Graduate Studies

Master of Fine Arts

The MFA in Studio Art is a comprehensive 3-year program designed to guide students toward expertise in studio art practices, aesthetics and scholarly inquiry while expanding proficiency in art history, criticism and theory. In addition, students have the opportunity to acquire experience in classroom instruction and pedagogy and gallery practices.

This 60 credit-hour program culminates with the successful production of a graduating thesis project including a solo exhibition, accompanying written thesis and oral defense.

The MFA is a distinguished terminal degree that prepares students to excel as professional practicing artists in a global context and careers in higher education. 

Painting in Studio
Painting in Studio

Graduates of the MFA in Studio Art program will demonstrate:

  • superior studio art proficiencies and knowledge of studio procedures
  • a depth of understanding  of art history and criticism necessary to afford them the ability to function as studio artists and /or educators
  • their full comprehension of advanced principles and processes in a solo MFA final thesis exhibition of their work

Admission Requirements

In addition to meeting university criteria for admission to graduate studies, an applicant must meet the following requirements for admission to the MFA program:

  • Earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree or an earned graduate degree in art from an institution accredited by one of the six regional accrediting associations.
  • Earned at least 15 hours of upper-level Studio Art.
  • Provide a CD-R (no DVD or CD-RW discs) of .jpg image files (at least 150 dpi) of applicants art work.
  • Submit a typed essay (300-500 words) written by the applicant, explaining the applicant's interest and objectives in graduate studies.
  • Provide three letters of recommendation from faculty or other persons familiar with the applicant's interest and ability in art.

Application Deadlines:

Applying for U.S. Applicants International Applicants
Fall Semester February 1 February 1

Degree Plan

Course Requirements
Students must complete 60 hours in art with a 3.0 average.  No more than 2 grades of "C" earned at this university will be accepted as credit for this degree. 

  • Ten courses in area of concentration (30 semester hours)
  • One course in Art Seminar (3 semester hours)
  • Four courses of designated electives in Art History and Criticism (12 semester hours)
  • Three courses of studio electives (9 semester hours) 
  • MFA Exhibit (6 semester hours)

Downloadable Documents:

Graduate Student Handbook
Graduate Information Packet
MFA Exhibition Proposal

Graduate Studio Contract
Faculty Studio Visits


Already a student in the program and can’t find what you need? You can call us at 361-825-2317.

Graduate Studies Footer

For More Information:
Ryan O’Malley •  Graduate Coordinator  ::  Rachelle Stanley  •  College of Liberal Arts Graduate Advisor