Department of Fine Arts

Graduate Studies

Where Ideas Inform Art

Positioned in a rural setting at WSU, the Master of Fine Arts program offers unique opportunities. Graduate artists face a degree of solitude, which encourages introspection. Combined with the tutorial structure of the program, they are stimulated to consider questions such as: What does art mean to you? What does it mean to your audience? What contributions can you make to society as an artist?
These are profound questions, and the faculty is convinced that such introspection, combined with ambitious creative production, results in exceptional artists who are competitive and successful.

The Master of Fine Arts is the terminal degree for individuals wishing to pursue a career in studio art. The Department of Fine Arts offers emphases in the areas of two- or three-dimensional art selected from but not limited to the following: ceramics, drawing, digital media, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture. The studio program is supported by a strong seminar emphasis in the areas of art history, theory and criticism. The MFA degree requires 60 credit hours and serves as the entry credential to college-level teaching and/or to work as a practicing artist in the fine and applied arts.

The degree program in fine arts is not discipline bound; students are not restrained by the limits of one particular medium. They have the option, and are encouraged, to explore new possibilities in the search for the most effective visual format for the expression of their ideas.

Reflecting the philosophy that ideas inform art, the graduate program in fine arts is based on a tutorial system. Graduates sign up for meetings with several faculty members and schedule one-on-one discussions in the studio. This personal, individualized approach to serving the graduate artist is central to providing a quality experience to our students. In consort with the tutorial format, a formal progress review of each student is made by the faculty as a whole each semester.
At the end of the first year students have an exhibition in the departmental gallery (Gallery 2). The two-year program culminates in a thesis exhibition held in the Museum of Fine Art. Consistent with other advanced degree programs, a final oral examination is also required.

Teaching assistantships are available for qualified students. These provide a monthly stipend as well as a full or partial tuition waiver, depending on the award. The student is responsible for a class in his or her area of competence under the supervision of an area coordinator and assists other areas within the department. Inquire from the Graduate School about other sources of funding.

Enrichment Through Diversity

Our graduate program has provided us with the opportunity to address cultural diversity and internationalization of the department. As a result, we have worked to recruit students of diverse ethnic backgrounds and from numerous foreign countries. Our graduate student profile represents a wide range of ages and includes individuals returning to explore a second career. Such a diverse community enriches the experience of all concerned.

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Fine Arts - Office 5072, PO Box 647450, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-7450, T: 509-335-8686 or F: 509-335-7742, Contact Us