This is an archive of the 2016-2017 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit

This is an archive of the 2016-2017 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit


Program: M.F.A., Art


The Visual Arts Graduate Committee conducts selection for admission into the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program. This selection occurs once a year, with applications submitted directly to the Art department, due the the first week in February for admission the following Fall semester. Students should contact the graduate coordinator in their area of concentration for specific dates. The MFA in Art is offered in the following areas of concentration: Visual Arts Option with areas of concentration in Ceramics, Drawing, Illustration, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture and Video/Digital Art. The concentration in Graphic Design is suspended.

Program Requirements

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 do the following:
    1. Complete the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) with a departmentally accepted score.
    2. Students who do not meet the undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and do not take the GRE must fulfill the following in-lieu requirements:
      1. Submit three letters of recommendation from former professors or other persons determined by the department to be competent to evaluate the student’s potential for graduate-level performance.
      2. Submit a written philosophical statement of intention (1 to 2 pages).
      3. Complete ART 611 or 615 with a minimum grade of “B.”
      4. Pass a personal screening interview conducted by the Visual Arts Graduate Committee [or designee(s)].
  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 the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam.

B. Classified Student Requirements

  1. Select a graduate advisor and thesis committee.
  2. Complete the Program for Master of Fine Arts form with approval of graduate advisor.
  3. Meet at least once a semester with the thesis 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, Printmaking, Sculpture, Video/Digital Art

  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 Qualifying Portfolio Evaluation. Students wishing to change their emphasized area of concentration must request a graduate advisor in that area of concentration.

*39-unit total includes 3 units of ART 698 Thesis/Artistic Performance.

A minimum of 36 units must be completed from 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 (3-3-3-3)**

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

2. Department Graduate Level Courses (36 units)

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 540 Studio Problems: Design (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 588 Studio Problems in Public Art (3-3-3-3)
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 640 Advanced Studio Problems: Design (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)
ART 688 Advanced Studio Problems: Public Art (3-3-3-3)
ART 690A-Z M.F.A. Studio (3-3-3-3)***

***ART 690 MFA Studio is not a separate area of concentration. It allows continued coursework for classified MFA students in their area(s) of concentration.

3. Electives (12 units)

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

Select from the following:

ART 400-699C Elective Courses in Art (3-3)
ART 691A-Z M.F.A. Seminar (3)
ART 696A-C Graduate Directed Research (1-3)

Additional elective courses outside the area(s) of concentration may be selected with 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.

4. 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 to advancement to candidacy are:
    1. Successful completion of periodic work-in-progress evaluations.
    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 student’s thesis committee.
    5. Department approval of the Plan for Thesis Project, prior to registration for ART 698D Gradaute 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


Chair: Edward C. Alfano
Associate Chair: Magdy Rizk
Art and Design Center (ADC) 120
(818) 677-2242

Graduate Coordinator: Michelle Rozic
(818) 677-2242

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Basic Skills: Master advanced knowledge, theories and concepts about art; communicate ideas and concepts through writing, speaking and art making.
  2. Art Knowledge: Broaden the knowledge of contemporary art and the understanding of the theoretical, cultural and historical contexts of art through writing, speaking and art making on advanced levels.
  3. Critical Thinking: Master processes of generating and solving problems in art; analyze, interpret and question traditional methodologies and preconceived notions of art and art making on an advanced level.
  4. Interdisciplinary Connections: Explore and engage in interdisciplinary forms of art making.
  5. Global Perspectives: Develop an appreciation and tolerance of diverse perspectives dealing with art, culture, teaching and learning.
  6. Collaboration: Engage in both individual and collaborative art experiences among students, faculty and community.
  7. Professional Preparation: Master an understanding of what it means to be a professional artist; develop an advanced understanding of the demands and expectations of the art profession and art field.