About Us

Graduate Study

The Master of Fine Arts in Painting & Drawing provides a balance of intensive studio experience with critical/cultural dialogue. Our program is competitive, attracting a diverse group of national and international students. There are generally eight to twelve MFAs in residence, with private studio spaces (approx. 200 sq.ft. each). Professors Arnold, Cheng, and Goodell work closely with our graduates, meeting weekly for studio visits and seminars. We provide a supportive environment for our students, and expect a high degree of commitment from them as artists, teaching assistants, and colleagues.

While graduate study is in part self directed, we believe our students thrive with exposure to a variety of viewpoints. Each semester, one faculty member teaches graduate painting/seminar and another teaches drawing or selected topics. The next term, we rotate, so MFAs have a chance to work with us all in different ways. Joint critiques are held on a periodic basis. With guidance, encouragement, and exposure to new ideas, students are challenged to expand the scope of their work and push the boundaries of the field.

Students accepted into the MFA program have an advanced level of technical and conceptual ability, an articulated individual vision, and, ideally are engaged in a dialogue with contemporary culture. Graduate work spans a broad range of subjects and approaches, from works on paper and canvas to multimedia combinations. Ideas are not limited by material definitions. Recent MFA projects have encompassed monumental scale, found or constructed objects, site-specific and performance work, electronic elements, digital imaging, and installation formats. Graduate Drawing class is a forum for idea projects as well as finished works.

Although our facilities provide privacy for working, MFAs are encouraged to share in a sense of community within the major, the Art Department, and the College. Our students have been actively involved in the Student Art Alliance (which supports field trips), our renowned Art Lecture Series, student support grants, and other goals. Cross-disciplinary activity is promoted through elective and special-topics classes, Graduate Art Seminar, the Critical Dialogues seminar, and interdisciplinary student/faculty critiques. Thesis exhibitions are held in the newly renovated Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art. Generous keycard building access, wi-fi, three computer labs, a digital fabrication lab, a wood shop nearby, and the proximity of New York City galleries and museums enhance the Painting & Drawing program of study.

Pedagogical skills may be developed through the course Internship to College Art Teaching. Graduate teaching assistantships are available in the Painting & Drawing areas and the Foundation year area. Additional graduate assistantships are possible in such areas as the wood shop, Dorsky Museum, or as a Model Coordinator/Portfolio Review Assistant. MFAs may apply for Research and Creative Project grants each year to support their studio work.

Contact the Graduate School for details and additional support options.