Master of Fine Art (MFA) Graduate Programs in Studio Art and Design
The Graduate MFA Program
The Master of Fine Arts program is a 60 credit hour, two-year professional program in Studio Art. The student is expected to demonstrate mastery of technique and processes in studio art. In addition the student is required to demonstrate written and verbal competency through the preparation and defense of a thesis.
Applicants who wish to specialize in ceramics, design, fashion design, electronic studio, interior design, painting or sculpture must complete 60 credits of graduate coursework. The required categories of coursework includes:
- 36 credits in Studio (24 credits in concentration area and 12 credits in elective studio courses)
- 12 credits in Art History
- 6 credits in Thesis Seminar.
- 6 credits with the Thesis advisor and Thesis Committee.
The MFA Thesis
The Master of Fine Arts Thesis is a cohesive body of creative works in studio art accompanied by a written exposition of ideas, analysis, placed in associated context. The creative visual work is considered to be of primary importance, it is required that the candidate support position and hypothesis with secondary source materials. The studio work of the candidate is expected to be stylistically cohesive and should demonstrate a mastery of studio art-making methods, materials and processes.
The thesis subject matter may be found in personal autobiographic, ethnographic, historic, and/or conceptual frameworks. It is required that the subject be focused, thereby, in the professional judgment of the thesis committee, be manageable within the time period allocated. Can the proposed work of the thesis, as outlined by the candidate, be brought to fruition in three semesters?
The written thesis must be unanimously accepted by the committee and should bear the signature and date of the acceptance by all members. Copies are physically and digitally archived in the Art Department Office. Thesis faculty advisor works closely with the The thesis committee chair, a senior faculty member in the field of concentration or sub-field, will be responsible for the flow of documents, communication among the committee members, and progress reports to the Department Chair and faculty. The committee chair recommends that candidate to the faculty for approval for awarding the MFA degree.
Thesis Defense and Final Graduation Requirements
Once the student’s graduate advisor and thesis committee agree that the thesis is complete and that the scholarship and body of work meet departmental and graduate school requirements, the thesis defense will be scheduled and the university community will be invited to attend. The thesis defense begins with a 30 to 40 minute oral presentation that describes the research and conclusions augmented with slides, thesis artwork, and other pertinent materials. The candidate then responds to questions posed by the thesis committee after which visitors are invited to ask questions.
Upon completing the final thesis manuscript, successfully defending the research and its conclusions, and submitting three copies of the thesis to the Department Chair, the student is recommended to the Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for final clearance for graduation. In the event the student does not successfully accomplish the above requirements the candidate must register for Thesis V (1 credit) until the requirements are met.
Click here to read the Graduate MFA Program descriptions.