Visual Arts


Degrees Offered


Clemson’s Master of Fine Arts in Visual Arts is the terminal degree within the studio art discipline. Our program offers concentrations in the studio areas of drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, photography/digital and sculpture. The primary goal of the program is to provide students with opportunities to develop a high degree of professional competence in their chosen area of concentration. Interdisciplinary and collaborative projects are encouraged within the department. The relatively small size of the program (12 to 20 students) encourages students to explore studio areas that will enhance their major area of concentration. In addition, it creates a highly individualized method of instruction. Our students may also take advantage of the opportunity to spend a semester of study abroad in Genoa, Italy, at the University’s Charles E. Daniel Center for Building Research and Urban Studies.

Having the Department of Art housed in CAAH presents opportunities to interact with various other college disciplines. 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. Tuition waivers and departmental assistantships are available for exceptional applicants. Financial support available to assist students who choose to spend a semester at our overseas center in Geona, Italy.


More information can be found in this graduate handbook.



Artists require highly specialized work space and equipment. Studios in each of the art disciplines offer specifically designed space and technical equipment. You will have a studio area with 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week access. In addition, you will have access to very well-equipped studios for ceramics, painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, photography and digital arts as well as a state-of-the-art wood-working shop. Specialized equipment includes a 5’ x 8’ printmaking press, a hill-climbing Japanese-style Anagama wood kiln for ceramics, foundry facilities for metal casting and the latest available technologies in digital photography.

The Gunnin Architecture Library of 28,000 volumes, 80,000 images and 258 current periodical titles contributes greatly to study and research pursuits. It boasts a fine collection that is especially strong in twentieth century painting. The art library is conveniently located adjacent to studio facilities, lecture halls and the gallery.

The Lee Art Gallery is a significant educational facility. A full-time director and staff organize regional, national and international exhibitions. The "Thresholds" exhibition curated by internationally renowned art critic Eleanor Heartney was recently held at the gallery. In addition, the Department of Art has a small gallery space operated by the students for flexible short-term exhibitions and experimental works.

The architecture-based Daniel Center in Genoa, Italy, has served as a model for off-campus education for over 25 years. While other American schools rent space or participate in programs run by host universities abroad, Clemson owns a facility and runs its own independent program. The center serves as a studio and home base for travel throughout Europe. Now in its third decade of operations, the Daniel Center has served over 800 alumni whose education was enriched by the European experience.

Our Students

Approximately two-thirds of our graduates are employed in positions relative to the art field. Graduates are most frequently employed by educational institutions, museums, galleries, state and local arts commissions and industry. Other Clemson art alumni continue to make and exhibit their artwork regionally and nationally as self-employed studio artists.


Application Information

Faculty in the Department of Art seek applicants who are dedicated to pursuing studio art practice as a profession. This may be evidenced in the portfolio and letter of intent submitted in the application process. A paramount issue in your acceptance is your willingness to engage in new avenues of research presently unfamiliar to you as a means to test and ultimately enhance your strengths and abilities. You may apply on the web at Applications should be received no later than five weeks prior to registration. Every required item in support of your application must be on file by that date.

For more information in regards to fellowships, deadlines, etc, click here

Required Documents


Tuition waivers and departmental assistantships are available for exceptional applicants. If given an assistantship, and you demonstrate outstanding performance, or contribute to the department in its overall goals and mission for excellence, you may further be awarded a performance fellowship in addition to the departmental assistantship.

Additional aid and student loans may be solicited through the financial aid office.



Program Contact(s)

Program Coordinator(s)