The MFA program brings together the practice and history of art and design, as well as the theoretical and historical study of visual culture in its wider context. Each student’s potential is developed within a community of students and faculty that are engaged in intensive discourse, investigation, and the production of challenging work.
Our goal in the MFA program is to prepare leaders who are ready to meet the challenges and opportunities of cultural production, whether it is pursuing a professional studio practice, entering the job market in the cultural sector, or pursuing a career in academia.
Coursework consists of a mixture of critical theory, studio courses, art history and academic electives. Critiques, presentations, readings, and discussions with resident faculty, visiting artists, designers and critics come together to form graduate level study. Graduate students meet regularly with a committee of three faculty members, in addition to other faculty, to shape their research and progress. The second-year culminates in a thesis exhibition or alternative public presentation and a written thesis defense.
The MFA is a rigorous 60 credit, two–year residency program; no part-time study is allowed. The program requires a strong work ethic, personal development of artistic practice and freedom of creative inquiry and production. All graduate students receive their own studio space and 24-hour access to all labs in any media. Hallmarks of our program include nationally and internationally renowned faculty, visiting artists and a progressive philosophy that encourages cross-disciplinary pursuits in the context of a large AAU research institution.
The MFA program enrolls between 20 - 24 students at any given time insuring a high level of contact with a dedicated and professionally diverse group of faculty. Students are supported by the broad range of faculty research interests. These areas include (but are not limited to): biological arts, drawing, emerging media, graphic design, installation, performance art, painting, photography, print media, sculpture, tactical media, activism, curatorial practices. The Art Resource Center/ARC, an extension of the UB Libraries, supports all art department and Visual Studies programs.
Students have private or semi-private studios and access to departmental facilities and communal labs. Shared labs support photography (digital and black-and-white non-silver), print media (lithography, intaglio, screen, digital, relief and letterpress), sculpture (full wood and metal shops, bronze foundry and digital lab with laser cutter), graphic design, video/sound recording and editing, electronic/physical computing, painting, drawing, performance and biological art. All studios and labs have wireless high-speed connections.
The MFA program is 2 years /60 credits (15 credits per semester over 4 semesters).
This is an interdisciplinary program therefore without concentration specific requirements.
This program is suggested and does not need to be strictly followed as long as all program requirements are met. In the sample shown, students take 2 academic electives in the spring semester of their first year and by doing so the final semester of study is freed up for complete immersion in the studio /thesis project. Alternatively, students may wish to divide the 4 academic electives evenly across 4 semesters, or some other variation.
In addition to the above, each semester Teaching Assistants are required to register for one credit of ART 598, Supervised Teaching. These credits do not count towards the 60 credits required for the MFA degree.
Required courses are offered at least once per year. Most graduate level studio courses are offered on alternate semesters. Most academic seminars rotate over a one-year or two-year cycle.
The following is a list of courses taught over the past few years and planned for the near future:
Studio Courses (LAB)
(See individual department websites for course descriptions)
Caribbean Research Center
Note: Some DMS courses are labs (studio) others are academics