Master of Fine Arts Program
The School of Art at Illinois State University is offering full tuition waivers and graduate assistantships for candidates in the MFA program. The School of Art has approximately twenty-five students working in a multi-disciplinary program within a large university setting. Students can emphasize one discipline or combine disciplines, including video, digital, and web-based work.
Approximately two hours south of Chicago, the School of Art offers students an excellent faculty, extensive facilities, visiting artist residencies and lectures, and individual graduate studio spaces. In addition, University Galleries' active exhibition schedule provides a critical survey of contemporary art.
Three-year program provides students with the necessary time and a supportive atmosphere to develop a mature body of work by exploring the relationship between active studio practice and rigorous intellectual inquiry. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate artistic proficiency in at least one of the following disciplines:
We are currently not accepting MFA applications in Sculpture and Metals.
Candidates will also be expected to demonstrate an ability to communicate ideas in both a written and oral manner.
A typical program for the Master of Fine Arts degree will include at least 60 semester hours of graduate work beyond the bachelor's degree. These 60 hours may be programmed as follows:
- At least 36 semester hours must be taken in the School of Art, of these at least 24 must be at the 400 level.
- At least 24 semester hours must be in the student's major studio area, of these at least 18 must be at the 400 level.
- At least 12 semester hours must be taken in art history, or nine hours may be taken in art history with three hours in related areas such as aesthetics, philosophy, or anthropology, or MFA Seminar.
- At least three hours of MFA Seminar. Taking the MFA Seminar under heading "C" does not substitute for this requirement.
- Six hours of 496 M.F.A. Exhibition and Supportive Statement. This will involve a comprehensive exhibition of studio work, an exhibition-related written project, and a comprehensive oral examination. Candidacy review must take place before a student can enroll in Art 496 or schedule the MFA exhibition and must include approval of proposal for the supportive statement.
The accumulation of 60 semester credit hours is not the primary criterion in evaluating final achievement. Instead, it is the exhibition and demonstration of the student's competency and his/her intellectual maturity and that these expectations be deemed proficient in his/her area of the arts. In view of this, a major requirement will be a comprehensive showing of the student's visual work along with a written project and an oral examination of the intellectual implications of his/her work.
Students may also participate in an experience of internship or apprenticeship. This may take the form of a guided teaching experience or work in a professional area related to the student's area of interest. (Conceivably this might involve local industry, school, etc.) The exact nature of this experience will be worked out through counseling between the major adviser and the student and will be tailored to best suit the needs of each student. This project will be subject to approval of the student's graduate committee.