M.F.A. in Art

The School of Art, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, offers a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree. The MFA degree requires 60 credits of coursework including a minimum of 15 credits of thesis. The Master of Fine Arts is a project based non-media specific curriculum that focuses on individual artist development and creative leadership.  The program brings together talented individuals from a  variety of different media, building a community that fosters exploration, professionalism and creative success.  Projects based in all traditional fine art media along with environmental art, new media and installation can be accommodated. 

The program is housed at the Melvin Graduate Studios.  The School of Art does not offer a MFA degree in either graphic design or photography, nor is the GRE required for entrance.


Students applying to the School of Art must submit a portfolio of 20 digital images, online application, official transcripts, artist statement, current resume and three letters of recommendation, along with an artist statement or statement of intent. Completed applications for the following academic year must be received by February 15.

Qualified students may be admitted to The Graduate School on a regular or provisional basis. Provisional acceptance is usually based on undergraduate deficiencies.

Program Requirements

Studio credits (ARTZ 505-530)18
Art History (ARTH 400 level or above) 6
ARTH 451Contemporary Art3
ARTZ 500MFA Caucus12
ARTZ 594Seminar6
ARTZ 590Master's Thesis15
Total Credits60

Each student's progress is reviewed by the School of Art faculty at the end of fall and spring semesters with special emphasis being given to students in their first semester of residence and students beginning their thesis work. Passing of these reviews every semester is required for a student to be considered a degree candidate. Students registered in thesis then work exclusively with their committees, culminating their final semester with an exhibition and defense of their thesis work in the Helen E. Copeland Gallery.

Financial Assistance

Limited numbers of graduate teaching assistantships are usually available within the School of Art and are awarded on a competitive basis to formally admitted graduate students. See the Graduate Assistantships sections for detailed information on appointment criteria. Assistantships are requested from the student's home department.