The Master of Fine Arts in Visual Art is a three-year, 60 credit hour degree program emphasizing individual growth through independent work in an atmosphere of ongoing critical discussion. As a graduate student, you receive a rigorous studio and academic experience. Each week you meet with your fellow graduate students and faculty from a variety of studio areas in Graduate Seminar to participate in critiques, discussions and presentations.
Students frequently take independent studies with a number of Visual Art faculty offering a diverse and specialized learning experience. Each student receives their own studio space conducive to the creation of work in their area(s) of specialization.
Students gain teaching experience, as well as financial support, through graduate teaching assistantships that are often available. Graduate students are eligible for numerous annual scholarships given to exemplary students at all levels of study through the Department of Visual Art.
The final departmental requirements to complete thesis work are a general oral examination, an exhibition, and a thesis folio of the exhibition. The thesis folio shall include a statement written by the candidate concerning the work, which has been approved by their Thesis Committee, and a visual record of the exhibition. The department reserves the option of selecting and retaining one example of each graduate student’s work. Upon enrolling, the student automatically accepts these requirements and conditions.
Under some circumstances, graduates student may elect to be paired with a new faculty mentor. These situations may come about for varied reasons, including changes in thematic focus, need for additional expertise, departure or retirement of the faculty mentor, or incompatibility of student and mentor. Students can initiate this process at any time by contacting the Director of Graduate Studies and/or the Department Chair. Successful change in mentorship will be contingent upon the identification of an appropriate new mentor, the willingness of the prospective new mentor to assume the responsibilities and the distribution of mentoring duties among faculty. To avoid delays, the Director of Graduate Studies can act as the student’s advisor during the transition process to a new advisor. Students can also consult extra-departmental resources such as the University Ombudsman and/or Office of Multicultural Affairs who can provide support in the process. Graduate faculty members can help guide the student through the change, which can include help in identifying a new mentor, communicating with the original mentor, and assisting in the transition. If a student wishes to continue a project that was initiated with the original mentor, details of transferring the project should be worked out in consultation with the Chair, who can mediate the process with the original mentor. Proposed changes in mentorship assignments will be ultimately approved by the Director of Graduate Studies through completion of a Mentoring Agreement and must be signed by both the student and the new mentor(s).