MA in Art (Creative) and Art History: Concentration in Studio Art

MA in Art (Creative) and Art History: Concentration in Studio Art

The Masters of Arts (MA) in Fine Arts with a concentration in Studio Art provides advanced expertise in studio art. This 31 hour course of study prepares students for professional activities in their area of concentration. Students in this concentration may focus in one area, or a combination of studio areas. These areas include: ceramics, digital media, drawing, fibers, glass, photography, painting, printmaking, and sculpture.

This course of study is appropriate for students who desire an extended studio experience to elevate and enhance their level of work or build a professional folio. Elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers (P-12) can apply the graduate hours toward Rank II and Rank I Equivalency programs.

Core Curriculum (16 hours)

  • 3 hours: ARTH 642: Theories & Methods of Art History (to be taken in the first year; offered Fall only)
  • 3 hours: 500 or 600-level elective in Art History.
  • 3 hours: 500 or 600-level Fine Arts elective outside the chosen concentration. [Note: 'Outside the chosen concentration' means outside the area of concentration, i.e.: Studio majors must take a course in Art History or Curatorial Studies.]
  • 3 hours: 500 or 600-level elective outside the Department of Fine Arts.
  • 3 hours: Thesis Guidance (A final grade for Thesis Guidance is given upon completion of the thesis and its submission to the Graduate School)
  • 1 hour: ART 600: Graduate Seminar (to be taken in the first year; offered Fall only)


Beyond the core curriculum, the concentration in Studio Arts requires 15 hours of 500 and 600 level courses in Studio Art (12 hours must be at the 600-level).

Thesis Advisor

By the end of the first year, each student should have a major professor to serve as mentor and thesis advisor. The professor should be familiar with the studio area or areas of the student's intended work and be willing to accept this responsibility. The advisor serves as mentor in guiding the student through his/her course of study in the program.


The studio art thesis consists of an exhibition of creative work and a written paper. The exhibition is scheduled for the final semester of study to complete the program. Most thesis exhibitions are held in the university galleries, but these exhibitions can also be mounted in facilities off campus.

Thesis Guidance

Thesis Guidance (ART 645) is taken in the final semester of the Master's program. This 3 hour course facilitates the preparation of the thesis exhibition and the written thesis. A grade for this course is deferred until the thesis committee has approved and signed the written thesis document.

The written thesis document clearly articulates the intention of the body of work. The components of the body of work should include:

Concept: the rationale for, and content of, a body of work;

Craft: the execution and conscious choice of process and materials, with a clear understanding of material language; and finally,

Aesthetic: The organization and presentation of the body of work in a manner most appropriate to the stated thesis.

The paper is to be completed, in final draft, and submitted to the thesis committee at least one week before the oral examination. The thesis document must meet specific formal guidelines. Information on these guidelines can be found on the graduate school website.

Oral Examination

The oral exam is scheduled during the thesis exhibition.  In consultation with the advisor, the student selects a thesis reading committee that consists of the thesis advisor (major professor) and two other professors who are members of the graduate faculty.  One of these professors must be from outside the Department of Fine Arts. [Note: Please refer to the Graduate Catalog for specific and detailed information about the M.A. graduate program and the program requirements.]

Thesis Exhibition Requirements

  1. The exhibition must take place during the student's final semester of study.
  2. The student must be authorized by the Department of Fine Arts.
  3. The exhibition must be accompanied by a catalog containing a prefatory statement written by the student, a properly documented list of works in the exhibition, photographic reproductions of the works in one of the following forms: black and white photographs, color photographs, slides in plastic sleeves, or CD-ROM (to be bound into the thesis). [Note: Please see current guidelines in Graduate Catalog.]
  4. The exhibition must include a catalog, which is to be submitted in conformity with the regulations governing the form and presentation of a written M.A. thesis.

For admission and scholarship information contact Theresa Berbet at