Sofia Landa Zorilla, Towers (detail), 2013.

Academic Year 2016–2017

Download the below 2016-17 tuition rates.
Tuition rates for returning students are posted on mySMFA.

Undergraduate Degree Students Semester Annual
*Full-time/18 credit hours maximum $20,663 $41,326
Studio Diploma Students Semester Annual
*Full-time/14 credit hours maximum $18,320 $36,640
Post-Baccalaureate Students Semester Annual

*Full-time studio/14 credit hours

Plus 1 vis crit per academic year (4 credits)
Total 32 credits for academic year

$19,677 $39,354
*Overload charge - 2 credit hours over maximum $3,074  
Part-time Tuition - Degree and Diploma Semester Annual
Per 2 studio credit hours $3,074  
Mandatory Fees - All Programs Above Semester Annual
Comprehensive Fee applies to students enrolled in 6 credit hours or more. Includes general, material, technology and student activity fees $673 $1,346
Part-time Comprehensive Fee applies to students enrolled in less than 6 credit hours $305 $610
Orientation Fee (new students only)   $125
Graduate Degree Students (paid to Tufts University) Semester Annual
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)   TBD
Master of Arts in Teaching, Art Education (MAT)   TBD
Housing + Residential Meal Plans Semester Annual
Single Occupancy N/A $12,500
Double Occupancy N/A


Triple Occupancy N/A


Quad Occupancy N/A


5 Meals per week (with 100 rhino bucks included) $875 $1,750
10 Meals per week (with 200 rhino bucks included) $1,450 $2,900
15 Meals per week (with 300 rhino bucks inclued) $1,950 $3,900
Additional Fees    
May include health insurance, payment plan and late fees, tuition refund plan, housing activity fee or other institutional fees incurred by the student upon enrollment. Please contact the Office of Admissions for additional information.

The Business Office at SMFA recognizes the need for flexibility in meeting financial obligations related to higher education. To address this, we offer students and families the following payment options:

  • Pay in full by cash, check, wire transfer, credit card (Master Card and Visa)
  • TMS payment plan enrollment through Tuition Management Systems (TMS)
  • Loans, grants, scholarships, 529 Plan payments
  • Any combination of the above
  • Payment must be made in US Funds

Wire Transfer Information

Please email or call Student Services at 617-627-2000 for complete information.

Payment Plan

We offer monthly payment plans with Tuition Management Systems. If you wish to pay monthly, please contact TMS at 1-800-722-4867, or visit their website at The Business Office does not offer payment plans directly.


Please remember most loan proceeds have an origination fee, deducted by the bank, of approximately three percent. This reduces the actual amount received by the School and applied to the tuition balance.

Outside/Third Party Scholarships

You must submit a letter on the scholarship's letterhead to the School (mailing address below), attention the Business Office and the Financial Aid Office, indicating the amount of the scholarship and any other information needed to receive the funds.

School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
230 The Fenway
Boston, MA 02115
Phone: 617-627-2000
Fax: 617-369-3131

Refunds / Withdrawals / Leaves of Absence

Students who need to withdraw or take a leave of absence from the School may do so for academic, discipline, personal or medical reasons. If a student who is receiving federal financial aid withdraws or takes a leave of absence from the School, they may be subject to the Federal Return of Title IV Aid Return Policy. The School adheres to the following policies and procedures to ensure proper accountability when a student leaves the School.

NOTE: Students must contact the Financial Aid Office prior to leaving to understand the implications this change in status will have on their Offer of Financial Assistance.

Withdrawal Process

Students seeking to withdraw from the School for any reason should contact the Student Affairs Office to begin the withdrawal process.

Non-attendance does not constitute official withdrawal. If a student who began attendance and does not officially withdraw, fails to earn a passing grade in at least one course over an entire term, or are a no-show at their Review Board, the School will assume that the student has unofficially withdrawn. Unofficial withdrawals will be determined within two weeks of the add/drop period. Federal Financial Aid recipients will have their awards reviewed and recalculated, causing a reduction in aid awarded.

