China Academy of Art IMFA Awards

The China—US Culture Scholarship

The China—US Culture Scholarship supports San Francisco Art Institute’s institutional commitment to cross-cultural exploration and preparing students to be global citizens. SFAI, located in the Pacific Rim city of San Francisco, was the first art school of higher education to have an official partnership with China. To continue this partnership, China Academy of Art is offering five select SFAI Undergraduate, Post-Baccalaureate or Graduate students a full tuition scholarship to the three-year IMFA (International Master of Fine Arts) degree after the successful completion of one of SFAI's Undergraduate, Post-Baccalaureate or Graduate programs. The prestigious China Academy of Art has three campuses located in Hangzhou and Shanghai, China. The IMFA is a full residency program in China. This China—US Culture scholarship is merit-based; reviewed by a committee composed of faculty and staff. For more information, please visit:

Award Amount

The China Ministry of Education will award two scholarship amounts: the Government Full Scholarship which includes full-tuition, free room and board, health insurance, and a stipend to three select applicants and the Provincial Scholarship which includes a full-tuition award to two additional applicants each year. The award is renewable for up to the published length of the IMFA program at CAA (three years). Awards may be used toward the IMFA degree at CAA only and are not transferable to the tuition costs of the programs at SFAI.


Applicants must be US citizens and must complete an Undergraduate, Post-Baccalaureate or Graduate program at SFAI as a pathway to receiving this scholarship. CAA requires that applicants into the program be under 35 years of age at the time of application and acceptance into the program. No prior knowledge of Chinese language is required for admission. The IMFA requires a minimum result of 90 on the TOEFL or 6.5 on IELTS for non-native English language speakers.

How to Apply

Alumni or current SFAI students, must submit the following items by March 31, 2020:

  • Transcript from SFAI showing degree conferral or a letter from the Registrar’s Office indicating anticipated degree conferral before the start of the IMFA program.
  • Online application to China Academy of Art
  • Elaborate on one of the essay questions below and submit via email with your full name and contact info to by March 31, 2020, in order to be considered.

Essay Questions
Choose 1 question below and respond with an 800-word response essay. Please type your response and email it as an attachment to Include your name, program, contact info, and date of SFAI graduation on each page of your response essay. (File types accepted: pdf or word doc.)

  1. Given your unique perspective, background, and set of experiences, how would you contribute to cultural exchange with China? How do you see your art and ideas participating in cross-cultural art education?
  2. What is your vision of world art? How do multi-culturalism, social practice, and extended media define contemporary art of the last quarter of a century?