Graduate Catalog 2012 - 2013


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Department of Art

Degree: M.F.A., Art, College of the Arts and Communication

Graduate Program Co-Director:
Professors Thomas Uhlein, Michael Rees
Department of Art
Power Art Center 120

The Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) 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 M.F.A. 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 a substantial professional and educational background and are dedicated to the most rigorous standards of artistic endeavor.

The M.F.A. is offered as a three-year, full-time degree program, or as a five-year, part-time degree program for the working professional. Students choose from course 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.

The University's proximity to New York City gives ready access to the concentration of working art professionals, the availability of world-class museums, the proliferation of private galleries, and the accessibility of major libraries and collections. Visits to artists' studios, guest lecturers, and possible internships complement the program of study.

Admission to the Degree Program

The requirements for admission are:

  1. A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university;
  2. A 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.
  3. A cumulative minimum undergraduate grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale.
  4. A portfolio submitted by each applicant, 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).
  5. Along with the portfolio, all applicants must submit a 500-word statement of intent. In the statement of intent the applicant must discuss aesthetic interests, cite historical and contemporary influences on the work, and indicate career goals.
  6. Applicants also must include, with the portfolio and the statement of intent, (a) a résumé documenting the chronology of all educational and work experience including art experience, teaching experience, grants, honors, awards, exhibitions, and publications. (b) Art Department Information form.
  7. No GRE, MAT, or GMAT testing is required.
  8. Fall admission only. Early admission decision deadline is February 1. The regular admission decision deadline is April 1.

Requirements for the Degree

  1. Completion of a minimum of 60 credits is required of all candidates for graduation.
  2. In addition to the completion of the M.F.A. 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 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 M.F.A. 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.

Nondegree Graduate Students

All graduate students who wish to apply as nonmatriculated students are required to submit a portfolio, résumé, and a statement of intent to the graduate art program director for review and acceptance by the program director and representatives of the art department faculty. These requirements are in addition to the application materials as outlined for admission to the graduate school. Nonmatriculated graduate students may not register for graduate courses without written permission from the graduate art program director. The review for acceptance as a nonmatriculated graduate student does not replace the full review process, which grants acceptance into the M.F.A. program as a matriculated graduate student. Acceptance as a nonmatriculated graduate student does not guarantee acceptance as a matriculated graduate student.

The Structure of the Program

The M.F.A. 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.

Programs Offered