Master of Fine Arts
The Master of Fine Arts program at Colorado State University fosters excellence in artistic inquiry and achievement. Students accepted into our program work closely with nationally recognized faculty who guide a wide range of research and experimentation in studio media. In each phase of the curriculum, individual studio practice is enriched by research in art history and clarified through engagement with contemporary discourse surrounding art, craft, and design. Graduate students exhibit work and give presentations at venues throughout the region and beyond as they prepare to move forward in their careers.
For more than forty years, the Department of Art and Art History has demonstrated its commitment to graduate education. Ours is the most comprehensive visual arts program in the Rocky Mountain West and one of the largest academic departments at CSU. Our alumni exhibit their work nationally and internationally, and teach at schools, universities, and workshop programs. CSU alumni jury and curate exhibitions, work as designers, contribute to conferences and arts publications, and work with arts organizations.
Graduate students develop an in-depth body of work within these areas of specialization: drawing, fibers, graphic design, metalsmithing and jewelry, painting, printmaking, and sculpture. Elective coursework promotes involvement with other media, expands creative strategies, and ensures interaction with faculty with expertise in a variety of disciplines. The MFA program leads to the completion and exhibition of a mature body of artworks. During this period of rigorous study, students maintain a high level of studio and scholarly activity.
The 60-credit MFA program emphasizes substantial work in an area of specialization. In these concentration areas, students typically enroll in a total of 30 credits that include studio courses, independent research, and thesis work. Graduate students also enroll in approximately 30 additional credits: elective studio courses and art history, art-history and studio seminars, and academic electives.
The first two years of the program are marked by technical and conceptual exploration, critical investigation, and research in art history. Students review work in individual and group critiques, participate in open-studio tours, and invite faculty from any field for studio visits and reviews.
The third year of the program is devoted to developing works of art that comprise each student’s thesis. During this time, students write an abstract and formal paper to accompany their work, and prepare art for inclusion in the spring graduate exhibition at the University Art Museum.
Most graduate students share semi-private studios in the Visual Arts Building or the nearby Graduate House. Students have access to undergraduate studio facilities, the department computer lab, and digital-fabrication lab. Skills training is available for work in the department woodshop. Students at all levels have opportunities to discuss their work with visiting artists and critics, and to research artworks in the collection of the CSU Art Museum.