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MFA Students looking at paintings in a gallery setting

Studio Art - M.F.A.

Unleash your creativity with the M.F.A. in Studio Art. Our program prepares you for a career as an independent visual artist and educator by cultivating and refining your skills in a successful studio practice. You'll have opportunities to engage in intense personal investigations, develop a strong aesthetic and conceptual understanding, attend seminars and travel. With concentrations ranging from Ceramics to Glass to Textiles, Kent State's M.F.A. provides the perfect springboard to take your career to the next level.

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College of the Arts
School of Art
www.kent.edu/art

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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. 

All newly accepted M.F.A. students will receive a graduate assistantship which includes a full tuition waiver and a stipend! Fully-funded MFA program with tuition remission, yearly stipend, and a sizable contribution to offset the cost of a health care plan offered to all graduate assistants.   

Highlights of our program include:

  • Dedicated studio space for graduate students

  • Graduate Assistantships that offer tuition remission and a stipend

  • Working with a range of graduate faculty

  • Renowned visiting artist program

  • Kent Blossom Art Intensives - two-week summer studio intensives with visiting artists

  • Access to state-of-the-art facilities, equipment and tools

  • Travel study opportunities every semester to New York City, plus other domestic and international trips offered 

  • Access to world-class museums and research libraries 

  • School-wide digital fabrication lab (ARTech Studio)

Program Information

Program Description

Full Description

The Master of Fine Art degree in Studio Art is designed to prepare students for careers as independent visual arts through the cultivation and refinement of a successful studio practice. The program emphasizes intensive personal investigation and the development of strong aesthetic and conceptual understanding. In addition to time in their own studio, students have opportunities to enhance existing skills and knowledge by observing undergraduate class demonstrations and critiques.

The M.F.A. is the terminal degree in the studio arts and is a requirement for those who intend to teach visual arts in higher education.

The Studio Art major comprises the following concentrations:

  • The Ceramics concentration offers an intense focus on artistic development. Through mentorship and a broad spectrum of course offerings, students work closely with faculty advisors to find their own voice as artists. 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.F.A. thesis exhibition.
  • The Drawing concentration 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 drawing. 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.F.A. thesis exhibition.
  • The Glass concentration is based on the belief that successful creative work results from spending time with one’s ideas and receiving constructive and supportive criticism from faculty and peers.  The concentration aims to create an atmosphere where students pursue ideas and engage in an extended scholarly dialogue. While building on the legacy of the American Studio Glass Movement, students are fostered to be leaders in redefining the future of studio glassmaking.
  • The Jewelry, Metals and Enameling concentration allows students to build individual research strategies for developing a coherent and distinctive body of work. Investigations of inter-media and interdisciplinary relationships are part of the curricular focus. Students are expected to be conscious of and involved in contemporary practices, discourse and trends, nationally and globally, among the field and within the larger arts/crafts/design movements. In addition to time in their own studio, students have opportunities to enhance existing skills and knowledge by observing undergraduate class demonstrations and critiques. Students are encouraged to use both traditional and contemporary studio practices while having access to an array of metalsmithing equipment, enameling kilns and a digital fabrication laboratory.
  • The Painting concentration 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.F.A. thesis exhibition.
  • The Print Media and Photography concentration aims to strengthen the students’ personal vision through emphasis on the conceptual aspects of the printmaking and photography disciplines. Students have access to studios for lithography, etching, relief, silkscreen and digital media, in addition to a darkroom, press room and digital fabrication laboratory.  Enrollment is deliberately kept small enough to make possible the faculty mentor/student relationship.
  • The Sculpture and Expended Media concentration encourages proficiency in foundational methods of making-modeling, carving and assembly. The concentration is a springboard for students to learn how to communicate ideas through sculptural works. Although sculpture classes are rooted in the history of object-making new forms of sculptural practice (installation, time-based practice, sound and kinetic works) are all part of a comprehensive three-dimensional program.
  • The Textiles concentration focus on guiding young artists into the world of the professionally active studio artist. Digital design and technology go hand-in-hand with traditional fiber art techniques, while pushing students to think conceptually, experimentally and across disciplines.
Additional careers
  • Gallery staff
  • Studio assistants
  • Art handlers
Admissions

For more information about graduate admissions, visit the graduate admission website. For more information on international admissions, visit the international admission website.

