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Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art and Design

Major: SAD_MFA
Degree Awarded: MFA
Unit: GA
Program Webpage:

Program Information

Admission Requirements

Successful applicants will have a superior academic background and a strong commitment to art. M.F.A. students are expected to have a thorough understanding of the principles of form, proficiency in various media and technical skills, as well as a fluency in language and discourse in the historic and contemporary contexts.

The minimum requirement for admission is an undergraduate degree in studio art from an accredited college or university with a minimum of 48 credit hours of undergraduate work in studio courses and 12 credit hours in art history courses. A B.F.A. in Studio Art is recommended. Applicants must have a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Applicants must present a portfolio of work which shows technical and conceptual competency and demonstrates the promise necessary to succeed.

Students who do not meet the minimum credit requirements in undergraduate level courses (such as those who have completed a B.A. rather than a B.F.A. degree) will be required to address any deficiencies by taking undergraduate courses before admitted to the program. These courses will not count toward the requirements for the M.F.A. degree. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in all coursework, including undergraduate courses taken to remove deficiencies.

Application Requirements

  1. Applicants to the M.F.A. program must fulfill the general admission requirements of the College of Arts & Sciences. To meet A&S requirements applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, and have completed an undergraduate major or the equivalent in the intended field of study.
  2. Applicants must submit a formal Application for Graduate Admission, a $60 nonrefundable application processing fee, at least two letters of recommendation specific to the program, and official transcripts of all college work to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies at the University of Louisville ( The GRE is not required for application to the M.F.A. program. However, applicants for whom English is a second language must submit official TOEFL scores. In addition, applicants must have completed a minimum of 48 credit hours of undergraduate work in studio art courses and 12 credit hours in art history courses.
  3. Applicants must submit the following additional materials directly to the Hite Art Institute, Department of Fine Arts:

a. A portfolio of 20 images that demonstrates competence in conceptual and technical skills;

b. A typed Artist’s Statement relevant to the submitted artwork of no more than 500 words;

c. A typed Statement of Intent of no more than 500 words detailing the applicant’s educational and professional goals in the field of Fine Arts;

d. A resume [no longer than two pages];

e. A completed Application for Admission for a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art and Design (this form).


The 60-credit M.F.A. curriculum is structured according to guidelines established by the College Art Association of America (CAA). The professionally compliant curriculum, rigorous admissions and evaluation standards, quality and variety of courses, and the faculty mentoring structure will ensure that students accomplish the program objectives.

The M.F.A. curriculum is rigorous and professional. The program is highly selective to allow students generous access to the excellent faculty and resources. The graduate faculty provides students with individual attention, respects students’ individual directions, and challenges students to explore new avenues of artistic discovery.

Drawing from the diverse expertise of an outstanding faculty, students in the M.F.A. program may choose to focus in one medium or explore and combine a variety of media. Courses are offered in ceramics, drawing, fibers, glass, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, graphic design, mixed media, and new media.

The M.F.A. program requires a minimum total of 60 credits (31 of which must be at the 600 level).

CoursesDescriptionsCredit Hours
 Studio Art36
ARTH 642Art history, aesthetics and cultural studies12

(a minimum of 6 hours must be Art History. ARTH 642 is required and must be taken in the first year fall semester)

ART 600Graduate Seminar (first semester)1
ART 603M.F.A. Seminar (three semesters, 1 credit each)3
ART 647Teaching Internship I1
ART 648Teaching Internship II1
 (Professional Internships or Service Learning - 2 semesters, 1 credit each) 

ART 645/646

M.F.A. Thesis Project


 Total Hours


  1. Upon entering the M.F.A. program, the student will be assigned a first-year advisor with whom they will develop a plan of study. In consultation with this advisor, the student will select courses that follow this plan. The instructor of each course will evaluate the student’s level of achievement and progress in the program. Additionally, the student’s work will be critiqued and evaluated in each of the four required seminar courses.
  2. Upon completion of the first 36 credit hours, the student will undergo an M.F.A. Review where their progress will be evaluated by the department faculty. Students who receive a favorable evaluation will be allowed to continue in the program and prepare a body of artwork for their thesis exhibition. Students who fail the M.F.A. Review will be reevaluated in the following semester. Students who receive two unsatisfactory evaluations will be recommended for dismissal.
  3. After successfully passing the M.F.A. Review, the student will be assigned a graduate studio faculty member to act as his/her mentor and serve as chair of his/her thesis committee. A minimum of two additional faculty members will serve on the thesis committee. The student will work closely with his/her mentor to develop a body of work for thesis and exhibition. During the last semester of study, the student must demonstrate artistic accomplishments through a thesis exhibition, a written thesis, and a final oral exam. The thesis committee will evaluate the student’s achievement and successful completion of the M.F.A program.

Satisfactory progress toward the degree requires successfully performing of a number of activities, including regular enrollment in graduate courses, consistent satisfaction of course requirements within given time limits, and maintenance of an appropriate grade point average (minimum 3.0).

Departmental Faculty

Ying Kit Chan, MFA

Professor and Chair

Moon-he Baik, MFA

Associate Professor

Todd Burns, MFA

Associate Professor

Kyoungmee ‘Kate” Byun, MFA

Assistant Professor

Mary Carothers, MFA

Associate Professor

Mitch Eckert, MFA

Associate Professor

Christopher Fulton, PhD

Associate Professor

Lida Gordon, MFA


James Grubola, MFA


Barbara Hanger, MFA

Associate Professor

Benjamin Hufbauer, PhD

Associate Professor

Susan Jarosi, PhD

Associate Professor

Pearlie Johnson, PhD

Associate Professor

Jongwoo Kim, PhD

Associate Professor

Delin Lai, PhD

Associate Professor

Scott Massey, MFA

Associate Professor

Gabrielle Mayer, MFA

Associate Professor

Mark Priest, MFA


Ché Rhodes, MFA

Associate Professor

Steven Skaggs, MS


John Whitesell, MFA

Contact Information

Studio Art and Design - MFA

For further information on the MFA in Studio Art & Design please contact Theresa Berbet, Academic Coordinator Senior, Hite Art Institute, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292 phone: (502)852-6147, fax: (502)852-6791

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