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The Master of Fine Arts program at the University of Nevada, Reno is an interdisciplinary professional degree that incorporates a comprehensive background in the fine arts as well as advanced development in areas of studio specialization. The degree offers students advanced coursework in art history, critical theory and practiced criticism, combining studio and academic experience to provide students the opportunity to synthesize information at a higher level while engaging in original research and the development of a significant body of creative work.
The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree is the terminal degree in the Visual Arts and thus, equivalent to terminal degrees in other fields such as the Ph.D.. and EdD. The MFA degree is now considered the national standard required criterion for students expecting to compete as professional artists and/or teach at the college level.
The Department of Art offers study in the areas of two- and three-dimensional art selected from but not limited to the following: ceramics, digital-media, drawing, painting, performance, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and video. The studio program is supported by a strong emphasis in the areas of contemporary art, theory and criticism.
The MFA degree program's interdisciplinary objective is to ensure that students are not bound by a single discipline or particular medium, providing the opportunity and encouragement to explore new possibilities in the search for the most effective visual format for the expression of their ideas. Students will be expected to re-define boundaries of traditional media and to incorporate materials from art history, theory, criticism, and other academic disciplines of their choice. Equal emphasis is placed upon the creation of artwork and its intellectual, conceptual, and social contexts.
Prospective MFA students must present a Bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 grade-point average from an accredited university, school, or college. Test scores are not required.
Entrance to the program is determined via a review of a full application. Application information is available here. Detailed attention will be given to portfolio materials. Department faculty will conduct the application and portfolio review. Students pursuing the Master of Fine Arts degree must satisfy all graduate school requirements and specific departmental requirements.
The degree requires sixty credit hours (three years of study). An MFA candidate must be enrolled as a full-time student (minimum 9 credits per semester). Candidates must maintain a minimum 3.0 grade-point average. The MFA program requires a public exhibition of a cohesive body of work after 30 credit hours to confirm the student's eligibility for advancement to MFA candidacy. At the conclusion of 60 credit hours a public solo thesis exhibition created, curated, installed and publicized by the candidate must be presented. A formal written thesis, and oral examination are required at the time of the thesis exhibition.