Program: M.F.A., Art

Visual Arts Option

Program Description

The 60-unit M.F.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.F.A. program is conducted by the Visual Arts Graduate Committee. Applications and required materials 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. Requirements for Classified Graduate Status

Students must meet all classified graduate status requirements in order to enter the program.

  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, or the equivalency, as determined by the Visual Arts Graduate Committee.
  2. Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. Students who do not meet the undergraduate GPA of 3.0 must complete ART 611 or ART 615 with a minimum grade of “B.”
  3. Completion of 18 advisor-approved units of upper division and/or graduate coursework in the proposed emphasized area of concentration.
  4. Completion of a minimum of 12 units of art history, 6 units of which must be upper division.
  5. Successful completion of a Qualifying Portfolio Evaluation approved by the Visual Arts Graduate Committee, with emphasis in the proposed area(s) of concentration, a Statement of Intent and a resume submitted with the portfolio.
  6. Pass a personal screening interview conducted by the Visual Arts Graduate Committee.

B. Classified Student Requirements

  1. Select a graduate advisor and graduate committee.
  2. Complete the Program for Master of Fine 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 advancement to candidacy.
  4. Completion of a minimum total of 60 units of graduate work in approved graduate courses.

C. Department Graduate Level Courses

Visual Arts (39 units*)

Ceramics, Drawing, Illustration, Photography/Video, Printmaking, Sculpture
  1. All student programs must emphasize one to three area(s) of concentration.
  2. The student’s graduate advisor must be from one of the selected area(s) of concentration.
  3. All units taken from the program must be approved by a graduate advisor.
  4. A minimum of 12 units must be from the area(s) of concentration specifically emphasized in the student’s department application. Students wishing to change their emphasized area of concentration must obtain permission from a graduate advisor in that area of concentration.

*39-unit total includes 3 units of ART 698D Graduate Project.

A minimum of 36 units must be completed in one to three areas of specialization(s).

1. Required Courses (9 units)

ART 611 History and Philosophy of Art (3)
ART 615 Art Analysis and Criticism (3)
ART 691A-Z M.F.A. Seminar (3)**

2. Studio Problems (18 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)
ART 599 Independent Study (3)

3. Advanced Studio Problems (18 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)

**3 units required; repeatable as an elective for a total of 12 units.

4. Electives (12 units)

All elective courses must be selected in consultation with a graduate advisor.

Select from the following:

ART 400-699C Elective Courses in Art (3-3)
ART 691A-Z M.F.A. Seminar (3)
ART 696C Graduate Directed Research (3)

Additional elective courses outside the area(s) of concentration may be selected with graduate advisor approval. Students may take 400-level courses outside their area(s) of concentration with graduate advisor approval. No new elective courses are needed for implementation.

3 units required; repeatable as an elective for a total of 12 units.

5. Culminating Experience (3 units)

ART 698D Graduate Project (3)

D. MFA Advancement to Candidacy

  1. Advancement to candidacy takes place when the required preparatory coursework is completed and the student is prepared to advance to the final Graduate Project phase of the degree requirements.
  2. Prerequisites for advancement to candidacy are:
    1. Successful completion of evaluations each semester.
    2. Classified graduate standing with a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher in all work undertaken for the program.
    3. The removal of any incompletes or completion of satisfactory progress (SP) grades.
    4. Successful completion of the Advancement to Candidacy Portfolio Evaluation approved by the graduate committee.
    5. Department approval of the Advancement to Candidacy Proposal prior to registration for ART 698D Graduate Project.

E. MFA Transfer and Residency Policy

  1. The Visual Arts Graduate Committee approves all transfer credits.
  2. Only courses in which the student receives a minimum grade of “B” may be transferred.
  3. Only courses completed in the last 7 years may apply to the degree.
  4. MFA candidates must complete a minimum residency consisting of 18 graduate units in their designated area(s) of concentration.

Total Units Required for the M.F.A. Degree: 60


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 Fine Arts in Art will be able to:

  1. Acquire academic and professional knowledge and skills in various art media, concepts and methodologies.
  2. Produce an academic and professional body of individual and collaborative work suitable for a master of fine arts degree for the local, national and global marketplace.
  3. Solve visual problems at academic and professional levels, 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 academic and professional 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.