Art (MFA)


Degree Offered: Master of Fine Arts in Art


Application Deadline:

February 1 for early admission; April 1 for regular admission (Fall semester)

Non-degree status not available

Program Description:

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree is designed as the professional degree for the fine artist, designer, and media artist. It is the mission of the program to provide the MFA candidate with a rigorous environment in which to focus on professional goals and artistic excellence. An important aspect of this environment is the creation of a community of peers and mentors all pursuing the enhancement of imagination through the creation and interpretation of meaningful work. Faculty members have substantial professional and educational backgrounds and are dedicated to the highest standards of artistic endeavor.

The MFA is offered as a three-year, full-time program, or as a five-year, part-time degree program for the working professional. Students choose from offerings that include computer art and animation, painting, printmaking, sculpture, and digital sculpture, ceramics, photography, graphic media, and furniture design. Fully equipped studios in all areas provide the resources necessary for the actualization of a wide range of two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and time-based work.

Admission Requirements:

In addition to the University’s admission requirements:

  • Minimum of 60 credits in studio arts, 12 credits in art history or art criticism, including at least 3 credits in contemporary or twentieth-century art. Those applicants who do not have such experience may be required to take undergraduate courses in these areas before formally beginning the graduate degree. In certain cases where an applicant has a number of years of professional art activity, the committee, based on the qualitative evaluation of the work and the sponsorship of a faculty member, can grant admission.
  • Cumulative grade point average of no less than 2.75 on 4.00 scale.
  • Portfolio which demonstrates a level of artistic achievement that implies a developed ability for advanced study in visual art. This portfolio must be submitted directly to the visual arts graduate program director for committee review. The portfolio should consist of a folder of twenty images on a cross-platform CD or DVD. Images must be accompanied by a separate hardcopy list designating title of piece, date, medium, and size (when appropriate).
  • 500-word statement of intent that must discuss aesthetic interests, cite historical and contemporary influences on the work, and indicate career goals.
  • Resume documenting the chronology of all educational and work experience, including art experience, teaching experience, grants, honors, awards, exhibitions, and publications.
  • Art Department information form.
  • Two letters of recommendation

Program Requirements:

  • 60 credits of graduate study

In addition to the completion of the MFA course requirements of 60 credits, each candidate must create and present a thesis project, which is a body of work created specifically for this thesis under the supervision of a thesis advisor and which is not a summary of earlier work. The thesis project is accompanied by a written corollary document. The choice of medium, the balance of written and creative work, and the manner of presentation must have the prior approval of the graduate review committee. The graduate review committee bases the final awarding of the MFA degree on the evaluation and acceptance of the final thesis project, the written corollary, the thesis presentation, and the required documentation of the project. The art department reserves the right to hold student works for the purpose of exhibitions for up to two years.

Structure of the Program

The MFA curriculum is comprised of nine required core courses: two semesters of Graduate Interdisciplinary Forum, two semesters of Studio Practice and Critique I and II, three semesters of Art History and Contemporary Studies (two required, one elective), and culminates with two semesters of the capstone Graduate Thesis I and II. At the heart of the program are the 33 credits of studio electives which are made up of media-specific studio courses, independent studies, and internships that provide study in and development of expertise in specific media.

MFA  in Art60 credits
Interdisciplinary Forums (required) 6 credits
ARTS 5900 Tracking the Artist’s Way * 3
ARTS 6900 The Nature of Imagination and Creativity * 3
Studio Practice and Critique Seminars (required) 6 credits
ARTS 5010 Studio Practice and Critique Seminar I 3
ARTS 6010 Studio Practice and Critique Seminar II 3
Art History and Contemporary Studies (minimum required) 9 credits
ARTH 5110 Graduate Seminar in Modern and Contemporary Art 3
ARTH 5120 Graduate Seminar in Art Criticism and Theory 3
ARTH 5310 Art in New York 3
ARTH 5420 The Art of Comics 3
ARTH 5580 History of Photography 3
ARTH 5990 Selected Topics 3
ARTH 7000 Independent Study 3
Elective 33 credits
ARTS 5100 Sculpture 3
ARTS 5120 Sculpture and Digital Media I 3
ARTS 5200 Painting 3
ARTS 5230 Chinese Ink Painting 3
ARTS 5300 Printmaking 3
ARTS 5310 Printmaking – Lithography 3
ARTS 5320 Printmaking – Screen printing 3
ARTS 5330 Printmaking – New Media Etching 3
ARTS 5400 Ceramics 3
ARTS 5500 Design Methodology 3
ARTS 5520 Typographic Exploration 3
ARTS 5600 Fibers: Textile Design 3
ARTS 5700 Photography 3
ARTS 5730 Projects in Photography 3
ARTS 5740 Photography as a Tool for the Artist 3
ARTS 5750 Projects in Digital Photography 3
ARTS 5800 Beginning 3-D Computer Animation 3
ARTS 5810 Introduction to 3-D Computer Modeling 3
ARTS 5820 Projects in 2D Digital Art 3
ARTS 5830 Projects in Web Design 3
ARTS 5860 Projects in Composing, Editing, and Motion Graphics 3
ARTS 5870 Projects in Storyboarding and Design 3
ARTS 5880 Cell Animation Projects 3
ARTS 5890 Projects in Drawing for Animators 3
ARTS 5950 Internship 3
ARTS 5990 Selected Topics (1-3 credits) 3
ARTS 6100 Advanced Projects: Sculpture 3
ARTS 6110 Sculpture Studio  3
ARTS 6120 Sculpture and Digital Media II 3
ARTS 6200 Advanced Projects: Painting 3
ARTS 6210 Painting Studio 3
ARTS 6300 Advanced Projects: Printmaking 3
ARTS 6310 Printmaking Studio 3
ARTS 6400 Advanced Projects: Ceramics 3
ARTS 6410 Ceramics Studio 3
ARTS 6700 Advanced Project: Photography 3
ARTS 6740 The Artist and Photography: Alternative
Photographic Methods
ARTS 6800 Advanced 3-D Computer Animation 3
ARTS 6810 Advanced 3-D Computer Modeling 3
ARTS 6830 Interactive Online Media Projects 3
ARTS 6840 Interactive Multimedia CD-ROM Project 3
ARTS 6860 Character Animation Projects 3
ARTS 6870 Advanced Character Animation Projects 3
ARTS 6880 Advanced Cell Animation Projects 3
ARTS 6890 Projects in Media Arts 3
ARTS 7000 Independent Study (1-6 credits) 3
Thesis 6 credits
ARTS 6980, 6990 Graduate Thesis (3 credits each) 3