Graduate Requirements

MFA Degree Requirements

A total of 60 credits are required for graduation.

24 Credits Studio area of concentration
15 Credits Elective credits not restricted to courses in art
9 Credits Art History at the 600 level
3 Credits ARH 698, Seminar in Contemporary American Art
3 Credits ART 604, Seminar in Studio Art
6 Credits ART 810, Master's Thesis

Program Overview

The program is designed to take three years (i.e., six semesters, for a total of 60 credits). MFA students wishing to finish in the three-year period typically take 10 credits per semester (although a 9-credit load qualifies as “full-time study” in the Graduate School). 

Upon entry into the program, new graduate students are assigned a Supervisory Committee of three, full-time faculty members who meet with them at least twice a semester, until candidacy is awarded. Students can apply for candidacy only after they have completed 30 credits. Once candidacy is awarded, a Thesis Committee is selected by the candidate in consultation with, and approval by, his/her/their committee Chair. 

The Thesis Committee typically consists of four faculty members, one of whom must be an outside faculty member (art history faculty are considered “outside” of the studio area, though non-UM individuals can also serve in this capacity). The Thesis Committee advises the student on his/her/their preparation for the Thesis Exhibition and assists the candidate in preparing the written Thesis Document, which accompanies the physical exhibition. The Thesis Committee will also meet with the student at his/her/their Thesis Exhibition before it opens to the public, at which time the student will be asked to orally defend the Thesis work.  The student must have their committee members sign approval forms for both their Thesis Document and their Thesis Defense. Each of these signed forms must be included in the hard-copy and digital versions of the Thesis Document submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies for graduation clearance.

Each MFA Thesis Exhibition is a solo show installed at the off-campus departmental gallery in Wynwood, though students can alternatively arrange to install their works at an external location, such as a professional art space or commercial gallery that has been arranged by the student and approved by their Thesis Committee.

Graduate students who hold a Teaching Assistantship are given the opportunity to teach undergraduate art classes during their course of study, and as such, our program prepares our MFA students to thrive as professional artists, as well as highly skilled instructors.