Admissions

Welcome to IAIA Office of Admissions! We are excited you are exploring to apply to IAIA for your future education journey. IAIA is the only four-year degree fine arts institution in the world devoted to contemporary Native American and Alaskan Native arts. As such, we dedicate ourselves, our curriculum, our facilities, and our energies to preparing our students for success and leadership which reflects Native cultures and values. As one of 37 tribal colleges located in the United States we are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), and are a member of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium.

Mission

“To empower creativity and leadership in Native Arts and cultures through higher education, life-long learning, and outreach.”

At IAIA our mission is more than a statement, it is the on-going objective of our highly talented and dedicated faculty and staff.

Contact

83 Avan Nu Po Road
Santa Fe, NM 87508
(505) 424-2325
(505) 424-4500 (fax)
admissions@iaia.edu

Explore Degree Programs

We invite you to explore our degree programs and certificates to find out which program is right for you. Below are the programs we offer at IAIA.

ProgramAAAFABABFAMFACTON
Business and Entrepreneurship
Cinematic Arts & Technology
Creative Writing
Indigenous Liberal Studies
Museum Studies
Native American Art History
Native American Studies
Studio Arts

Key: Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Fine Arts (AFA), Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), Master of Fine Arts (MFA), Certificate (CT), and Online (ON)

Before you begin your application process please take time to check the application information below to ensure you are completing the correct application. For any questions regarding the application information, please contact the Office of Admissions for assistance and information. You can begin the application process online or download the IAIA Admission Application.

Freshman

Applicants who have never attended college; or are a graduating high school student with college credit earned through a dual enrollment program (regardless of the number of college credits earned); or have completed less than 24 college credit hours since graduating from high school or have earned a GED.

Freshman Admissions Requirements

No.Item
1Admissions application
2Non-refundable $25 application fee
3Official high school transcript or GED
4College placement score
5Official college transcripts (if applicable)
6Tribal enrollment documentation (if applicable and optional)

Admissions Process

New Freshmen applications are reviewed and decisions returned as quickly as possible once your application is complete. To be reviewed for admissions, your file needs the have an application, an application fee (unless waived), and official high school transcripts. Official college placement scores are needed prior to registration, however they are not needed for admissions purposes. If you have taken college level courses, you will need to have official transcripts submitted prior to registration, however they are not needed for admissions purposes.

Essays, portfolios or recommendations are not necessary.

Application Form

Please submit either an online application or a hardcopy application form by the priority consideration deadline for the term to which you want to attend. We recommend the online application for faster response.

Priority Deadlines

  • Fall Term—July 27
  • Spring Term—January 4

Application Fee

$25 nonrefundable application fee or approved fee waiver. To request a fee waiver, please contact the Office of Admissions at admissions@iaia.edu or at (505) 424-2325.

Official Transcripts

Please have your high school send your official transcript to the IAIA Admissions Office directly. If you have completed college courses, please have each college send official transcripts as well. IAIA Admission is provisional until the Admissions Office receives a complete, final and official transcript verifying graduation or completion.

College Placement Scores

We accept test scores from SAT®, ACT®, and COMPASS®, and ACCUPLACER®. Test scores are not used for admissions purposes, however they are needed for course registration. If a student does not have standardized college placement scores, students will be asked to take ACCUPLACER. Students may also provide official transcripts showing math and English courses completed within the last three years at another institution of higher learning. For more information, visit IAIA Placement Testing.

IAIA’s ACT Code is 2654; IAIA’s SAT Code is 0180.

Applicants who have graduated from high school more than five years ago may submit ACCUPLACER® scores in lieu of an SAT or ACT score.

Transfer Students

Applicants who have completed 24 or more transferable college credits at any accredited institution.

Admissions Process

Transfer applications are reviewed and decisions returned as quickly as possible once your application is complete and includes an application, an application fee (unless waived), and official transcripts for all colleges, two letter of recommendations, personal statement and a portfolio in the intended program of study.

A complete application will be sent to the Admission Review Committee to determine acceptance. The review process can take 1-2 weeks.

Application Form

Please submit either an online application or a hardcopy application form by the priority consideration deadline for the term to which you want to attend. We recommend the online application for faster response.

