Dec 08, 2023  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Art, M.F.A.

College of The Arts  
Department: School of Art and Art History 

The nationally ranked MFA Degree Program in Art has been carefully designed as a course of study that will maximize the student’s potential for in depth investigation of his or her chosen artistic ideas, themes and /or media. Students are encouraged to acquire technical and conceptual skills in more than one medium or studio discipline and to work toward developing techniques that best communicate the content of their artistic pursuits.


Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

Admission Information

Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements, as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below.

  • A Bachelor’s degree or equivalent from an accredited university or art school
  • Approved portfolios are required for admission into the M.F.A. Art Major
  • Transfer Credits: Requests for use of transfer credits or credits earned under non-degree seeking student status should be made when the student applies to the graduate major. The faculty will decide at the time of admission whether or not transfer credits and credits earned will be used toward the requirements for the M.F.A. degree. Transfer credit and credit earned as a non-degree seeking student to be used toward the students’ M.F.A. degree is limited to 8 semester hours.

Curriculum Requirements

Total Minimum Hours: 60 Credit hours

  • Core - 9 Credit hours
  • Additional Required Courses - 8 Credit hours
  • Electives - 41 Credit hours
  • Research Project - 2 Credit hours

Core Requirements (9 hours)

Additional Required Courses (8 hours)

Electives (41 Credit Hours)

  • ART 5000 and 6000 Studio and Discretionary Electives
  • Credit Hours: 1-4 (This course is an elective option for students who have not worked as a Teaching Assistant.)

Other Requirements

The School of Art and Art History highly recommends that all students seeking an advanced degree in Art take a minimum of one course in Electronic Media.

The remainder of the major is discretionary and is designed by the student with the guidance of the Graduate Art Advisor.

Directed Studies

As part of the student’s studio and discretionary electives, he/she may register with a faculty member under a Directed Study Contract. All M.F.A. students are required to take coursework for a grade until they have formed their Supervisory Committees.

The descriptions for Directed Study are as follows:

  • ART 6940 Selected Topics in Art , Grading option Regular (For a grade), 1-4 credits
    Suitable for coursework by contract in an area in which the student has prior skill.
  • ART 6911 Directed Research , Grading option Regular (For a grade)1-19 credits.
    Suitable for graduate level coursework in any area that justifies more than 4 hours of credit. May be used only after the student’s Supervisory Committee is formed.

As noted, ART 6911  is not for use by M.F.A. students who have not yet established their Supervisory Committees. The other, media specific, course numbers such as Sculpture or Painting are not often used as they are fixed at 4 credit hours.

S-U Grades

A Student may not take any course work for a grade of “S/U” until they have elected a supervisory committee, usually by the fourth semester. All course work taken during the first three semesters must be taken in course work assigning letter grades that designate quality points. Appropriate contract numbers would include graduate level studios such as Sculpture or Painting, and ART 5910 Research  for an area in which a graduate student did not have prior skill, or ART 6940 Selected Topics in Art  for studies in an area where prior skill exists but the student requires variable credit or the research does not conform to clear categorization by discipline. ART 6907 Independent Study  offers the S/U grading option and is not to be used until after the student has elected a supervisory committee.

Faculty Evaluations

Faculty Evaluations at the end of first, second, and third semesters

At the end of the first, second and third semesters, students will receive a written evaluation from a faculty committee regarding their progress in the major based on a presentation of their work. A student receiving “unsatisfactory” evaluation for any two of these three semester reviews will be dropped from the major. The full faculty will review a student with two unsatisfactory evaluations before they can be dismissed from the major.

M.F.A. Research Project Proposals

During the fourth semester students will present a proposal for their MFA Research Project. The student must form and meet with their Graduate Supervisory Committee before the conclusion of their second year. The student must present a body of work and written paper supporting the student’s proposed direction.

If a student’s proposal is satisfactory, he/she will select a graduate Supervisory Committee to oversee the realization of the research project. If a student’s project proposal is not satisfactory, another proposal can be presented before the end of the fourth semester. If the student’s proposal and re-proposal are voted unsatisfactory the student will be dismissed from the major.

M.F.A. Research Project (2 hours)

Exhibition/Orals/Written Document

The exhibition, written document and the orals defense conclude the student’s graduate major and take place after all course work is completed. The exhibition is usually during the term the student plans to graduate, typically the second semester of the third year. M.F.A. Research Project exhibitions cannot be scheduled for the summer term. Information regarding the exhibition, the written document and the orals defense will be distributed to students prior to the final semester.