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Program Overview

Our mission for the Master of Fine Arts curriculum is to offer the students discipline, training, and artistic understanding required for life as a practicing artist and professional. The program is designed to develop the student’s capabilities for creative thinking and a sense of open inquiry, together with a thorough awareness of the multiplicity of new and traditional principles. Such capabilities may further enable an artist to make a valuable contribution as a professional artist, designer, art instructor, arts administrator, museum staff, gallery owner, or other related creative professional.

The MFA program is highly selective and is presently limited to 33 participants. Graduate students are chosen on the basis of artistic accomplishment and potential, evidence of conscientious work habits and sense of commitment. The professional reputation of our faculty, and the outstanding accomplishments of the students who graduate from our department contribute to an ongoing pursuit of excellence. The Graduate Program is housed in our CAB studio facility that includes spacious individual graduate studios, Working Method Contemporary Gallery, and media specific work areas.

In an effort to provide an environment that stimulates creative thinking and artistic production, the department offers numerous full faculty critiques, thesis committee reviews, and encourages positive student interaction and collaboration. Faculty assist students with their technical, conceptual, and professional skills and offer strategies to strengthen their creative research, production, and recognition.

The sixty-hour program requires a minimum of thirty semester hours in studio art courses, twelve semester hours of electives within or outside the department, a minimum of three courses (nine semester hours) in academic study at the graduate level, and a minimum of nine semester hours toward preparation of the graduate exhibition and thesis. The studio workshop class structure and interdisciplinary freedom that is part of the departmental philosophy provides opportunities for varied explorations and choices. Students may choose from a variety of curricular and media options and combinations, which include: ceramics, design, drawing, electronic media, installation, painting, paper-making, performance, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and video.

At the end of their education training, students mount a comprehensive exhibition of their work at the Museum of Fine Arts (MOFA). Faculty assist graduates long after their degree completion, providing continuous support as mentors, colleagues, and peers.

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Featured artwork by Kelly Lorraine Hendrickson