Studio Art Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

The MFA program in the James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History is a multidisciplinary program where students pursue a wide range of media in an intensive studio environment. Students will have the ability to work deeply within one discipline or more broadly across media. Students develop critical capacities to advance their practice-based research and situate their work within larger cultural contexts.

Students in the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree major in Art and can focus in an area of concentration. The MFA is a 60-credit hour program. It requires full-time enrollment and is completed in 3 years.
We support research and studio work in the following disciplines: 

  • Ceramics
  • Digital Art
  • Drawing
  • Fashion Design
  • Fibers
  • Graphic Design
  • Industrial Design
  • Interior Design
  • Metalsmithing
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture


For students commencing studies in Fall 2021 or later. A details curriculum overview and list of courses can be found in the University Graduate Bulletin. Students who commenced before Fall 2021 should consult the Handbook or the University Bulletin for the year they commenced studies.

Graduate Bulletin - Overview

Graduate Bulletin - Requirements

Graduate Handbook


All MFA students will have 3 continuing members on their graduate review committee.  This reflects the revised handbook guidelines regarding Advisors and Area Coordinators continuance on the committee. See graduate handbook for other details. The Graduate Officer in conjunction with the graduate committee can override this policy in the event of an extenuating circumstance.  

Visiting artists and critics

Each semester there are a variety of visitors in the department with opportunities for graduate studio visits, lecture, and critiques. The Studio Art MFA program invites a visiting critic to provide feedback to graduate students. Recent visiting artists and critics have included:

  • Shannon Stratton (Executive Director of Ox-Bow School or Art)
  • Helen Lee (Visual Artist)
  • Cathy Byrd (Founder and Artistic Director of Fresh Art International)
  • Jova Lynne (Visual Artist and Curator Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit)
  • Margaret Laurena Kemp (Visual Artist)
  • David Buckley Borden (Visual Artist)
  • Alison Wong (Visual Artist and Director of Wasserman Projects)
  • Kambui Olujimi (Visual Artist)
  • Sarah Rose Sharp (Visual Artist and Arts Writer)
  • Jason Yates (Visual Artist)
  • Irina Nakhova (Installation Artist)
  • Jennifer Willet (BioArtist)

Graduate Hours (ART 8994)

MFA graduate hours can be taken with any full-time faculty member.   

For clarification, the faculty conducting graduate hour credits with students do not formulate the MFA review committee. MFA review committees are initially made by the Graduate Officer based on the students declared or demonstrated intent in a discipline of study of assignment of aligned professors' practice in the case of interdisciplinary student track. After the first semester the graduate student should make a request to either switch out faculty on their committee or confirm the active members on their committee moving forward. Please see the graduate handbook for more details. Each semester it is required that graduate students take at least 2 credits with their graduate advisor.

MFA students can invite professors who are not on their review committee, but with whom they are conducting Graduate Hours, to attend their review to discuss and share contextual information about the student's progress-development. This request should come from the student. Final semester grades for Graduate Hours are independent from the review process and are based on the assessment of the work completed with the faculty member. 

Facilities and studios

Students in the MFA program have access to an array of department facilities including the department woodshop and digital fabrication studio. Through studio credits, course work, and arrangements with area coordinators student can access facilities in ceramics, digital arts, drawing, fashion design, fibers, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, metalsmithing, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture.

Each MFA student is provided a private studio in our graduate studio area. The studio area includes communal installation space, a spray booth, mini shop, and break room.

Graduate officer