Priority Deadlines

  • Fall Term—July 27
  • Spring Term—January 4

Transfer Admissions Requirements

No.Item
1Admissions application
2Non-refundable $25 application fee
3Official college transcripts from all institutions indicating a minimum of 24 transferable semester credits
4Two letters of recommendation—at least one from a teacher, counselor, or community leader (non-family member)
5Statement of interest (one page, typed)
6A portfolio in the intended area of study (see Portfolio Requirements)
7Tribal enrollment documentation (if applicable and optional)

IAIA has consortium partnerships with other colleges and admissions requirements may vary according to the partnership agreements. To view our partnerships, visit Articulations Agreements. Also make sure to contact the Office of Admissions and Recruitment.

Portfolio Requirements

The portfolio requirements vary among the majors and have specific requirements. Please submit a portfolio in the intended area of study.

Major Program: Creative Writing Portfolio Requirement
  • 15 to 20 pages of original work (poetry, fiction, playwriting, or nonfiction)
Major Program: Indigenous Liberal Studies Portfolio Requirements

1,000 word essay including:

  • What you expect to gain through participation in the Indigenous Liberal Studies Program/Native American Studies program.
  • What experience you have had as a member of or working for an Indigenous or local community.
  • What issues facing Indigenous or local communities seem most important to you.
Major Program: Museum Studies Portfolio Requirements

700-word statement of interest in the Museum Studies program. The statement should include:

  • Goals and any special training or previous relevant employment or other experience.
  • Current knowledge of the museum/cultural center field.
  • The kinds of experiences he/she hopes will be a part of his/her college education.
  • Reasons for choosing the Museum Studies degree program.
Major Program: Cinematic Arts & Technology Portfolio Requirements
  • Up to five individual films (narrative, documentary, animation or experimental in nature), with a total running time of no more than 20 minutes. Applicants are encouraged to submit work on DVD media when possible, which should be able to be played on a standard DVD player. Applicants must check their work to meet this requirement. Do not send .flv, .swf or Windows Media files. If an applicant’s work is posted on the web, he/she should send the URL(s)as part of the portfolio as well.
  • A short film demonstrating foundational skills and promise toward the program.
Major Program: Studio Arts Portfolio Requirements

A minimum of 10 art pieces (photographs only) related to the applicant’s intended major and created within the past two years.

  • Applicants may email their files as a Power Point or Word document to the Office of Admissions at admissions@iaia.edu.

Please do not submit:

  • Original paintings or artwork.
  • Original three-dimensional pieces, such as jewelry, pottery, or sculpture.

IAIA is not responsible for lost or misdirected items. Portfolios will not be returned.

An applicant for transfer to IAIA will present the above requirements at his/her scheduled Admissions Committee meeting. The Admissions Committee will determine the qualifications of the student and officially admit or deny the student acceptance into the major program. If accepted, the student will be assigned a Major Advisor and will file a degree plan with the Registrar’s Office.

Certificate and Online

Applicants who would like to earn a certificate in Business and Entrepreneurship, Museum Studies, or Native American Art History either in-person or online. For students with no college credit or less than 24 transferable college credits must apply as a Freshman. Visit the Online Certificate Programs page for more information.

Priority Deadlines

  • Fall Term—July 27
  • Spring Term—January 4

Certificate Admissions Requirements

No.Item
1Admissions application
2Non-refundable $25 application fee
3Official high school transcript or GED (Freshman only applicants, see Freshman Requirements)
4College placement score (Freshman only applicants, see Freshman Requirements)
5Official college transcripts from all institutions indicating a minimum of 24 transferable semester credits
6Tribal enrollment documentation (if applicable and optional)

Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing

IAIA offers one graduate degree—a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree—as a Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing program with two intensive residency periods per year (summer and winter). It is designed as a two-year program and requires the completion of 48 credit hours.

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing with the following areas of emphasis—Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, and Screenwriting.

