Ceramics at UMass Amherst offers a curriculum that respects the history and persistence of pottery while remaining up to date with current methods and technology.
Three fundamental ceramics classes, Hand Building, Throwing, and Advanced Throwing, incorporate a variety of technical and aesthetic principles to teach both contemporary and traditional approaches to vessel making.
Intermediate students may take one of several rotating classes including Figure Sculpture, Ceramic Tile, or Mold Making and Casting. In keeping with current programs in 3D Studies, students explore object making, site, and environmental practices.
Advanced ceramics study entails rigorous independent research and studio practice. In studio visits and seminar courses, faculty offer close analysis and critique of student work. Faculty also provide support to students wishing to engage in practicums and internships, both inside and outside the university.
All BFA students complete a senior thesis project in their final year, combining a cohesive exhibition or screening of work, a significant piece of writing, and an oral defense, all directed by a faculty committee. Faculty also provide support to students wishing to engage in practicums and internships, both inside and outside the university.