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
  • Minimum 2.750 undergraduate GPA on a 4.000 point scale
  • Official transcript(s)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Goal statement
  • Artist statement (250-500 words)
  • Portfolio
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • English language proficiency - all international students must provide proof of English language proficiency (unless they meet specific exceptions) by earning one of the following:
    • Minimum 550 TOEFL PBT score
    • Minimum 79 TOEFL IBT score
    • Minimum 77 MELAB score
    • Minimum 6.5 IELTS score
    • Minimum 58 PTE score
    • Minimum 110 Duolingo English score

Application Deadlines

  • Fall Semester
    • Application deadline: February 1

Applications submitted by this deadline will receive the strongest consideration for admission.

Learning Outcomes

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate advanced professional competence in some aspect of studio art as exemplified by considerable depth of knowledge and achievement of a significant body of work.
  2. Demonstrate a deep and comprehensive awareness of historical and cultural contents of art production.
  3. Demonstrate advanced skills of aesthetic judgement and assessment, as well as integration/synthesis and independent thought.
  4. Demonstrate an awareness of contemporary art making and relevant issues through dialogues with professional artists and curators.
Coursework

Program Requirements

Major Requirements

Major Requirements
ARTS 64000GRADUATE SEMINAR I: STUDIO ART 3
Art History (ARTH) Graduate (50000 or 60000 level) Electives9
Studio Art (ARTS) Electives 19
General Electives 26
Culminating Requirement
ART 69199M.F.A. THESIS I 36
Concentration Requirements
Choose from the following:27
Minimum Total Credit Hours:60
1

Students may take studio art electives through graduate studio, cross-discipline, seminar-style courses, travel study and/or independent study both within and outside of their declared concentration.

2

General electives may be taken outside the School of Art.

3

Students' thesis may comprise an installation or a series of collective works, in addition to a written thesis. The written thesis must document and substantiate the visual works through historical context, process or other theoretical premises. Students must present an oral defense of the works to a faculty committee, in addition to mounting the installation and preparing the written thesis.

Ceramics Concentration Requirements

Concentration Requirements
Concentration Electives, choose from the following:27
ARTS 55080
KENT BLOSSOM ART 1
ARTS 55090
STUDY AWAY: STUDIO ART 1, 2
ARTS 55095
STUDIO ART: SPECIAL TOPICS 1
ARTS 65400
GRADUATE STUDIO: CERAMICS I
ARTS 65401
GRADUATE STUDIO: CERAMICS II
Minimum Total Credit Hours:27
1

ARTS 55080, ARTS 55090 and ARTS 55095 may be used to fulfill concentration electives with approval from a faculty or academic advisor.

2

Maximum 6 credit hours of ARTS 55090 may be applied toward the M.F.A. degree.

Drawing Concentration Requirements

Concentration Requirements
Concentration Electives, choose from the following:27
ARTS 55080
KENT BLOSSOM ART 1
ARTS 55090
STUDY AWAY: STUDIO ART 1, 2
ARTS 55095
STUDIO ART: SPECIAL TOPICS 1
ARTS 64060
GRADUATE STUDIO: DRAWING AND PAINTING I
ARTS 64061
GRADUATE STUDIO: DRAWING AND PAINTING II
Minimum Total Credit Hours:27
1

ARTS 55080ARTS 55090 and ARTS 55095 may be used to fulfill concentration electives with approval from a faculty or academic advisor.

2

Maximum 6 credit hours of ARTS 55090​ may be applied toward the M.F.A. degree.

Glass Concentration Requirements

Concentration Requirements
Concentration Electives, choose from the following:27
ARTS 55080
KENT BLOSSOM ART 1
ARTS 55090
STUDY AWAY: STUDIO ART 1, 2
ARTS 55095
STUDIO ART: SPECIAL TOPICS 1
ARTS 65600
GRADUATE STUDIO: GLASS I
ARTS 65601
GRADUATE STUDIO: GLASS II
Minimum Total Credit Hours:27
1

ARTS 55080ARTS 55090 and ARTS 55095 may be used to fulfill concentration electives with approval from a faculty or academic advisor.

2

Maximum 6 credit hours of ARTS 55090​ may be applied toward the M.F.A. degree.

Jewelry, Metals and Enameling Concentration Requirements

Concentration Requirements
Concentration Electives, choose from the following:27
ARTS 55080
KENT BLOSSOM ART 1
ARTS 55090
STUDY AWAY: STUDIO ART 1, 2
ARTS 55095
STUDIO ART: SPECIAL TOPICS 1
ARTS 55706
BODY ORNAMENTATION
ARTS 55705
CAD FOR JEWELRY
ARTS 65700
GRADUATE STUDIO: JEWELRY, METALS, ENAMELING I
ARTS 65701
GRADUATE STUDIO: JEWELRY, METALS, ENAMELING II
Minimum Total Credit Hours:27
1

ARTS 55080ARTS 55090 and ARTS 55095 may be used to fulfill concentration electives with approval from a faculty or academic advisor.

