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MFA Curriculum

The M.F.A. curriculum is composed of 60 credits with 15 in art history and art seminar, 30 in studio and 15 in thesis. The thesis hours are primarily art studio in preparation for a final exhibition with written documentation. For more information, see the MFA Handbook.

Degree Requirements

The prospective candidate must have a review of his/her work at the end of each semester. It will be determined at this time if the student should continue or whether additional study is required at either the undergraduate or graduate level.


The candidate must complete 30 hours and a full time residency during the second year of study.

A minimum of 45 credit hours with a B average or better in the student’s professional curriculum, including 36 hours of ART 6000 and 8000 level studio courses and nine hours of A A H 6000 and 8000 level Art History courses.


Upon completion of 30 hours, the candidate must pass an oral review to determine readiness for thesis work. A Graduate Thesis Committee will be assigned at this time to assist the thesis development and concluding thesis exhibition.

The thesis is a 15 credit hour course of study culminating in the exhibition of the work in a professional context along with satisfactory completion of a written documentary of the thesis exhibition and an oral examination by the graduate faculty.

Sample Schedule

The following curriculum is an example for a two-year model of completing the MFA degree. In that students progress at their own rate, it is possible to extend their study an extra semester requiring less hours per semester. It is critical for both the student and major advisor to be in consultative agreement regarding appropriate credit load.

First Semester

ART 8050 Visual Arts Seminar I 3
ART 8500 Studio (Major Area) 3-6
ART 8510 Studio (Second Area) 3
AAH 6300 20th Century Art History I 3
Total credits   12-15

Second Semester

ART 8060 Visual Arts Seminar II 3
ART 8510* Studio (Second Area) 3
ART 8700 Studio (Major Area) 6
AAH 6320 20th Century Art History II 3
Total credits   15

* Advanced Studio Options - ART 6050 Drawing, ART 6070 Painting, ART 6090 Sculpture, ART 6110 Printmaking, ART 6130 Photography, ART 6170 Ceramics.

Second Year Schedule

In the second year the primary focus is on the creation of thesis work and manuscript. Upon completion of 30 credit hours the student, if ready, is encouraged to present work for the 30-hour review. This is a presentation of proposed thesis work, its concept, its basis, and medium in which it will be accomplished. Upon successful completion of this review, the student will be allowed to sign up for Art 8900 thesis hours. An initial three hours is taken to start work on the written manuscript, which is usually followed in the last semester with 12 hours of ART 8900 for a total of 15 thesis hours. Three additional credits of Art History are also required during this second year. This is usually taken as a directed studies course (AAH 6110) within the student's specific discipline.

Third Semester

ART 8710 Studio (Major Area) 3 (3-6 total)
ART 8800 Studio (Major Area) 3 (3-15 total)
ART 8910 Thesis 3
AAH 6110 Directed Studies 3
Total credits   12-15

Fourth Semester

ART 8910 Thesis 12
ART 8800 Studio (Major Area) 3 (3-15 total)
Total credits   15