Skip to Content

MFA Curriculum

Stephanie Brown 0808

MFA Degree Requirements

MFA students complete 15 credits of coursework per semester for a total of 60 credits at the completion of the two-year program. In addition, all students are required to have a three to five week International Project during the summer between their first and second year.

The curriculum is designed to accommodate a range of art practices, from studio-based inquiry to more scholarly, research-focused work.

MFA Critiques: 12 credits

Students participate in weekly critique groups to develop rigor in their ability to see, describe, assess, understand, contextualize and discuss their own work and the work of their peers. MFA students will be assigned to a critique group that will meet once a week for two hours with three or four faculty members. Two students will present their work at each session and each student will have the opportunity to present their new work once during the first half of the semester and again during the second half of the semester.

Directed / Thesis Studio Courses: 24 credits

Directed Studios are the core of the MFA program. Each semester, students engage in at least six credit hours of intense exploration, research, production, and critique of their individual creative work, in close collaboration with their Stamps faculty advisors.

Seminars: 6 credits

Every semester, students participate in graduate Seminars, including seminars in Research Methods” and Professional Practice” and other topics related to contemporary art practice.

Elective Courses: 9 credits

Students choose Elective courses to meet their individual MFA curriculum goals: they can pursue additional studio courses to emphasize making” and studio practice, or select academic courses to achieve a hybrid maker/​scholar” focus (learn more about these tracks below).

History/​Theory/​Criticism Courses (HTC) 6 credits

MFA students take six credits of History/​Theory/​Criticism, choosing courses to support their field of inquiry. These classes may be offered by Stamps School, History of Art, or other units across the university.

International Project: 3 credits

MFA students are required to participate in a Stamps School-approved international experience. The School supports a three- to five-week international experience for all MFA students during the summer between their first and second year. The experience will culminate with a project that will be shared with the Stamps community. Read more

Total Credits Required: 60 credits

IMG 3935

Sample Plan of Study

  • Year 1: Fall
    • Research Methods: 3 credits
    • Art Theory Seminar: 3 credits
    • MFA Critique: 3 credits
    • Directed Studio: 6 credits
  • Year 1: Winter
    • Directed Studio: 6 credits
    • MFA Critique: 3 credits
    • History / Theory / Criticism: 3 credits
    • University Elective: 3 credits
  • Summer
    • International Project: 3 credits
  • Year 2: Fall
    • Professional Practice: 3 credits
    • MFA Critique: 3 credits
    • Thesis Studio: 6 credits
    • University Elective: 3 credits
  • Year 2: Winter
    • MFA Critique: 3 credits
    • Thesis Studio: 6 credits
    • University Elective: 3 credits