MFA Programs

Graduate and Professional Study of the Arts

Each departmental major provides the foundation for graduate study in the corresponding field. Students should consult the departmental programs listed under “Courses of Instruction” for requirements, and for special advice regarding preparation for graduate study. Students should also consult with the appropriate departmental chairman or the special faculty advisors as early as possible in their college careers to make certain they have taken all the necessary factors into consideration. Faculty members have gone through this process themselves and so have a particularly focused insight.

Therefore, students interested in graduate studies in art or architecture should meet with faculty with whom they have completed advanced work in the areas they wish to pursue. Their counsel and that of the Department Advisors can help the student narrow the search of programs that would best match the student’s needs. Students should also consult alumni who have pursued careers in these fields, and you can do that by tapping into the Alumni Career Network.  Finally, students may schedule a visit to the Career Center to meet with Anthony Pernell-McGee to discuss the many alternatives available to them.

The specific requirements of all art and architecture schools offering Master of Arts and/or Master of Fine Arts is available from their online resource.  You may also find the information compiled by the Association in Arts Administration Education useful.  The mission of the AAAE “is to represent college and university graduate and undergraduate programs in arts administration, encompassing training in the management of visual, performing, literary, media, cultural and arts service organizations.”

The College Art Association (CAA) has written:

“Admission to (graduate) programs should be based on the nature, extent, and quality of undergraduate preparation, including courses in studio, art history, and other academic subjects. Quality of studio preparation can best be judged on the basis of careful evaluation of work done at the undergraduate level; therefore, a portfolio review (usually represented by slides) is regarded as an absolute necessity in the admission process.

While many institutions consider the BFA to be the standard qualifying degree, the fact that the applicant has attended a BA- or BS-granting institution does not necessarily rule out acceptance in most MFA programs. Whatever the undergraduate degree, most entering graduate students tend not to be completely prepared in one or more of the areas cited above and will require remedial make-up work…

Some institutions use the MA degree as a qualifying prerequisite for final acceptance into MFA candidacy, allowing the student to apply the earned credits toward the higher degree.”