2

Maximum 6 credit hours of ARTS 55090​ may be applied toward the M.F.A. degree.

Painting Concentration Requirements

Concentration Requirements
Concentration Electives, choose from the following:27
ARTS 55080
KENT BLOSSOM ART 1
ARTS 55090
STUDY AWAY: STUDIO ART 1, 2
ARTS 55095
STUDIO ART: SPECIAL TOPICS 1
ARTS 64060
GRADUATE STUDIO: DRAWING AND PAINTING I
ARTS 64061
GRADUATE STUDIO: DRAWING AND PAINTING II
Minimum Total Credit Hours:27
1

ARTS 55080ARTS 55090 and ARTS 55095 may be used to fulfill concentration electives with approval from a faculty or academic advisor.

2

Maximum 6 credit hours of ARTS 55090​ may be applied toward the M.F.A. degree.

Print Media and Photography Concentration Requirements

Concentration Requirements
Concentration Electives, choose from the following:27
ARTS 54045
ART OF THE BOOK
ARTS 54046
PAPERMAKING
ARTS 55080
KENT BLOSSOM ART 1
ARTS 55090
STUDY AWAY: STUDIO ART 1, 2
ARTS 55095
STUDIO ART: SPECIAL TOPICS 1
ARTS 64040
GRADUATE STUDIO: PRINT MEDIA AND PHOTOGRAPHY I
ARTS 64041
GRADUATE STUDIO: PRINT MEDIA AND PHOTOGRAPHY II
Minimum Total Credit Hours:27
1

ARTS 55080ARTS 55090 and ARTS 55095 may be used to fulfill concentration electives with approval from a faculty or academic advisor.

2

Maximum 6 credit hours of ARTS 55090​ may be applied toward the M.F.A. degree.

Sculpture and Expanded Media Concentration Requirements

Concentration Requirements
Concentration Electives, choose from the following:27
ARTS 55080
KENT BLOSSOM ART 1
ARTS 55090
STUDY AWAY: STUDIO ART 1, 2
ARTS 55095
STUDIO ART: SPECIAL TOPICS 1
ARTS 64050
GRADUATE STUDIO: SCULPTURE AND EXPANDED MEDIA I
ARTS 64051
GRADUATE STUDIO: SCULPTURE AND EXPANDED MEDIA II
Minimum Total Credit Hours:27
1

ARTS 55080ARTS 55090 and ARTS 55095 may be used to fulfill concentration electives with approval from a faculty or academic advisor.

2

Maximum 6 credit hours of ARTS 55090​ may be applied toward the M.F.A. degree.

Textiles Concentration Requirements

Concentration Requirements
Concentration Electives, choose from the following:27
ARTS 55080
KENT BLOSSOM ART 1
ARTS 55090
STUDY AWAY: STUDIO ART 1, 2
ARTS 55095
STUDIO ART: SPECIAL TOPICS 1
ARTS 55300
JACQUARD: DIGITAL WEAVING 3
ARTS 55308
TEXTILE ARTS AND GENDER
ARTS 55350
PRACTICES IN WEAVING: DRAFTS, NETWORKS AND SYSTEMS
ARTS 65300
GRADUATE STUDIO: TEXTILES I
ARTS 65301
GRADUATE STUDIO: TEXTILES II
Minimum Total Credit Hours:27
1

ARTS 55080ARTS 55090 and ARTS 55095 may be used to fulfill concentration electives with approval from a faculty or academic advisor.

2

Maximum 6 credit hours of ARTS 55090​ may be applied toward the M.F.A. degree.

3

Maximum 6 credit hours of ARTS 55300 may be applied toward concentration requirements.

Graduation Requirements

  • Maximum 6 credit hours of travel study courses may be applied toward the M.F.A. degree.
  • Maximum 42 credit hours of graduate studio courses may be applied toward the M.F.A. degree from the studio arts electives, general electives and concentration electives.
Program Delivery
  • Delivery:
    • In person
  • Location:
    • Kent Campus
Accreditation

National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)

Examples of Possible Careers and Salaries

Art, drama, and music teachers, postsecondary

5.6%

faster than the average

116,300

number of jobs

$69,690

potential earnings

Fine artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators

1.0%

slower than the average

28,300

number of jobs

$52,340

potential earnings

Notice:

* Source of occupation titles and labor data comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook. Data comprises projected percent change in employment over the next 10 years; nation-wide employment numbers; and the yearly median wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less.