MFA Curriculum

Crossing by Michael Beitz.

"Crossing" by Michael Beitz (MFA 2009)

The MFA program is 2 years and 60 credits (15 credits per semester over 4 semesters).

Studio Courses

30 Credits

Graduate Research Studios are the core of the MFA program.

Each semester, students engage in at least 7.5 credit hours of intense studio exploration, research, production, and critique of their individual creative work, in close collaboration with their MFA faculty advisors. There is a wide selection of studio courses to choose from in the Art and Media Studies Departments.

At least 3 credits should include Real-Space Electronics, Designed Play. Biological Art, Installation, or Performative Action.    

MFA Critiques

6 credits

Students participate in regular critique groups to develop their ability to discuss, describe, assess, contextualize and understand their own work and the work of their fellow graduate students.

Seminars

6 credits

Each fall semester, both first year and second year MFA students participate in an interdisciplinary graduate seminar. Seminar topics include “Research Methods” and “Professional Practice,” and other topics related to contemporary art practice.            

Academic Elective Courses

9 credits

Students choose Academic Elective courses to meet their individual MFA curriculum goals. They can pursue additional studio courses to focus on studio practice, or they can select academic courses which complement their unique research needs.

Academic Electives can be taken in any UB Graduate Level program. Many of our students choose courses in Art, Art History, Film and Media Study, Architecture, Gender Studies, and Philosophy.

Open Elective Courses

6 credits

Students choose Open Elective courses to meet their individual MFA curriculum goals. Internships may be used to fulfill this requirement.

History/Theory/Criticism Courses (HTC)

3 credits

MFA students are required to take a three credit Introduction to Critical Theory course. Students are also encouraged to select courses that support their fields of inquiry from History, Theory, and Criticism courses offered within the Art Department, Media Studies, or other  university programs.

International Exchange

Once you are accepted into a graduate program in the Department of Art, you are automatically eligible for the Beijing Graduate Exchange Program.

The Beijing Graduate Exchange Program is an exchange between the Department of Art and the School of Fine Art at CAFA (Central Academy of Fine Arts) in Beijing, China. CAFA was ranked “China’s top art school” by The New York Times in 2008.    

   

MFA pie graphic.

Sample Plan of Study

This is an interdisciplinary program, and there are no concentration-specific requirements.

Year 1

Fall Semester

  • ART 509 Graduate Seminar I (3 credits) fall semester only
  • VS 521 Intro to Critical Theory (3 credits) fall semester only
  • Academic elective (3 credits)
  • ART 599 Studio electives (6 credits) and/or studio course

Spring Semester

  • ART 599 Studio electives (9 credits) and/or studio course
  • Academic electives (6 credits)

Year 2

Fall Semester

  • ART 510 Graduate Seminar II (3 credits) fall semester only
  • ART 699 Studio electives (6 credits) and/or studio course
  • Academic electives (3 credits)
  • ART 690 Graduate Project Supervision (3 credits) register with chair of thesis committee

Spring Semester

  • ART 699 Studio electives (6 credits) and/or studio course
  • Open elective-studio or academic (3 credits)
  • ART 690 Graduate Project Supervision (3 credits) register with chair of thesis committee

This program of study is an example 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 thesis project. Alternatively, students may wish to divide the 4 academic electives evenly across 4 semesters, or some other variation. For more information on how students structure their coursework, contact the Graduate Program Director.

Supervised Teaching Requirement for Teaching Assistants

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. Teaching supervisions ensure that Teaching Assistants feel supported as they develop their skills as college-level educators.

Frequency of Graduate Course Offerings

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.