Priority Deadlines

  • Fall Term—February 15

Low Residency MFA Admissions Requirements

No.Item
1Admissions application
2Non-refundable $25 application fee
3Official college transcripts from all institutions indicating a bachelor’s degree
4A personal essay (see guidelines below)
5Two letters of recommendation (letters should address the applicant’s aptitude, determination, and ability to work within a community of writers)
6A sample craft or scholarly essay (see guidelines below)
7A sample of your creative work (see guidelines below)
8Tribal enrollment documentation (if applicable and optional)

Admissions Information for Low Residency MFA

The graduate application for the MFA in Creative Writing is available at . Please note that although the Low Residency MFA Program begins with an on-campus residency in July, the July residency is considered part of the Fall semester. Please choose “Fall” not “Summer” on the application. If you find you need to submit additional materials, please e-mail those documents to admissions@iaia.edu or mail them to the Admissions Office at the address below.

Your application will not be considered for admission until it is complete.

Materials must be received by 5 pm on February 15 for full consideration. Applications completed after 5 pm on February 15 will be considered for any remaining openings, wait-listed, or considered for the following year. At this time, we are only accepting students into the program in the fall semesters.

Admission will be competitive; we will be accepting only thirty students into the program each year. There is no separate application for the Institute of American Indian Arts’s Scholarships; students who apply before February 15 will be considered for all IAIA scholarships.

A bachelor’s degree is required, but it need not have been with an English or writing major. Students who have completed a significant number of undergraduate hours may request an exception to the bachelor’s degree requirement; however, given the competitive nature of the admissions process, such an exception will be granted rarely. Contact the MFA Director at jdavis@iaia.edu to get information on the bachelor waiver criteria.

For questions about the application process, please contact admissions at admissions@iaia.edu.

Creative Manuscript

Please submit examples of your work in one of these areas:

  • poetry: a maximum of 10 pages (single-spaced, not more than one poem to a page)
  • fiction: a maximum of 20 pages (double-spaced)
  • creative nonfiction: a maximum of 20 pages (double-spaced)
  • screenwriting: a maximum of 30 pages (industry-standard formatting)

You may apply in two genres, but a complete manuscript must be submitted for both genres in which you choose to apply. Each manuscript should be typewritten, single-sided, numbered in the lower-right hand corner, and set in 12 point Times Roman (or Courier for a screenplay). Please do not staple. Manuscripts will not be returned. Any pages beyond the maximum will not be read.

Personal Essay

Please submit an essay (2–3 typed, double-spaced pages) in which you address the following questions:

  • How long have you been writing seriously?
  • What previous study have you done in writing and literature?
  • Is there any additional experience that seems particularly relevant to your application?
  • Are you prepared to hear direct criticism of your work and apply that criticism to revision?
  • What do you think are the strengths and weaknesses of your writing?
  • Do you foresee anything that might prevent you from devoting 25 hours per week to your study or from corresponding consistently with your faculty advisor?

More than transcripts or letters of recommendation, the essay gives us some understanding of your experience with writing and criticism, your goals for work in the program, your readiness to work in the low-residency format, and the appropriateness of your admission.

Craft Essay

Please submit a writing sample (3–4 pages, double-spaced) that demonstrates your abilities as a reader and critical thinker. This sample may be something formal that you have written previously for a class, or you may write a short essay on a literary work you’ve recently read. The essay should in some way engage questions dealing with the writer’s craft and/or ways in which the writer’s work has served as a model for your own literary ambitions.

To applicants who are reapplying: If you are reapplying to the IAIA MFA in Creative Writing Program within one year of your previous application, submit the following: 1) a new or revised creative manuscript, 2) a new or revised personal essay, 3) a new or revised craft essay, 4) a new application form, and the $25 application fee. Updated references and transcripts are optional.

Residency-Only MFA in Creative Writing (Non-Degree)

Writers wishing to deepen and refine their work and expand their writing community are invited to attend the MFA Residency week as non-degree students.

Join us for seven full days of craft talks, workshops, panels, classes, conferences, and readings featuring some of our finest contemporary writers, as well as guest editors and agents. The twice-annual residencies are rare opportunities to engage in sustained and meaningful conversation with others who share your passion for writing.

Residency-Only MFA Admissions Requirements (Non-Degree)

No.Item
1Admissions application
2Non-refundable $25 application fee
3Official college transcripts from all institutions indicating a minimum of 24 transferable semester credits
4A sample of your creative work (see guidelines below)
5Tribal enrollment documentation (if applicable and optional)

International

  • Applicants who are or will be in the US with a valid visa status i.e., F1, J1.
  • Applicants that are Canadian First Nations, must FIRST complete an International application until the Jay Treaty verification is provided, where they will then be changed to domestic applicant.

