Fine Arts, Master Degree


Overview


Encouraging students to develop across arts disciplines while exploring critical theory and art history

The Master of Fine Arts program at the University of Nevada, Reno is an interdisciplinary degree that incorporates a comprehensive background in the visual arts and expanded development in areas of studio specialization. The degree offers students advance coursework in art history, theory and criticism combining studio practice and rigorous academic experience to provide students the opportunity to synthesize information at a higher level while engaging in original research and the development of significant creative work.

The Master of Fine Arts degree requires 60 credit hours (three years of study); it is the terminal degree in the visual arts and thus, equivalent to terminal degrees in other fields such as the Ph.D. and Ed.D. The MFA degree is 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, graphic arts, painting, 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 Students

Prospective MFA students must present a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA from an accredited university, school or college. GRE test scores are not required. TOEFL is required for international students.

Entrance to the program is determined via review of a full application. 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 in addition to specific departmental requirements.

MFA candidates must be enrolled as full-time students (minimum nine credits per semester). Candidates must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA. 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.

Guidelines


Degree requirements

Sixty credit hours from the following:

  • Graduate Tutorial - Art 722 (required 3 credits)
  • Theory and Criticism - Art 737 (required 3 credits, may be repeated for up to 6 credits)
  • Directed Readings - Art 747 (required 3 credits, may be repeated for up to 6 credits)
  • Seminar in the Visual Arts - Art 698 (required 6 credits)
  • Graduate Intermedia - Art 642 (required 6 credits)
  • Graduate Studio Practice - Art 710 (required 24 credits)
  • Graduate Exhibition - Art 777 (required 3 credits)
  • Community Service in the Arts - Art 790 (required 3 credits, may be repeated for up to 6 credits)
  • Electives (required 3 credits, may be repeated for up to 6 credits)

MFA Committees

A list of the chosen committee members must be filed with the program graduate director by the end of the first term enrolled as a MFA student. Candidates must choose one Department of Art faculty member to serve as the MFA committee chair and advisor, two additional department faculty to serve as committee members and a fourth committee member from outside the department.

It is the responsibility of each candidate to arrange and meet committee members throughout the span of the MFA program. It is required that students meet with their committee, either as a group or individually, at least once per semester when enrolled as a MFA candidate. It is highly recommended that additional meetings be scheduled on a periodic basis. It is the responsibility of the candidate to be aware of a faculty member's inability to serve on committees during faculty or sabbatical leave; the candidate must arrange for an appropriate substitute.

Required Exhibitions (Midway Advancement to Candidacy and Thesis)

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 (Midway Progress). At the conclusion of 60 credit hours, a public solo thesis exhibition must be presented.

MFA candidates are responsible for all aspects of the progress and thesis exhibitions. This includes publicity, installation, reception, documentation, take down and clean up. The candidate's MFA committee chair and members review exhibitions, written thesis and oral examination. Full Department of Art graduate faculty consultation is required for the midway progress and thesis exhibitions.

MFA students are encouraged and free to take advantage of other exhibition opportunities on or off campus.

MFA Thesis Paper

The thesis paper must be a minimum of 4,000 words in length, excluding bibliography, and follow standard academic paper guidelines (MLA or Chicago Manual Style).

The thesis paper should place the candidates work within contemporary arts practice and theory, address antecedents and express a thorough analysis and understanding of the candidate's creative endeavors.

The style, format and content of the thesis paper should derive from close consultation with the student's MFA committee, and through course work in the MFA Seminar in Visual Arts/Art 698.

Courses


Recommended Course of Study

The following recommended course of study is intended to be flexible allowing students to focus on individual needs. It is highly advised that students plan two semesters at 12 credit hours, and four semesters at 9 credit hours, taking into consideration the time demands of their midway and thesis exhibition presentation semesters. Recommended Course of Study minimum requirements in bold; additional credit options in italics.

First Year:
Fall Semester (9 credits)
Graduate Tutorial (ART 722 - 3 credits)
Graduate Studio Practice (ART 710 - 3 credits)
Seminar in the Visual Arts (ART 698 - 3 credits)

(Establish MFA Committee)
Spring Semester (12 credits)
Graduate Studio Practice (ART 710 - 3 credits)
Graduate Inter-media Studio (ART 642 - 3 credits)
Two of the following (total 6 credits): Theory and Criticism (ART 737 - 3 credits), Community Service in the Arts (ART 790 - 3 Credits), Directed Readings (ART 747 - 3 Credits), Elective (3 credits)

Second Year:
Fall Semester (9 credits)
Graduate Studio Practice (ART 710 - 3 credits)
Seminar in the Visual Arts (ART 698 - 3 credits)
One of the following (3 credits): Community Service in the Arts (ART 790 - 3 Credits), Directed Readings (ART 747 - 3 Credits), Elective (3 credits)

(Midway Progress Exhibition - Advancement to Candidacy)
Spring Semester (12 credits)
Graduate Studio Practice (ART 710 - 3 credits)
Graduate Inter-media Studio (ART 642 - 3 credits)
Two of the following (6 credits): Theory and Criticism (ART 737 - 3 Credits), Community Service in the Arts (ART 790 - 3 Credits), Directed Readings (ART 747 - 3 Credits), Elective (3 credits)

Third Year:
Fall Semester (9 credits)
Graduate Studio Practice (ART 710 - 6 credits)
One of the following (3 credits): Directed Readings (ART 747 - 3 Credits), Elective (3 Credits)

Spring Semester (9 credits)
Graduate Studio Practice (ART 710 - 6 credits)
Graduate Exhibition (ART 777 - 3 credits)

(Written Thesis Paper and Oral Defense)

Course Descriptions

Intermedia - Art 642 (3 credits)
Emphasis on interdisciplinary issues and techniques in studio production. Prerequisites: graduate standing in art.

Seminar in Visual Arts - Art 698 (3 credits)
Critical dialogue dealing with the relationship of the student's artwork to contemporary issues. Prerequisites: graduate standing in art.

Graduate Studio Practice - Art 710 (3 credits)
Directed individual studio production with choice of medium and faculty. May be repeated. Prerequisite: graduate standing in art.

Graduate Tutorial - Art 722 (3 credits)
Individual problems in the studio with scheduled visits by all department faculty. Cannot be repeated. Prerequisite: graduate standing in art.

Theory and Criticism - Art 737 (3 credits)
Aspects of art criticism and theory, and their influence on art making in the 19th , 20th  and 21st centuries. May be repeated with change of subject up to 6 credits.

Directed Reading - Art 747 (3 credits)
Topic-based readings culminating in discussion and writing related to the development of student's artwork in preparation for MFA Thesis Project. Specifics agreed upon by student and faculty. May be repeated up to 6 credits.

Graduate Exhibition - Art 777 (3 credits)
Individual tutorial for graduate exhibition; completion of thesis paper. To be taken in final semester. May not be repeated. Prerequisite: graduate standing in art.

Community Service in the Arts - Art 790 (3 credits)
Individual, supervised volunteer experience in museum/gallery management, preparatory work, arts administration and/or arts activism. May be repeated up to 6 credits. Prerequisite: graduate standing in art.

How to Apply


APPLICATION DEADLINE: FEB. 1

Application (Part I)

Submit completed "Application for Graduate School Admission" to the University of Nevada Reno, Graduate Admissions. Required by the University of Nevada, Reno Graduate School.

Graduate School website and application:
Graduate School Website: www.unr.edu/grad
Graduate Admissions: www.unr.edu/grad/admissions

Postal Address:
Graduate School
Mail Stop 0326
University of Nevada, Reno
Reno, NV 89557

Campus Address:
Student Service Building, Room 225
Phone: (775) 784-6869 Fax: (775) 784-6064
Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m. t0 5 p.m.

Email:
Prospective student inquiries: gradadmissions@unr.edu
Current student inquiries: gradschool@unr.edu
Prospective international student inquiries: loliveto@unr.nevada.edu

Application (Part II)

Submit the following supplemental materials to the University of Nevada, Reno Department of Art. Required by the University of Nevada, Reno Department of Art.

Postal Address:
Department of Art
Mail Stop 0224
University of Nevada, Reno
Reno, NV 89557
ATTN: MFA Program

Campus Address:
Church of Fine Arts Building
Department of Art Main Office Room 209
Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Contact information for the MFA Program:
Professor Tamara Scronce - MFA Graduate Program Director
(775) 784-1733
tamaras@unr.edu

Required Supplemental Materials

Letters of Recommendation: Letters of recommendation from three professional references are required. Letters can be submitted electronically through the Graduate School Application or each hard copy letter must be enclosed in a sealed envelope, signed across the seal by reference and mailed to the Department of Art along with the portfolio materials. Please include MFA applicant name on the front of the envelope. Letters must arrive with all other application materials. Please do not mail letters of recommendation separate from completed application packet.

Statement of Intent: A one-page statement of intent (type written only) is required. Introduce yourself and your work, address why you wish to pursue the MFA degree and what you wish to accomplish in the MFA program. Please include your name at the top.

Portfolio: Show examples of your work by submitting 20 digital images on CD in a PowerPoint presentation (images 72 dpi, 1024 x 768). For installation, performance, video and interactive media submit a three to five minute CD-ROM or DVD. For Web-specific artworks send URL. Please label all media.

Include a hard copy, type written numbered image inventory list to include your name, title, dimensions, date completed and specific media. May include brief descriptions where necessary.

Enclose a self-addressed-postage-paid return label for the return of your materials if so desired.



Related Degrees and Programs

Contact College of Liberal Arts

Phone (775) 784-6155
Fax (775) 784-1478
Location Ansari Business Building

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