Michigan State University
Michigan State University
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Department of Art, Art History, and Design
Graduate


The MFA program is designed as a 60 credit program that is completed in three years. A minimum of two semesters of the final work toward the degree must be in residence during a single academic year. Although not common, some students have sought the approval from their Guidance Committee to complete the program at an advanced pace. The minimum number of years allowed is two.

We feel that flexibility is key to a successful graduate experience. Thus, our program is structured with minimal requirements allowing students to construct the path that most suits their creative research. If students are interested in taking advanced undergraduate studio art courses to further expand their knowledge, they can with the approval of their Guidance Committee. Additionally, some student seek courses outside of the Department of Art, Art History, and Design that are appropriate for their creative research. Again, with the approval of the Guidance Committee, this work can be counted towards the degree program.

Degree Requirements Breakdown

At least 30 Studio Art credits must be in the candidate's concentration.

At least two courses in Art History & Visual Culture at the 400 or 800 level.

Elective Credits. Credits in related disciplines of study outside the candidate's concentration and/or department may be taken with the approval and/or recommendation of the student's Major Professor and MFA Guidance Committee. In some cases, these credits are required in the candidate's program.

Master of Fine Arts Seminar, STA 892 (total of 6 credits needed). The student must enroll in 3 credits of Studio Art 892 during the first semester of enrollment in the program. Contemporary intellectual issues related to practice in the visual arts. Group critiques of individual scholarly work and applied research.

Master of Fine Arts Research, STA 898 (total of 6 credits needed). These credits must be completed while in residence during the final two semesters of enrollment in the program. These studio-based credits are counted as part of the 30 credits in the area of concentration. During the year of the MFA Exhibition each degree candidate should be enrolled for two semesters of STA 898 Master of Fine Arts Research for the purposes of exhibition preparation and thesis work. Enrollment for STA 898 should be determined in consultation with the Guidance Committee.

Typical Program Structure

Year 1

To learn more about first year requirements click here.

Fall Semester

STA 892, MFA Seminar (3 credits)
HA 400 level (4 credits)

Spring Semester

STA 892, MFA Seminar (3 credits) HA 400 level (4 credits)
STA 800 level (7 credits) STA 800 level (6 credits)

Year 2

To learn more about second year requirements click here.

Fall Semester
STA 892, MFA Seminar (3 credits)
HA 400 level (4 credits)

Spring Semester
STA 800 level (7 credits)
STA 800 level (6 credits)

Year 3

To learn more about third year requirements click here.

Fall Semester
STA 898, Thesis (4 credits) 
STA 898, Thesis (4 credits)

Spring Semester
STA 800 level (6 credits)
STA 800 level (6 credits)