MASTER OF FINE ARTS
The master of fine arts requires sixty (60) hours of graduate level courses. Two courses in art history (6 hours) at the graduate level are required, as is attendance in the M.F.A. seminar classes (12 hours) held each semester. The remaining courses (30 hours) are in the studio discipline and are designed to meet individual needs and interests. These are mainly of a “workshop” or “atelier” nature. All students are required to present a Thesis: a body of work demonstrating professional maturity constitutes the thesis proper. It is completed by the end of the second year and exhibited in the Department of Art galleries. In addition, an oral examination is conducted by an appointed faculty thesis committee.
The program is designed to enable mature and committed students to achieve a high degree of professional competence, both technical and conceptual, and is considered the terminal degree for the studio arts. Many candidates plan teaching careers at the college and the university level. Our program includes apprenticeship training as assistants in the undergraduate program and as instructors in the School of Continuing Studies, excellent training grounds for such goals. We believe that the development of artistic breadth, personal accomplishment and critical maturity is the best preparation for college teaching in the visual arts.
A graduate applicant is recommended for admission to the Graduate School following a review and consideration of an applicant's recent work, transcripts and letters of recommendation. The faculty is especially concerned that an applicant has attained sufficient artistic maturity to meet Graduate School standards for course work and thesis requirements within a two-year period. The first semester following admission is considered a probationary period pending a faculty review of work done during the period.
An important aspect of the program is the experience gained by working within a community of serious and involved faculty and fellow students. A studio, in which a student is expected to work, is provided each M.F.A. candidate.
Tuition waivers and teaching-assistantship stipends are awarded on a limited basis to first and second-year students. Full-time assistantship stipends are currently $13,000 per year. As a teaching assistant, a candidate contributes 12 hours a week to the department: six hours are usually in a teaching capacity and six hours assigned as facilities or other departmental duties.
Two years of full-time residence are required to complete the degree.
1. Two courses in art history (6 hours) at the graduate level are required, as is attendance in the M.F.A. seminar classes (12 hours) held each semester.
2. The remaining courses (42 hours) are in the studio discipline and are designed to meet individual needs and interests. These are mainly of a “workshop” or “atelier” nature.
Fall ARST 701: 3, 702: 6, Art History: 3, ARST 780-01: 3
Fall ARST 740: 6, 741: 6, ARST 780-03: 3
3. Thesis: A body of work demonstrating professional maturity constitutes the thesis proper. It is completed by the end of the second year and exhibited in the Department of Art galleries. In addition, an oral examination is conducted by an appointed faculty thesis committee.
It is a universally accepted fact that the ultimate truths of art, and the inner processes of the working artist, are at times not within the province of verbal thought. However, a master's degree does connote a measure of achievement in the command and presentation of ideas and their communication.
The following guidelines for oral defense of thesis are suggested
1. The candidate for the Master of Fine Arts degree should be able to discuss his or her work in relation to art in general and to the traditions of the discipline and the medium of expression.
2. The candidate should offer evidence that he or she has given serious thought to artistic involvement, its possible relevancy and its potential contribution to contemporary art.
3. The candidate should possess critical maturity in discussing the achievement of other artists beyond a statement of personal “taste.”
4. The candidate should demonstrate a clear awareness as to how one's technical concerns and concepts are relative to one's vision as an artist and not as ends in themselves.