Academic Programs

MA/MFA in Studio Art Requirements

(Looking for Undergraduate Studio Programs?)Laughing students packed into a van on a field trip.

Graduate work can be taken in ceramics, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture.

All new graduate studio art students enter the MA program. Applicants to the graduate MA program in studio art must satisfy admission policies established by the Graduate School of The University of Alabama. The Graduate School does not require the MAT or GRE for admission to the graduate program in studio art. Each studio applicant must submit a comprehensive portfolio of work directly to the Department of Art and Art History; this portfolio should include a minimum of 20 works of art in the proposed major. (Request graduate program application packet for detailed submission instructions.) It is recommended that a prospective graduate student hold a degree in art, having maintained at least a “B” average in art. Additional courses may be required of the applicant, which would make acceptance into the program conditional. Residency is required of all studio art students.

Admission to the MFA program is by recommendation of a faculty review committee, which meets at the time of the candidate’s MA thesis exhibition.

Master of Arts in Studio Art (MA)Graduate student Nasrin Iravani working on a ceramics piece for her MA exhibition, 2019. Image courtesy of the artist.

The MA degree in studio art requires completion of a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate work, including at least 6 hours in art history, 15 hours in a major studio field, 3 hours of graduate seminar, 3 hours of graduate critiques, and 3 hours of art studio electives. Candidacy for the degree is determined by a review upon the completion of 18-24 semester hours. A thesis exhibition and an oral review are required for successful completion of the program. The degree program must be completed within six years.

Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art (MFA)

All new graduate studio art students enter the MA program; admission to the MFA program is by recommendation of a faculty review committee, which meets at the time of the candidate’s MA thesis exhibition. This committee reviews the student’s progress upon the completion of a minimum of 30 graduate hours taken within the MA studio program. Hours must conform to the requirements of the MA program, representing completed coursework in studio and art history. The committee will recommend that the candidate continue within the MFA program or finalize studies at the University with a completed MA degree.

Class critiquiing work by Heather Leigh Whidden; painting by Joshua Whidden in background, in Bilateral; Memory & Experience, 2015, Sella-Granata Art Gallery.

Coursework

The MFA degree requires the completion of a minimum of 60 semester hours of graduate work, including at least 9 hours of art history, 30 hours in a major studio area, 6 hours of graduate seminar, 6 hours of graduate critiques, and 9 hours of studio art or art history electives. The degree must be completed within six years of enrollment in the MA studio program. A graduate student may select a minor studio concentration of study or choose a variety of graduate level classes offered within the art department or approved graduate-level elective courses.

Public lecture

Admission to candidacy for the MFA degree is based on the delivery of a public lecture by the candidate addressing his or her research in the making and thinking of visual art. The lecture is followed by questions from the faculty to the candidate concerning all aspects of the research presented for candidacy to continue study toward the MFA degree. Successful candidacy is achieved when the candidate has proved able to coherently and clearly defend his or her research in dialogue with the faculty. The candidate must achieve and demonstrate proficiency in technique and accomplishment in addition to personal direction in the respective area of study.

Thesis exhibition

A thesis exhibition is presented at the end of the candidate’s final term. During the exhibition, an oral examination is conducted by the student’s faculty committee. At that time the candidate defends the exhibition and his or her written artist’s statement.

Review procedureJohn Klosterman talking about his work in the Graduate Student Show

A graduate review committee is established by each graduate student. The committee must consist of no fewer than four faculty members and can have an unlimited number of approved graduate faculty. Required appointees to this committee include the department chairperson (director of graduate studies), the major area professor, an art historian, and another studio art or art history faculty member. The chairperson of the committee is the candidate’s major area professor.

Meet Our Graduate Students

Our current graduate students and their projects.

Graduate Program in Studio Art Application

View our department application guidelines and forms for application to the MA/MFA programs.

Concentrations