Caine College of the Arts
Department of Art
The Master of Fine Arts degree is the terminal degree in the visual arts field. The MFA program is designed to allow students to mature to a level of professional competence in the making of art. Related studies augment a rigorous studio program. The prospective student must exhibit both academic excellence and a well-developed personal artistic vision.
All applicants are required to have earned a BFA degree in the visual arts or its equivalent, including a minimum of 12 credits of art history. Students must submit either MAT or GRE scores. GPA in art courses must have been at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale. MAT scores should be at or above the 40th percentile. Applicants taking the GRE should have verbal and quantitative scores at or above the 40th percentile.
Students must earn 60 credits, to include:
- 42 credits of graduate level studio art as determined by the student in consultation with his or her major professor, including a minimum of 6 credits of studio art outside of the declared emphasis area;
- , ART 6900 and
- 6 credits outside the Art Department as specified by the supervisory committee; and
- 3 credits of Research and Thesis, which concludes with an MFA thesis exhibition and an oral defense.
Students must pass a first-year review at the end of the first year of completion of study (12-24 credits). The MFA thesis is a visual presentation, the equivalent of a written dissertation in other disciplines. The thesis exhibition is the single most important feature of the MFA program; the culmination of at least two years, and often three or more years, of intensive study in a single discipline. The student must also submit visual documentation of the thesis, in the form of a digital image portfolio.
The MFA program is a resident program; it is not possible to complete the requirements for graduation by correspondence. Students must complete a minimum of four semesters in residence as full-time students. For students not serving as graduate assistants who are otherwise employed on campus, 9 credits per semester is the minimum for full-time status. (12 credits is considered a maximum.) For students employed on campus, full-time status is dependent upon the number of hours per week that the student works. For instance, for a graduate student who is employed on campus for 20 hours per week (.50 FTE), 6 credits is considered full time. Students in their last semester who require fewer credits to complete their Program of Study may also be considered full-time. A minimum of five semesters is thus required to complete the 60-credit program; most students require three years.