts?

Ans. Both Master of Fine Arts and Master of Arts are different degrees. MFA is a specialized course that usually consists more of fine arts subjects like painting, art history, etc.. which aims to provide professional training to become a successful painter, artist or anything related to the arts field.
On the other hand, MA consist of mostly liberal arts courses, which provides knowledge in subjects such as History, Sociology, Geography, etc. and focuses more on the scholarly and academic aspect of the course.

Ques. What can you do with a Master of Fine Arts degree?

Ans. Master of Fine Arts degree can get you to have a successful career as an artist, art historian, painter, sketch artist, etc. in publishing houses or art firms or companies. You can also work as a freelance artist and earn from the comfort of your home and space.
For more information, check MFA Jobs & Career.

Ques. What are some of the best MFA colleges in India?

Ans. There are many great colleges that focus on Fine Arts. Some of them are:

  • Delhi University
  • Banaras Hindu University
  • Sir JJ Institute of Fine Arts
  • Maharaja Sayajirao University 
  • Aligarh Muslim University
  • Vishwa Bharti University, Kala Bhawan

To check more colleges, click on Top MFA colleges in India.

Ques. Can I do a Master of Fine Arts through distance education?

Ans. Some colleges like IGNOU, Annamalai University, etc. provide Master of Fine Arts degree through distance learning.

Ques. Can I do MFA after BSc?

Ans. The minimum eligibility required to take admission in MFA program is atleast 50% in either BFA or any course in which Fine Arts or related subjects were taught. In case of BSc, no art course is taught as such. Hence, the chances of admission is low as compared to the students who are from the Fine Arts background. 

Ques. Is there any entrance exam for MFA?

Ans. Admission and Selection in the MFA course occurs through either Merit or through Entrance Exams. There is no specific entrance exam, but colleges conduct a written entrance test, followed by a Personal Interview.
All the colleges take Personal Interview round to select skilled students in their MFA program

Ques. Does IGNOU offer MFA course?

Ans. Yes, IGNOU offers MFA course, with a specialization in Painting. Check IGNOU Admissions to know the full MFA Admission Procedure.

Ques. Can you teach in college after doing MFA?

Ans. MFA is the terminal degree in Fine Arts. After qualifying the UGC NET exam, you are eligible to teach in colleges and universities as a Lecturer or Professor with a salary as per the government standards.

Ques. What is the scope in fine arts?

Ans. You should study Fine Arts only if you are genuinely interested and want to make a career in the fine arts field. Major career options can be Curator, Graphic Designer, Animator, Art Designer, Lecturer, Art Critic, Commercial Artist, Painter, and much more. You can even work as a freelance artist and work independently or with a team. You can open your own art company and provide these services. 
Apart from this, the government is making plans to increase the art and design industry hence there will be a need of art professionals in the government sector also, apart from private sectors.

In terms of higher education, you can go for PhD if you are interested to gain further expertise in any particular field of art like impressionism, or Rajput art, etc.

Ques. How much is the salary after MFA course?

Ans. The average starting salary that you can expect is anywhere around INR 2-5 LPA. After much experience and skills, it may increase upto INR 8 LPA.
As a freelancer, you can earn more if you have successfully made or found your client base.

Master of Fine Arts [MFA] Fee Structure in India

2.60 K (Minimum Fee)PUBLIC COLLEGES1.36 L  (Maximum Fee)
41.53 K (Average Fee)
19.70 K (Minimum Fee)Private COLLEGES9.64 L (Maximum Fee)
1.61 L (Average Fee)

Master of Fine Arts [MFA] Fee Structure By state

Uttar Pradesh

19.95 K
40.10 KPrivate COLLEGES2.60 L
1.16 L


34.72 K
19.70 KPrivate COLLEGES3 L
1.72 L

Madhya Pradesh

35.38 K
27 KPrivate COLLEGES1.01 L
55.27 K


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