Art and Design

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In all of its graduate studio programs, the School of Art and Design strives to maintain a vital, creative environment in which emerging artists with strong motivation may develop, through intensive studio practice and appropriate scholarly support, a clear, mature, and professional focus to their creative life. The core of any program is the in-depth studio practice of individual studio disciplines and frequent, sustained contact with working professional faculty and fellow students. This work is supported and extended through formal studio course work, studies in the history of art, and through access to the many resources and opportunities inherent in a large multipurpose university.

Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Art

The School of Art and Design offers graduate studies leading to the Master of Fine Arts degree in Art. The student is expected to select an area of emphasis among the following: 2D (Drawing, Painting and Printmaking), Ceramics, Design, Glass, Metals (Blacksmithing and Small Metals), or Sculpture. A program will be planned in consultation with the major professor in that area. Graduates are qualified to enter professional practice as artists or the field of higher education.

Admission

An undergraduate degree in art or art education, or the equivalent in coursework or experience if the undergraduate degree is in another discipline, is required for admission into the Master of Fine Arts degree program. The student must also submit transcripts of all previous undergraduate work, present a portfolio of digital images and submit letters of recommendation.

Any exception to these requirements must be approved by the faculty in the studio arts and by the Director of the School of Art and Design.

This program requires a nonrefundable $65 application fee that must be submitted with the application for Admissions to Graduate Study in Art and Design. Applicants must pay this fee by credit card. 

Requirements

A minimum of 60 credit hours is required for the Master of Fine Arts degree in Art. All hours that are to count toward graduation must have the approval of the student’s major adviser in the studio area of emphasis. Students may emphasize the following areas in studio: drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, glass, and metalsmithing/blacksmithing. The length of time required to complete a 60 credit-hour program is usually five–six semesters or three academic years. Most graduate students are in residence for at least four-six semesters. Programs of residency must have the approval of the student’s major adviser. Required credit hours are distributed as follows: 27 credit hours in the primary studio emphasis, 9 credit hours in art history or related subjects, six credit hours in thesis or terminal project work, and 18 credit hours of elective study of which twelve credit hours must be in studio disciplines. The remaining credit hours may be elected from any area within the School of Art and Design or in the University at large.

In addition to the completion of coursework, all candidates for the M.F.A. in Art degree must, during the last semester of academic work, present a graduate exhibition, present a terminal project or a written thesis, and pass an oral examination. The terminal project is a creative activity presented in lieu of the written thesis, and in practice, the graduate exhibition is considered to satisfy the terminal project requirement.

Graduate education in the studio areas of emphasis is expensive, and because of the individual nature of creative work, it is virtually impossible to predict the exact cost for each student. The School of Art and Design provides the faculty and the studio and shop facilities that are necessary to the programs offered, but all other costs, especially materials, that are considered necessary to the successful completion of a graduate program are borne by the student.

Instructional Support Equipment Fee

The School of Art and Design assesses all graduate art majors an instructional support equipment fee of $10 per credit hour; a maximum of 12 credit hours will be charged each for fall and spring semesters and 6 credit hours for summer.       

M.F.A. in Art with a Concentration in Design

The Master of Fine Arts with a concentration in Design prepares students in the fundamentals of design research, project management, and client-based interdisciplinary design collaborations. This program will afford M.F.A. candidates with opportunities to work collaboratively with undergraduate art and design students, design faculty, and corporate sponsors in applying two and three dimensional design process theory, methods, tools, and skills in a team setting aimed at using design as an innovation change agent. This partnering will contribute to the candidates’ ability to cross boundaries of disciplines to be smarter and more creative thinkers that can result in entrepreneurial opportunities and a range of creative positions within industry. The thesis experience will include an interdisciplinary component, industry collaborator, plus development of a business plan.

Successful M.F.A. in Art candidates will have a range of career path options including, but not limited to: entrepreneurial brand/product development; product/graphic/brand design consulting; teaching at the higher education level; product-service brand management; consulting design team/project management; company design team management; design innovation management; plus hybrids of these roles. Employment opportunities may also be linked to companies sponsoring thesis projects.

A minimum of 60 credit hours is required for this Master of Fine Arts in Art degree concentration. Required credit hours are distributed as follows; 21 credit hours in primary studio emphasis, nine credit hours in art history or related subjects, nine credit hours in studio electives, nine credit hours in interdisciplinary electives, six credit hours as other electives, plus six credit hours in thesis, apportioned over two semesters.

Instructional Support Equipment Fee

The School of Art and Design assesses all graduate art majors an instructional support equipment fee of $10 per credit hour; a maximum of 12 credit hours will be charged each for fall and spring semesters and 6 credit hours for summer.       

Certificate in Art History

The graduate certificate program in Art History will enable students to develop a broad knowledge of the history of art, become familiar with the discipline’s methodology, and acquire training in teaching art history. Graduate students will be able to pursue the certificate program either independently or concurrently with an M.F.A. in Art.

Students enrolled in the certificate program must maintain a GPA of no less than 3.0 in all coursework counting towards the certificate. Maximum time allowed to complete all requirements for the certificate is six years from the date of admission to the program.

Admission

Any student who has completed a bachelor’s degree is eligible to apply for admission to the certificate program. Students enrolled in the M.F.A. in Art program may enroll concurrently in the certificate program. They must apply for admission to the program before completing the “major part” of certificate work (50 percent of credit hours, or nine credit hours of art history coursework). Students seeking admission to the certificate program will be required to complete an application form and submit transcripts verifying completion of the bachelor’s degree. An application fee of $20 will be assessed to cover administrative costs.

Program Requirements

Students enrolled in the certificate program will be required to complete 18 credit hours of graduate level art history coursework. Of these, 3 credit hours will consist of AD 537, Teaching Practicum. No independent study (AD 507 Readings in Art History) courses will count towards the certificate coursework requirements. Of the 18 art history credit hours required by the certificate program, nine credit hours can count towards requirements of another graduate degree.

Eligible elective courses:

  • AD 450A: Museum Studies-Learning in Museums
  • AD 497A, AD 497B, AD 497C, -OR- AD 497D: Research Seminar in Art History
  • AD 517: Methods and Theory of the History of Art and Visual Culture 
  • AD 597A, AD 597B, AD 597C, -OR- AD 597D: Graduate Seminar in Art History
  • CIN 460: Survey of Film History 
  • CIN 470A, CIN 470B, CIN 470C, CIN 470D, CIN 470E, CIN 470F, CIN 470G, CIN 470H, -OR- CIN 470I: Advanced Topics in Cinema Studies
  • MCMA 550: History of Media Arts and Culture 
  • MCMA 551: Theory of the Media Arts

At any time during their enrollment in the certificate program, students will be able to petition the art history faculty to take a comprehensive qualifying exam. The exam will be administered at the end of the Fall and Spring semesters on an “as needed” basis. The test will assess the students’ knowledge of art history (pre-history to present), pertinent terms and concepts, and general historical context. It will consist of three parts: slide identification, slide comparison, and a short essay section. A student will have to obtain a passing score on the exam in order to qualify for the Art History Certificate.

Instructional Support Equipment Fee

The School of Art and Design assesses all graduate art majors an instructional support equipment fee of $10 per credit hour; a maximum of 12 credit hours will be charged each for fall and spring semesters and 6 credit hours for summer.