Remember: Student loans will go into repayment for any student not enrolled at least half-time for more than six months.

Studio Tuition Refund Schedule
Studio Courses

A full tuition refund, excluding nonrefundable deposits and fees, is given to students who withdraw from the School during the one week add/drop period (see Academic Calendar). No refunds will be issued after the add/drop period.

Important note: students who drop credit hours will receive a tuition adjustment. No adjustments will be issued after the add/drop period.

Academic Courses

There is a 100% refund for academics dropped through the last day of the academic drop period. No refunds will be issued after that date.

Housing Refund Policy

Students who live in Museum School housing and leave within the first week of school (before studio add/drop ends) will receive a prorated refund based upon the length of occupancy.  If a student has to leave during the semester due to personal injury or sickness, and a successful insurance claim is filed, the charge will be covered 100%, or 60% if for a mental health condition.  An insurance claim requires acceptable documentation from the medical provider at the time of withdrawal.  The housing deposit of $300 is nonrefundable once the offer of housing has been made by the School and the deposit received. Students living in Museum School housing who leave the residence hall without formally withdrawing or taking a leave of absence from the School are also responsible for the full room charges for the entire year. Contact the Assistant Director of Residence Life with questions about financial obligations while in School housing.

Issuing of Refunds

A refund, when due, will be made payable to the student and mailed to the student's billing address unless the School is instructed otherwise in writing. When the deposit of a Federal Parent Plus Loan results in a credit balance the refund will be made payable to the parent and mailed to the student's billing address. The refund process takes 10–14 days after the end of drop/add period.

Refunds due to Credit Balance

Refunds due to overpayment by loans and/or scholarships will not be issued until after the drop/add period. Enrollment must be verified and the School must receive all loan funds and scholarship payments. This is approximately five weeks into the semester. Students are advised to plan accordingly for all expenses.

Refunds due to Withdrawal

Refunds due to withdrawal will be issued approximately two weeks after the student's withdrawal/leave of absence form is completed and the student is withdrawn from all classes.

Tuition Refund Plan Waiver

If you would like to waive the Tuition Refund Plan, please complete this form.

Withdrawal Date

The date used to calculate the refund is determined as follows:
-In the case of a student who officially withdraws, the date of the withdrawal.
-In the case of a student who unofficially withdraws, the drop out date, which is the last recorded date of class attendance as, documented by the School. The Registrar's Office is responsible for determining and documenting the last day of attendance.
-In the case of a student who is expelled, the date of the expulsion.

Federal Return to Title IV Overview

The Financial Aid Office is required by federal statute to recalculate federal aid eligibility for students who withdraw, drop out, are dismissed or take a leave of absence prior to completing 60% of the semester. Recalculation is based on the percentage of earned aid using the following Federal

Return of Title IV Funds Formula

Percentage of term completed = the number of days completed up to the withdrawal date divided by the total days in the term. Note: Any break of five days or more is not counted as part of the days in the term. This percentage is also the percentage of earned aid.  Funds are returned to the appropriated federal program based on the percentage of unearned aid.  Aid to be returned = (100% of the aid that could be disbursed minus the percentage of earned aid) multiplied by the total amount of aid that could have been disbursed during the term.

If a student earned less aid than was disbursed, the School is required to return a portion of the funds that have been received by the student. Keep in mind that when Title IV funds are returned, the student may owe a balance to the School. If a student earned more aid than was disbursed, the School would owe the student a post-withdrawal disbursement which must be paid within 120 days of the student's withdrawal.

Refunds are allocated in the following order:
Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans
Federal Parent (PLUS) Loans
Federal Pell Grants
Federal SEOG Grants

Distribution of Refund Policies

The Museum School's refund and repayment policies are available to students on the school's Web site. Students may receive additional information by making an appointment with a Financial Aid Administrator.


