College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Studio Arts
The Master of Fine Arts program in art requires a minimum of 60 s.h. of graduate credit, including approved credit earned for the M.A. in art. The degree is offered with thesis and with emphases in two of the following ten disciplines: ceramics, graphic design, 3D design, drawing, intermedia, jewelry and metal arts, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture.
M.F.A. students must hold an M.A. in art equivalent to that offered by The University of Iowa. Transfer credit is decided by faculty review. Following completion of the M.A., students may be invited into the M.F.A. Program.
The 60 s.h. of credit required for the M.F.A. includes at least 24 s.h. in a primary studio art emphasis; at least 12 s.h. in a secondary studio art emphasis selected from those listed above; and 6 s.h. in art history and theory of art (if not already taken). Students must earn 8 s.h. in their primary studio art emphasis and 4 s.h. in their secondary studio art emphasis after being granted an M.A. in art.
All students must undergo an M.F.A. committee review. They also must complete a written thesis and possibly a studio thesis. Students are reviewed by their committees at the end of the semester prior to the semester they intend to graduate.
Students are responsible for identifying a degree chair by the semester prior to the semester they intend to graduate. Committee members are selected in consultation with the degree chair by October 1 for spring or summer graduation and March 1 for fall graduation. The committee is comprised of the degree committee chair and three members of the graduate faculty at the assistant professor rank or above (two graduate faculty members from a student's major discipline, one graduate faculty member from a student's second studio discipline, and an additional member.) Adjunct faculty, lecturers, and visiting professors may serve on degree committees with approval of the degree committee chair and a Graduate College petition request (renewable every three years).
M.F.A. students sign up for review through the graduate program coordinator. They obtain a form to be signed by both the degree committee members and a faculty member in the second emphasis studio discipline. These forms must be returned to the office no later than the University's official midterm day by 4:30 p.m.
Students leave five images of M.F.A. work for the Graduate Archive.
A thesis abstract is given to all degree committee members and is due by September 15 for May or August graduation and by February 15 for December graduation. The thesis chair is responsible for meeting with the student immediately thereafter to direct thesis content and to coordinate meeting with the full committee.
A copy of the thesis is due to all committee members at least one month before the M.F.A. exhibition to be read in its final form prior to thesis defense. The thesis must be as complete as possible including photocopies (may be black and white) of approved figures that will be included in the final thesis. The graduate program coordinator will provide a student with complete thesis/artist statement procedures, including the Graduate College calendar.
A thesis defense of the M.F.A. work must be scheduled with the candidate's committee during the final semester in residence. The M.F.A. exhibition is the final examination and where the degree committee signs the final examination report.
The complete thesis in final form must be given to all committee members at least four weeks prior to the exhibition week. Graduate College regulations covering the specific requirements of the written thesis are found on the Graduate College Thesis and Dissertation website.
The thesis must be submitted by the Graduate College deadline. Committee members receive an email that provides a link to the finalized (post-format review) thesis and prompts them to verify the manuscript electronically; committee verification happens after the Graduate College format review. Any corrections to the thesis required by the graduate examiner or the degree committee should be completed immediately.
M.F.A. students may earn 1 s.h. for writing a technical or substantial thesis by registering for ARTS:7000 M.F.A. Written Thesis, with approval of the thesis supervisor. Thesis credit earned in an M.A. program is not applicable toward M.F.A. requirements.
MA/MFA Degree Requirement Worksheet
M.F.A. + Certificate in Book Arts/Book Studies
Studio Art M.A./M.F.A. students may wish to also earn the 18 s.h. graduate certificate in book arts/book studies offered by the UI Center for the Book. At the Center students have the opportunity to take classes in bookbinding, calligraphy, letterpress printing and papermaking in addition to courses concerned with the impact of the book on society and culture and the analysis and description of historical book artifacts and contemporary artists books.
Students must apply to both programs. If accepted they will be advised and will matriculate through both programs independently. Many, if not all of the 18 s.h. of elective credits required for the SAAH M.F.A. may be earned as coursework required for the UICB certificate. Thus it is possible to earn both credentials in the same amount of time required for the SAAH M.F.A. alone by pursuing this option.
MFA Catalog of Graduate Work:
MFA 2020 Catalog