Graduate Program in Studio Arts

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Oliver Herring & graduate students Ben Wills and LaMar Barber
Oliver Herring, visiting artist in Sculpture, with graduate students Ben Wills and LaMar Barber.

The University of Iowa’s School of Art & Art History Graduate Program in Studio Art focuses on the development of professional visual artists and ranks in the top ten graduate art programs at public universities by U.S. News & World Report. Among public universities, the Printmaking Area ranks #3, Painting & Drawing Area ranks #6, and the overall M.F.A. program ranks #9.

M.A. and M.F.A. degrees are offered in ten programs: Painting & Drawing, Printmaking, Ceramics, Jewelry & Metal Arts, Sculpture, 3D-Design, Graphic Design, Intermedia, and Photography.

Through workshops, teaching opportunities and interactions with artists, writers, and curators, the program provides a framework for independent methods of artistic development. In addition to courses within the School of Art & Art History, graduate students are encouraged to pursue research throughout the university from an extensive selection of courses offered.

Iowa's studio art graduates enjoy success as practicing professional artists, professors of art, teachers, museum directors and curators, theater designers, and commercial designers. In recent years, graduates of the M.F.A. program have received Guggenheim Fellowships and The Rome Prize, shown in national and international exhibitions, and secured faculty positions at institutions of higher learning.

Financial Aid

Significant scholarships, fellowships, teaching and research assistantships are available for qualified graduate students throughout the three years of the M.A. and M.F.A. program. Teaching assistants teach their own undergraduate courses. The Iowa Arts Fellowship, (approximately $18,500, plus academic year tuition scholarship) is a two-year fellowship, renewable in the second year contingent upon demonstrated exceptional progress toward completion of the M.F.A. degree.

Selected Past Visiting Artists

Nayland Blake, The Eyebeam Roadshow, Michelle Grabner, Diana Al-Hadid, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Josh MacPhee, Mary Heilmann, Oliver Herring, Dave Hickey, Michael Krueger, Kerry James Marshall, Michael Jones McKean, Richard Notkin, Tom Nozkowski, Bryan Peterson, Marni Shindelman, James Siena, John Simon Jr., Robert Storr


The award-winning Art Building West was designed by New York architect Steven Holl. The building opened in 2006 and houses Studio and Art History classrooms, the Art Library, and administrative offices. Steven Holl Architects has also won the commission for the new Visual Arts Building which opened in 2016. Designed to facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration, it is the most up-to-date visual arts facility in the U.S. The site is directly adjacent to Art Building West.

Graduate Program Coordinator
Laura Jorgensen