Students who request a tuition refund after the deadline, due to extraordinary and unanticipated circumstances, can appeal to the Adjudication Committee who will determine if the request is justified and notify the student of their finding. Adjudication petitions are available in the Business Office. The decision of the Adjudication Committee is final.

Tax Benefits for Education: Information Center

Tax credits, deductions and savings plans can help taxpayers with their expenses for higher education.

American Opportunity Credit

Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), more parents and students qualify for a tax credit, the American opportunity credit, to pay for college expenses.

The American opportunity credit originally modified the existing Hope credit for tax years 2009 and 2010, and was later extended for an additional two years — 2011 and 2012 — making the benefit available to a broader range of taxpayers, including many with higher incomes and those who owe no tax. It also adds required course materials to the list of qualifying expenses and allows the credit to be claimed for four post-secondary education years instead of two. Many of those eligible qualify for the maximum annual credit of $2,500 per student.

The full credit is available to individuals whose modified adjusted gross income is $80,000 or less, or $160,000 or less for married couples filing a joint return. The credit is phased out for taxpayers with incomes above these levels. These income limits are higher than under the existing Hope and lifetime learning credits.

If you have questions about the American opportunity credit, these questions and answers might help. For more information, see American opportunity credit.

Hope Credit

The Hope credit generally applies to 2008 and earlier tax years. The American opportunity tax credit, which expanded and renamed the already-existing Hope scholarship credit, can be claimed for expenses paid for tuition, certain fees and course materials for higher education in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. (see above)

Lifetime Learning Credit

The lifetime learning credit helps parents and students pay for post-secondary education.

For the tax year, you may be able to claim a lifetime learning credit of up to $2,000 for qualified education expenses paid for all students enrolled in eligible educational institutions. There is no limit on the number of years the lifetime learning credit can be claimed for each student. However, a taxpayer cannot claim both the Hope or American opportunity credit and lifetime learning credits for the same student in one year. Thus, the lifetime learning credit may be particularly helpful to graduate students, students who are only taking one course and those who are not pursuing a degree.

Generally, you can claim the lifetime learning credit if all three of the following requirements are met:

  • You pay qualified education expenses of higher education.
  • You pay the education expenses for an eligible student.
  • The eligible student is either yourself, your spouse or a dependent for whom you claim an exemption on your tax return.

If you're eligible to claim the lifetime learning credit and are also eligible to claim the Hope or American opportunity credit for the same student in the same year, you can choose to claim either credit, but not both.

If you pay qualified education expenses for more than one student in the same year, you can choose to take credits on a per-student, per-year basis. This means that, for example, you can claim the Hope or American opportunity credit for one student and the lifetime learning credit for another student in the same year.

This information is from the IRS Tax Benefits for Education: Information Center. Detailed information is also available from the IRS publication 970. Your accountant should be able to help you with these rather complex issues.

There are still a select number of courses that require faculty approval/acceptance in order to register. In these cases, students must obtain the appropriate faculty signature on an Add/Drop form and submit that form to the Registrar's Office during the Add/Drop period. Add/Drop forms are available in the Registrar's Office.

Course Capacity

If a particular course is full but a faculty member is willing to allow a student into it beyond the set capacity (this happens only in rare cases), the student must obtain the appropriate faculty signature on an Add/Drop form and then submit that form to the Registrar's Office during the Add/Drop period.

Tuition Adjustments

If adjustments are made that affect your tuition, a new bill will be generated at the conclusion of the Add/Drop period. Newly generated bills will be due upon receipt.

Tuition Balances

Add/Drop will only be available for students who are current with tuition payments. Students with outstanding balances will be put on a Business Office hold and will not be able to make schedule adjustments until payment or payment arrangements have been made with the Business Office.

Non-registered Students

Students who did not register at all during the open registration period will be put on hold and will not be able add classes until payment or payment arrangements have been made with the Business Office. Students who aren't registered are also not authorized to attend classes.


ProArts registration will still be handled with paper forms and cannot be done online. ProArts cross-registration forms are available in the Registrar's Office.