MFA in Studio Art and Design

The Hite Art Institute is pleased to announce a new MFA program in Studio Art and Design. The program is highly selective in order to allow students generous access to faculty and studios. MFA students will receive individual attention and be challenged aesthetically and conceptually. Each student admitted to the program will be considered for either a scholarship or an assistantship (separate department funding application not required).

The 60-credit MFA is rigorous and professional. Drawing from the diverse expertise of an outstanding faculty, students in the MFA 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, book arts, interior design, and new media.

Students in the MFA program will interact with Louisvilles wider arts community by participating in the university's collaboration with local and regional museums and cultural institutions. Joint projects and internship programs with these organizations strengthen ties between the university and the community and give students unique opportunities to participate in civic life.

Residing within the College of Arts & Sciences, the MFA program intends to train students in a multidisciplinary curriculum and challenge them to develop their creative practice in relation to cultural, social, philosophical and ethical concerns. This broad perspective on art and social roles will prepare new MFA students to function effectively and meaningfully in the multicultural and global economy.


The MFA program requires a minimum total of 60 credits (31 of which must be at the 600 level):

Studio art36 credits
Art history, aesthetics and cultural studies12 credits
Electives3 credits
Graduate Seminar (first semester)1 credit
M.F.A. Seminar (three semesters, 1 credit each)3 credits
Professional Internships or Service Learning
(two semesters, 1 credit each)
2 credits
M.F.A. Thesis Project3 credits
Total 60 credits
  1. Upon entering the MFA 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 MFA 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 MFA Review will be reevaluated in the following semester. Students who receive two unsatisfactory evaluations will be recommended for dismissal.
  3. After successfully passing the MFA 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 MFA 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).

For admission and scholarship information contact Theresa Berbet at