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Graduate Art Students

Master of Fine Arts

The Master of Fine Arts program at Colorado State University provides an environment that fosters media experimentation and expertise, encourages artistic inquiry, and promotes professional achievement. In each phase of the program, students gain skills in verbal and written communication. Individual studio practice is enriched by research in art history and clarified through engagement with the critical and theoretical discourse surrounding contemporary art, craft, and design.

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 intensive study, students maintain a high level of studio and scholarly activity.

The 60-credit MFA program emphasizes substantial work in an area of specialization; within a specialization, students typically enroll in a total of 30 credits. These credits include studio courses, independent research, and thesis work. Graduate students also enroll in approximately 30 credits that include a program of related elective-studio courses, art history, seminars in art history and critical theory, aesthetics, 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, and are encouraged to 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 to accompany this 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. Students have access to undergraduate studio facilities and the department computer lab, and are offered skills training for work in the department woodshop.


MFA Curriculum - Courses taken to meet prerequisites for advanced courses are not counted as a part of the 60 required credits.

Graduate students are required to earn a minimum of 60 semester credits in the M.F.A. program. Of the 28 credits in a major studio specialization, 18 are in studio courses.

The M.F.A. degree in studio art may be earned in programs that are planned within general block requirements. Block requirements may be modified to better serve particular individuals when adequate reasons are presented.


View MFA Application procedures


Graduate Program Phone: 970.491.6775 - FAX: 970.491.0505 E-mail: