Master of Fine Arts in Visual Art (Full Residency)

Program overview

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

The Master of Fine Arts program in Visual Art 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 advanced 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 program provides students with a great deal of one-on-one engagement with our excellent professional faculty. Each graduate student receives an ample private graduate studio space with 24-hour access and approved access to the art studio laboratories.

We also offer a robust visiting artist program where students have individual studio visits with domestic and international professional artists. Our three-year program includes approximately 10 students in total.


Students have opportunities to take an intensive ten-day residency course for credit as an elective, offered by the low-residency program as an option each winter and summer in beautiful Lake Tahoe. Students stay in a dorm room for the ten days. (dorm and meal fees are not included in the tuition, and students are responsible to pay these fees which are currently $650.)

The Master of Fine Arts degree requires 60 credit hours; 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: book and publication arts, ceramics, digital media, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and video. The studio program is supported by a strong emphasis on 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 redefine 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.


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