  • International students must apply for admission at least six months prior to the date of expected enrollment.
  • International applicants must have graduated from a school equivalent to the twelfth grade in the United States.
  • International students are not eligible for federal financial assistance.
  • All international students in F-1 status must take at least 12 semester hours in their degree plan each semester while attending IAIA.
  • An I-20 A-B will not be issued from the Institute until the applicant has completed the admissions file and has been accepted.
  • All documents submitted with the application must be official or original.

Admissions Process

International students must apply for admission at least six months prior to the date of expected enrollment. Complete applications will be sent to the review committee for admissions and can take 1–2 weeks. After your application is reviewed, the process will begin to establish I-20 paperwork to get your F-1 Visa and can take 1–2 weeks. Student transferring from another US institution, must also adhere to the transfer application requirements.

Priority Deadlines

  • Fall Term—February 4
  • Spring Term—July 4

International Admissions Requirements

No.Item
1Admissions application
2Non-refundable $25 application fee
3Official transcripts in English of all previous academic work
4An official score report of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), with a minimum score of 500 (paper test), 173 (computerized), 61 (iBT), or an English as Second Language (ESL) score of 109
5Medical and physical document with proper immunization records
6Two letters of recommendation—at least one from a teacher, counselor, or community leader (non-family member)
7Statement of interest (one page, typed)
8Statement from a recognized financial institution or responsible sponsor indicating sufficient funds in US dollars to cover academic and living expenses for the duration of the anticipated academic program
9All International students are required to provide proof of medical and travel insurance
10 IAIA International Transfer Form (transfer applicants only)
11A portfolio in the intended area of study (transfer applicants only, see Transfer Portfolio Requirements)

Non-Degree

Non-degree and audit students are full-time or part-time students who wish to take a course or courses during the semester without earning credit toward a degree. If non-degree and audit students later wish to apply to a degree program, students must submit all of the required items for admission to that degree program before the respected application deadline.

  • Pay regular tuition and fees and are subject to IAIA’s rules and regulations
  • Must live off-campus
  • Register for classes after degree-seeking students have registered–this registration is through the admissions office on a space available basis and with the permissions of the Instructor and the Academic Dean
  • May not request credit status for a class after the last day to add a course according to the Academic Calendar
  • Are not eligible for Financial Aid from IAIA

Priority Deadlines

  • Fall Term—August 4
  • Spring Term—January 4

Non-Degree Admissions Requirements

No.Item
1Admissions application
2Non-refundable $25 application fee
3Official college transcripts (optional to demonstrate fulfillment of a prerequisite course)

Readmission

Students who wish to return to IAIA who have previously attended IAIA and have been away for more than two consecutive semesters must complete the Readmissions Application. Students need to have left in good academic standing and not have a financial hold on their student account.

Priority Deadlines

  • Fall Term—August 4
  • Spring Term—January 4

Readmissions Requirements

No.Item
1Admissions application
2Official college transcripts (if applicant attended another college or university during their time away from IAIA)

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Nena Martinez Anaya

Nena Martinez Anaya

 

Chief Enrollment and Retention Officer
Admissions and Recruitment
P (505) 424-2331
E nanaya@iaia.edu

Roanna Shebala

Roanna Shebala

(Diné)

Admissions Counselor
Admissions and Recruitment
P (505) 424-5937
E roanna.shebala@iaia.edu

Mary Silentwalker

Mary Silentwalker

(San Felipe Pueblo/Navajo)

Director
Admissions and Recruitment
P (505) 424-2307
E mary.silentwalker@iaia.edu

Talia White

Talia White

 

Admissions Counselor
Admissions and Recruitment
P (505) 424-2315
E talia.white@iaia.edu

Melanie Buchleiter

Melanie Buchleiter

 

Dual Credit Coordinator
Admissions and Recruitment
P (505) 424-2315
E melanie.bucheiter@iaia.edu

Rosalina Albino

Rosalina Albino

 

Admissions Specialist
Admissions and Recruitment
P (505) 424-2311
E rosalina.albino@iaia.edu

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