Studio Arts, M.F.A.

For information regarding deadlines and requirements for admission, please see

In addition to the application materials required by the Graduate School, applicants should have a bachelor's degree in a visual arts discipline and must submit 20 images of recent work through the online application portal. Applicants with bachelor's degrees in other fields will be considered for admission if their portfolio demonstrates the ability to pursue work at the graduate level.

Degree Program Requirements

Required: 60 credit hours

To complete the M.F.A. program, the student must complete 60 credit hours of course work in studio art, art criticism, art history and electives, pass all required examinations, and complete thesis work.

Required Courses (6-9 credits)
ARH 501Topics in the History of Art 13
ARH 503Perspectives in Contemporary Art3
ART 622Drawing Marathon3
Studio Seminar (9-12 credits)
ART 610Graduate Studio Seminar 29-12
Studio Courses (12 credits)
Select two courses (12 credits) from the following: 312
New and Expanded Media
Graduate Colloquium (6 credits)
ART 615Graduate Studio and Colloquium 46
Art History Courses (6-9 credits)
Select 6-9 credits from 500- or 600-level ARH courses 56-9
Electives (0-12 credits)
Select sufficient credits from 500- or 600-level courses to complete the required 60 credits0-12
Thesis (6 credits)
ART 699Thesis6
Total Credit Hours60

Required when offered as part of the Summer Study Initiative international experience.


Must be taken in each of the first three semesters; optional in the final semester.


Take one studio course in each semester of the first year.


Should be taken in the Fall semester of final year.


6 credits if ARH 501 was taken during the Summer.

Admission to Candidacy

To be formally admitted to candidacy for the M.F.A. degree, students must have successfully completed two semesters of full-time graduate work, including ART 622 Drawing Marathon, removed all deficiencies, possess a B (3.0) average in all courses taken during the first two semesters, and have an overall grade record consistent with the regulations stated in the University Catalog. In addition, the application to candidacy must be approved by a committee of the Art Department graduate faculty to be appointed by the Department Head. The committee will meet with students to review work and sign candidacy forms early in the fall semester of the second year of graduate work. Students are limited to two candidacy reviews. If a student is not admitted to candidacy during the first review, the review team will issue written recommendations for further studies. The second review will take place within a year of the first. Failure to pass candidacy for the second time will prohibit the student from continuing in the program.

Oral Thesis Presentation

In the Spring semester of the graduating year, each M.F.A. candidate will give a formal oral presentation to their thesis committee concurrent with the installation of their thesis exhibition.

After passing candidacy review in the Fall semester of the final year, the student and the Thesis Chair consult together to name the remaining members of the committee. The Department Head and the Graduate Program Director review the membership of the committee before the student begins thesis work. The committee consists of four to five faculty members who hold graduate faculty status in the University. Part-time faculty do not serve on thesis committees. At least one member of the committee is a studio faculty member who teaches in the same discipline as the student’s studio practice. One other member is an art historian, art educator, or member of the Weatherspoon Museum graduate faculty. It is optional for the student to select a graduate faculty member from another department in the university. This faculty member should pursue scholarly research that relates to the student’s field of interest. Thesis Chairs are selected from the studio art or art history faculty.

Early in the final semester of thesis work, the student arranges a meeting with the thesis committee to discuss all aspects of final thesis work, including the thesis paper, the oral presentation, the comprehensive art history exam, and the thesis exhibition. The thesis paper should be 5-10 pages in length, conform to Graduate School requirements, and be signed by all committee members before it is electronically submitted to The Graduate School. The body of work submitted for the thesis exhibition must receive final approval of all thesis committee members.