The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree is a full-time two-year course of study. The student is expected to complete 48 credits of studio concentration and 12 additional credits in Graduate Art Seminar, Critical Dialogues, Art in Contemporary Culture, and a 500-level Liberal Arts elective, for a total of 60 credit hours. A portion of studio credit may be taken in Selected Topics, as well as specific program offerings such as Internship to College Teaching. This three-credit class determines eligibility for consideration of a teaching assistantship and is generally taken in the first year of study. The capstone experience for MFA students is a thesis exhibition in the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art on campus.
The Metal Program is premised on the idea that contemporary metal is a rich and complex activity. While existing in a historical context of processes, forms, styles, and subjects, contemporary metal engages in a more expansive theoretical and conceptual art making dialog. Students are given the opportunity and encouraged to seek their particular voice in response to the conditions of our world. It is ultimately our objective to work with individuals who regard thinking, making, and participating as significant acts in art. The 10,000 square foot studio affords students the opportunity to work in a wide variety of traditional and innovative metal techniques, as well as allocating private, efficiently organized spaces for each student.
With an average of 12 students, representing a broad range of backgrounds and interests, the graduate metal program is one of largest in the nation. International exchange students augment the program along with prestigious visiting artists such as: Peter Bauhuis, Melanie Bilenker, Lola Brooks, Simon Cottrell, Gabriel Craig, Iris Eichenberg, Lisa Gralnick, Barbara Seidenath, Tracy Steepy, Jonathan Wahl and Andrea Wagner. We have hosted numerous writers, critics and curators, including: Glenn Adamson, Damian Skinner, Ken Ames, John Stuart Gordon, Dave Hickey, Sienna Patti, and David Levi Strauss, among others. Graduate students meet in studio and seminar classes with professors Jamie Bennett, Myra Mimlitsch-Gray and Kerianne Quick each semester.
Graduate students are active members of the Student Art Alliance (SAA) which supports additional visiting artists, travel to conferences and other creative projects. In addition, the SAA creates greater opportunity for cross-disciplinary exchange.