Oct 18, 2021
MFA Degree Program
Program objectives are: (1) professional studio competence as exemplified by a significant body of work; (2) professional competence in the dissemination of knowledge, including logical and clear written and verbal expression of ideas in teaching contexts; and (3) development of skills for critical and analytical reasoning as a practicing art professional.
- Portfolio: Approval by the area graduate committee of the applicant’s creative work as specified below:
- Graphic Design: 20-30 images in a powerpoint presentation, of original and/or printed works. Submission of original work may be requested.
- Ceramics, Painting, Printmaking/ Photography, and Sculpture: 20-30 images in a powerpoint presentation, of work mainly in the applicant’s concentration area plus some slides of drawings and optional other media. Include additional views of 3D pieces. Submission of original work might be requested.
- Letters of recommendation: Letters from two persons familiar with the applicant’s creative activity but who are not members of the area graduate committee. If applying for a teaching assistantship, each recommendation should contain reference to the applicant’s teaching ability. Graphic design applicants are required to submit two letters of reference.
- Statement: A brief, personal statement of professional ambitions, intended concentration area, other special creative interests, and outline of previous professional experience. Please include current and permanent e-mail address, mailing address, and phone numbers.
- Deadline: All University and Department of Art MFA application materials are due November 1 for Spring admission and February 15 for Fall admission and assistantship consideration.
- Address: Send images, work, letters of recommendation, and statement to:
Coordinator of Graduate Studies
Department of Art
The University of Memphis
Memphis, Tennessee 38152
- Deficiencies: Students may be admitted but required to complete undergraduate prerequisites or otherwise correct deficiencies.
- Students with assistantships are required to take 9 hours each semester, 3 of which may be chosen from ART 7880 or 7881. Eligibility for assistantships is based on students receiving a positive graduate review.
- Previous education and experience: Normally admission to the graduate program will require an undergraduate major in the applicant’s concentration area. (See concentration areas listed above.) A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution is required with not less than 70 semester hours of art, of which 12 hours should be in art history and 18 hours (24 hours for Graphic Design) must be in the concentration studio courses. Exceptions to the above requirements will be considered, however, when the portfolio and professional experience warrant it.
- Transfer credit: Any applicant who holds an MA degree in studio art from another institution may transfer up to a maximum of 30 semester hours credit in art earned for that degree to apply toward the MFA degree.
Prerequisites for Admission to Degree Candidacy
The student shall apply for admission to degree candidacy during the semester in which the student completes 30 hours of graduate work. To be approved for admission to candidacy, the student shall have:
- A grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale,
- Removed all departmental prerequisite requirements,
- A planned degree program that meets all departmental and graduate school requirements, and
- Established an overall history of satisfactory ratings in periodic review (a semi-annual evaluation of each student’s general level of achievement by a committee of area graduate faculty) and be approved for candidacy by that committee.
- A total of 60 semester hours, including a thesis of 6 semester hours in the student’s area of concentration.
- A total of 36 semester hours of studio art, excluding the thesis, with a minimum of 24 semester hours in the student’s area of concentration.
- Forty-two semester hours of 7000 level courses.
- A total of 9 semester hours in art history.
- A total of 9 semester hours of electives.
- Students with a concentration in graphic design are required to take at least 12 semester hours of ART 7040 and ART 7240 combined.
- Residency requirement for Graphic Design: The student must commit to full-time study for a minimum of two successive semesters after admission to concentration to fulfill the residency requirement.
- Students from the concentrations of Ceramics, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, and/or Sculpture must enroll in ART 7651 (1 hour) when also enrolled in a 6000 or 7000 level studio course.
- Satisfactory grade on a written comprehensive examination, with follow-up oral examination at option of examining committee.
- Thesis (exhibition) to be approved by a faculty committee with the member under whom the thesis was prepared as chair. For graphic design candidates, a written thesis accompanied by appropriate visual documentation is required.