Rutgers Graduate School: The Mason Gross School of the Arts

July 22, 2013
Kaplan Test Prep

Rutgers University New Brunswick street scene with truckThe Mason Gross School of the Arts is part of Rutgers University and the Rutgers graduate school system in New Brunswick, New Jersey. It’s a school that likes to display its students, which means lots of face time between you and professional artists. But that’s just one of the reasons why you should go; the rest are down below.

Fast Facts

  • Class sizes are very small, ranging from 10-30 students depending on the program.
  • The school specializes in painting/drawing and printmaking programs.
  • In-state students will be paying $15,768 for a year of tuition while out-of-state students will be paying $24,552.
  • Salaries will vary depending on your specialty.
  • Graduates either further their education or put their skills to work; however, each situation is different.
  • Though the programs require transcripts with the admission application, the most important part of your application is your personal statement and your portfolio/audition/interview.

Blooming at Mason

While Mason holds classes, courses, and workshops on campus like every other program does, it also gets you involved with the fine arts scene in the surrounding cities. You better not get stage fright easily, because your work and performances might be seen not just in New York City, but Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. as well. This gives you real-world experience outside the bubble of Rutgers graduate school, which is a much-needed refresher, especially in the fine arts.

Put Down Your Brush

New Brunswick, aside from being a hop, skip, and a jump from both Philly and New York City, is prime pickings for night owls. There’s something for everyone’s taste, including the Stress Factory Comedy Club and clubs like Platinum, which has several rooms, each with a different music styling. But as far as actual tasting goes, there’s no shortage of food spots, either. Stuff Yer Face gets you to explore indie beers all while scarfing down some stromboli, which you can customize with more than 30 ingredients. Zafra, a vegetarian restaurant, doesn’t just let you know whether the grass is greener on the other side, but it lets you taste it, too.

There’s also a plethora of parks around campus, like the Buccleuch, Johnson, and Donaldson parks, where you can spend a nice day outdoors. But if you’re feeling adventurous yet hermit-y, then go check out some of the museums in the area, like the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum or the Rutgers Geological Museum.

The Rest of Campus

While you’ll be spending most of your time in the fine arts corner of Rutgers and that’s all fine and good, you’d be completely cheating yourself if you didn’t get out and see the rest of campus. Even though New Brunswick gets all four seasons, meaning some cold and snow here and there along with the sun and fun, it’s fairly pleasant for the majority of the year, so walking around campus will be a relaxing time. While you’ll get to know buildings like the Rehearsal Hall, the Nicholas Dance Studios, the Mastrobuono Theater, and the Visual Arts Graduate Studio really well on your own, consider going over to the Passion Puddle to relax on a nice day or get involved with a club or two.

Rutgers Helps Out

Career services are run a little differently in the fine arts than for other programs, and that’s because the fine arts aren’t as cut-and-dry as most other professions. Suits and ties aren’t the standard garb for interviews, and in place of resumes you’ll have auditions and portfolios. Rutgers gets this, and so they’ve set up a few programs to make things easier for you. One such program is the College Partnership Program, which helps young performing artists to “develop practical goals for survival and success as they transition from student life to the realities of the professional dance field.” But if you’re not a dancer, don’t worry. Each specialty has something special to help you with life after grad school. And you’ll also have all the basic services available to the general student body from the career services office.

The Mason Gross School of the Arts knows that exposure is what pumps the lifeblood in artists, and it makes sure its students aren’t left in the dark. Your work as a student will be shown to several cities, and you’ll get a taste of what life after Rutgers graduate school is like. This is why this school is one to keep your eye on.


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