University of Massachusetts Amherst

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MFA in Studio Arts

The Master of Fine Arts Program in Studio Arts at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is an ideal program for college graduates whose goal is a career in art and wish to remain immersed in or return to an academic setting with opportunities for interaction and critique with professional artists and like-minded peers. Graduates of the program are qualified to practice and teach art at the professional level.

The UMass Amherst MFA program in Studio Arts is a three-year program in studio-based work and critical thinking.  The program seeks to nurture committed studio practice through ongoing critique from and dialogue with faculty and plentiful opportunities to exhibit work on campus.  Throughout the program our MFA students are mentored to thrive as professional artists, and through assistantships and classroom instruction graduate from the program with the skills and credentials to work as professional artists and teach at the college and university-level.

We are a highly competitive program accepting approximately six students per year.  We award teaching assistantships completely defraying the cost of tuition to most of our graduate students.  In addition, all graduate students receive shared studio space the first year, then single studios for the final two years of the program.  Students have 24-hour swipe-card access to equipment and facilities.

Graduate students engage in a robust range of coursework, facilitated by the diverse faculty of working artists. Third-year students form an MFA Thesis Committee, a close-knit group of instructors who shepherd them through their solo thesis exhibition and a written thesis, examining and articulating ideas, process, influences, and concepts.  Please consult the current MFA handbook pdf posted below for a complete three-year layout of required classes and suggested electives.

Our graduate program is interdisciplinary, students are not admitted into nor expected to work within one particular discipline.  The ability of our MFA students to explore broadly reflects the current art world and is a highlight of our contemporary and competitive curriculum.

Review our Admissions criteria for more information.

Additional Resources

MFA Handbook
MFA Catalogue