Program Description

The 30-unit M.A. in Art option in Visual Arts emphasizes the experience and value of visual thinking and creative problem solving in art, as well as recognizing the concurrent importance of critical thinking, experimentation, innovation and perception. Graduate students must understand the history and traditions of art and their cultural, political and social relevance. They are encouraged to utilize and interact with the services, facilities and technologies offered throughout the University, as well as those provided by the Department of Art and Design. The program has areas of concentration in Ceramics, Drawing, Illustration, Painting, Photography/Video, Printmaking, and Sculpture.

Program Requirements

Selection for admission into the M.A. program is conducted by the Visual Arts Graduate Committee. Applications and required materials for Spring matriculation are due the first Friday in October, while those for Fall matriculation are due the first Monday in February. Students are encouraged to contact the Visual Arts graduate coordinator as well as the faculty member(s) in their area(s) of concentration for more information.

A. Entrance Requirements

  1. A bachelor’s degree in Art from an accredited institution or a bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 24 units of upper division Art, with 12 of those units in one area of concentration, or the equivalency as determined by the appropriate department graduate committee.
  2. An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  3. Students who do not meet the undergraduate GPA of 3.0 must complete ART 611 or ART 615 with a minimum grade of “B.”

B. Requirements for Classified Graduate Status

  1. Students must have their portfolio evaluated and approved by the Visual Arts Graduate Committee. If the student’s portfolio is not accepted, two additional submissions are allowed.
  2. Students whose undergraduate GPA was below 3.0 must have fulfilled all in-lieu requirements (see section A. Entrance Requirements, above).

C. Requirements for the Degree

  1. Select a graduate advisor and graduate committee.
  2. Complete the Program for Master of Arts form with the approval of a graduate advisor.
  3. Meet at least once a semester with the graduate committee to demonstrate satisfactory progress toward the degree.
  4. Complete a minimum of 30 units of approved graduate work comprised of the following:

(Approved student programs shall include a minimum of 21 units of graduate coursework at the 500- and 600-level.)

1. Required Courses (6 units)

ART 611 History and Philosophy of Art (3)
ART 615 Art Analysis and Criticism (3)

2. Studio Problems (6 units)

Select from the following:

ART 520 Studio Problems: Video/Digital Art (3-3-3-3)
ART 521 Studio Problems: Painting (3-3-3-3)
ART 522 Studio Problems: Illustration (3-3)
ART 524 Studio Problems: Drawing (3-3-3-3)
ART 525 Studio Problems: Printmaking (3-3-3-3)
ART 535 Studio Problems: Sculpture (3-3-3-3)
ART 544 Studio Problems: Graphic Design (3-3-3-3)
ART 550 Studio Problems: Photography (3-3-3-3)
ART 560 Studio Problems in Ceramics Design (3-3-3-3)

3. Advanced Studio Problems (6 units)

Select from the following:

ART 620 Advanced Studio Problems: Video/Digital Art (3-3-3-3)
ART 621 Advanced Studio Problems: Painting (3-3-3-3)
ART 622 Advanced Studio Problems: Illustration (3-3)
ART 624 Advanced Studio Problems: Drawing (3-3-3-3)
ART 625 Advanced Studio Problems: Printmaking (3-3-3-3)
ART 635 Advanced Studio Problems: Sculpture (3-3-3-3)
ART 644 Advanced Studio Problems: Graphic Design (3-3-3-3)
ART 650 Advanced Studio Problems: Photography (3-3-3-3)
ART 660 Advanced Studio Problems in Ceramics Design (3-3-3-3)

4. Courses in Related and/or Outside Field (9 units)

These are to be selected, with the approval of a graduate advisor, from 400-, 500- and 600-level courses in art or related fields.

5. Culminating Experience (3 units)

ART 698D Graduate Project (3)

6. Oral examination by the appropriate departmental graduate committee.

Total Units Required for the M.A. Degree: 30


Department of Art and Design
Chair: Samantha Fields
Art and Design Center (ADC) 120
(818) 677-2242

Graduate Coordinator: Lesley Krane
(818) 677-2242

Program Learning Outcomes

Students receiving a Master of Arts in Art will be able to:

  1. Acquire advanced knowledge and skills in various art media, concepts and methodologies.
  2. Produce an advanced body of individual and collaborative work suitable for a master of arts degree for the local, national and global marketplace.
  3. Solve visual problems at an advanced level, including understanding/application of the elements of art and principles of design.
  4. Utilize and apply critical-thinking skills to communicate ideas for their intended audience at an advanced level in visual, oral and written formats.
  5. Acquire historical and contemporary knowledge of diverse cultural and aesthetic contexts, including political, visual and material culture.