Graduate Program in Painting

Our graduate painting and drawing programs are intrinsically linked with the premise that each discipline informs the other and ultimately supports the student’s decision to work in a single medium or a combination of media. The painting graduate program draws upon contemporary practices and discourse in the field to prepare students for a life in the arts. Students are encouraged to work across disciplines and techniques in order to develop a body of work that reflects their independent investigations in painting. Studio practice is supplemented with art history seminars, visiting artist lectures, summer workshops, and travel study programs to New York City, culminating in a solo M.A. or M.F.A. thesis exhibition.

MFA Graduate Painting Studio

The School of Art offers both the Master of Arts degree in Studio Art and the Master of Fine Arts degree in Painting. Recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s top graduate programs in the visual arts, the School of Art at Kent State University provides abundant opportunities for graduate students to advance their skills in all areas of studio art. We offer the only M.F.A. program in northeast Ohio, and the only program in the state of Ohio to offer this breadth of studio specialties. Working in close consultation with a major advisor, graduate students pursue a sequence of course work that encourages the development of an independent, critical approach to artistry in the discipline. Studio space on campus is available on a limited basis for full-time resident students.

LEARN ABOUT OUR M.A. in Studio Art 

 LEARN ABOUT OUR M.F.A. in Studio Art

Highlights of our program include:

  • Dedicated studio space for graduate students
  • Competitive Graduate Assistantships that offer tuition remission and a stipend
  • Working with a range of graduate faculty 
  • Renowned visiting artist program
  • Access to state-of-the-art facilities, equipment and tools
  • Travel study opportunities, including a group trip New York City offered every semester
  • Kent Blossom Art Intensives

All of the School of Art studios and classrooms are located under one roof in the Center for the Visual Arts, which had its grand opening in 2016. Pictured below is one of the graduate painting studios.


Each month throughout the school year, visiting artists in all studio art disciplines are invited to campus for public lectures, studio visits and demonstrations. Around ten visiting artists and scholars visit Kent State every year. Artists exhibiting in nearby Akron and Cleveland are also invited conduct studio visits with MFA students when available. 

Students also have opportunities to meet artists and curators on travel study trips to New York City as well as day trips to museums and galleries in nearby Akron, Cleveland, Detroit, Columbus, and Pittsburgh.

Additionally, during the summer Kent Blossom Art Intensives, the School of Art has as many as fourteen visiting artists come to campus. Artists give talks open to all disciplines and the public, and work with participants in their related field. 


For more information or to schedule a visit, contact Gianna Commito, Professor in Painting at or 330-672-7536 or Associate Professor in Painting Shawn Powell at or 330-672-9728.