Master of Fine Arts
An MFA consists of three curriculum components—studio courses, a studio critique seminar, and liberal arts seminars. Combined, this mentor-based program of study entitles you to an advanced degree, affording you many career opportunities in studio work, with an option in teaching.
Areas of study include: animation, comic art, drawing, filmmaking, furniture design, graphic design, illustration, painting, photography, print paper book, sculpture, and web and multimedia environments.
TOTAL MFA CREDITS: 60 credits
STUDIO CORE: 39 credits
Earned under the guidance of your mentor, this core curriculum culminates in a Thesis Exhibition prior to graduation. Studio Core contracts may include any of the following:
Independent study under the guidance of your mentor.
MFA candidates may audit any MCAD undergraduate courses that relate to their area of interest.
You must complete a research study during your course of study.
STUDIO CRITIQUE SEMINAR: 9 credits
In the Studio Seminar, you will meet in cross-disciplinary groups to discuss your studio work. These seminars offer an exciting opportunity to blur the distinctions between disciplines by facilitating a dialogue among students of all media about the content, context, intent, and meaning of their art.
LIBERAL ARTS SEMINAR: 12 credits
Theories of Art and Design:
The aim of this seminar is to give students a solid grounding in the critical concepts that inform modern and contemporary art. Topics to be addressed include the rise of "aesthetic experience," expressionism, formalism, key issues in postmodernist theory, and "relational aesthetics."
Topics in Contemporary Art and Design:
This seminar focuses on a current topic in contemporary art and design and includes readings in journals and visiting exhibitions. Special emphasis is given to points of thematic overlap between art and design. Students produce an original research paper. Topics are chosen by the instructor, and have recently included "Mistaken Identities," "Cyborgs," "Word and Image," and "The Body."
A Life in Art/Thesis Draft:
For those entering their final year of MFA work, this seminar provides an opportunity to conduct advanced research in relation to the thesis exhibition. This includes contextualizing the work, developing a thesis, and writing a first draft of the thesis paper.
Graduate Teaching Seminar
The Graduate Teaching Seminar prepares graduate students for a career in art and design education. This optional seminar has two components: a two-week intensive summer course and one semester-long teaching assistantship under the guidance of an MCAD faculty member.
During the summer seminar, MFA students study general teaching theory, course planning, resources, classroom and course management, critique methodology, and community teaching models.
For the teaching assistantship, students are paired with a full-time faculty member teaching in a related discipline area. Throughout the semester, the MFA candidate is expected to present projects, lead critiques and assist in grading. Additionally, graduate students will meet regularly to discuss their teaching experiences, share ideas and study professional practices, such as writing an effective resume and preparing for job interviews.