Master of Fine Arts in Art

Admission Requirements

Applicants for admission to the MFA program must apply to and meet all criteria for admission to the Graduate School. For admission to the Master of Fine Arts program in the Department of Art, the Graduate School does not require submission of Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores (contingent upon student's GPA). Additional information about these criteria and other admission criteria, such as international admissions, is available in the admissions section of this catalog.

Application must be made to the Graduate School and include the following items:

  • A letter of intent stating the applicant’s goals and objectives with regard to graduate study;
  • An artist’s statement;
  • A portfolio of work (20 digital images of studio work which the applicant feels would most effectively represent his/her involvement, ability, and potential);
  • A work sample list that indicates by corresponding number, the title, date, dimensions, and medium of each work; and
  • Three letters of recommendation from undergraduate instructors, or other appropriate individuals, indicating the readiness of the applicant to pursue independent and sustained graduate-level work.

The Department has established February 15 as the application deadline for fall semester admission. Graduate Assistantship applications are also due by February 15.

October 15 is the application deadline for spring semester (Assistantship applications are not considered for spring semester.) Applications received after these deadlines may be considered, subject to space availability.

The entire graduate faculty of the department will review all materials submitted by each applicant. Recommendations are made by measuring, as accurately as possible:

  • The applicant’s demonstrated preparedness and potential to be successful in the program;
  • The sense, on the part of the faculty, that the faculty could contribute, in a meaningful and constructive way, to the student’s development as an artist; and
  • Available space in the program, as well as faculty and departmental resources.

Other admission requirements include twelve credits of undergraduate Art History course work. Art History deficiencies of up to 6 credits may be compensated for by enrolling in the necessary courses concurrent with graduate work.

General Requirements

Basic requirements are a minimum of 60 credits in graduate courses approved by the Department of Art and the Graduate School. A minimum of two 5000-level courses, totaling 6 credits, must be taken in the area of Art History (ART 5525 Contemporary Art and ART 5527 Art and Ideas are strongly recommended for graduate students), and a minimum of 12 credits must be thesis project. The student may elect, as a program option, to take up to six credits in other related areas outside the Art Department. These courses must be departmentally approved. Students are required to complete Art 6620, ART 6621, Art 6649, and Art 6650. Students are also required to take 12 focused studio credits. The department will accept a grade of C in one class as long as the minimum overall 3.0 GPA is maintained. The student will have the opportunity to repeat the course.

Each candidate for the MFA degree must create and display an original one-person exhibition during the last semester of study in the program. The MFA thesis exhibition is reviewed and assessed by the candidate’s thesis committee by an oral examination. In addition, candidates for the MFA degree must prepare and submit an original written thesis to their thesis committee prior to the oral examination. The MFA thesis exhibition and the written thesis should reflect a coherent formal and conceptual point of view. The MFA thesis exhibition and the written thesis should meet the professional and academic standards for the terminal degree in the visual arts. Completion of the requirements for the MFA degree requires a minimum of two years enrollment in the program.

Program Objectives

  1. Students will formalize their ability to direct and focus their professional work.
  2. Students will demonstrate the breadth and depth of conceptual capacity appropriate for a terminal degree in the arts.
  3. Students will demonstrate a professional level of competence and a unified creative point of view.

Program Outcomes

  1. Students will conceptualize and write a Thesis Proposal for their Thesis Project.
  2. Students will conceptualize and execute a Thesis Project  which  projects  the student's conceptual and expressive relationship with his/her major area(s) of studio work.