Master of Fine Arts in Art (Studio Art)


The Master of Fine Art in Art with a concentration in Studio Art is a three-year, 60 semester credit hour, in-residence program. The M.F.A. exposes students to a range of art and design practices, with the intention of engendering flexibility of thought and action that prepares students to adapt to future possibilities while retaining the option of focusing primarily on one particular medium.

The heart of this program is the self-motivated pursuit of one’s own practice, supported and guided by our experienced faculty, then honed and expanded through the feedback offered in extensive critiques. Additionally, trans-disciplinary courses augment students’ abilities to stretch their creative goals. Our new Academic and Professional Practice courses further prepare our students for the many career opportunities in the Fine Arts.

Our graduate studio spaces, grouped together in two main areas, promote collegiality and spontaneous exchanges of ideas, and include shared display spaces for critiques, experimental displays, open studio events, and visiting artist interactions. Our specialized facilities, such as the Digital Craft Research Studio, Darkrooms, Design Studio, and the Foundry, among others, provide students with the necessary tools and skills to fully realize their creative endeavors.

Marketable Skills

Defined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's 60x30 Strategic Plan as, "Those skills valued by employers that can be applied in a variety of work settings, including interpersonal, cognitive, and applied skills areas. These skills can be either primary or complementary to a major and are acquired by students through education, including curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular activities."

  1. Fine Arts: Knowledge of the theory, art history, and techniques required to produce works of visual art.
  2. Thinking Creatively: Developing, designing, or creating new images, objects, experiences, or ideas.
  3. Developing Objectives and Strategies: Establishing short- and long-term objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  4. Solving Problems: Finding a solution to a problem by analyzing information, considering multiple approaches, utilizing resources, and adapting techniques.
  5. Applying Current Technology and Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date on advances in the field and finding ways to apply that knowledge.
  6. Communication: The ability to speak about a work of art or design with professionalism and intellectual acuity.
  7. Education and Training: Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design as well as the measurement of training results.


All students must meet the University requirements as outlined in the Admission to the TWU Graduate School section of the catalog.

This academic program may have additional admission criteria that must also be completed as outlined on the program's website.

Degree Requirements

Total Semester Credit Hours Required

60 semester credit hours (SCH).

Prerequisite Coursework

Typically, an applicant for the M.F.A. in Art has completed an undergraduate degree in art and/or design, which is the preferred preparation for this degree. However, because of the interdisciplinary nature of our program, we value students with other backgrounds and skills, and the departmental graduate committee will consider students with other degrees, provided that they have a range of art experience including things such as coursework, professional experience, workshops, residencies, and other experiences demonstrating artistic knowledge and maturity. Applicants should be aware that at the graduate level, they will be expected to be largely self-directed in art-making processes.

Program of Study

Studio Art18
Choose six of the following (Only one of the courses may be taken twice)
Painting Theory and Development
Graphic Design
Creative Photography
Alternative Photographic Process
Advanced Ceramics
Special Topics (if approved by advisor)
Required Courses
ART 5003Critique Seminar (taken five times)15
ART 5503History of Art (taken twice)6
ART 5063Theories of Art3
ART 5793Professional Practices in Art3
ART 5943Art-Based Research Writing3
ART 5963M.F.A. Thesis Exhibition3
Total SCHs60


  1. First Year Review (end of 2nd semester or after 18 SCH) to include oral presentation of research to the faculty.
  2. Second Year Review (end of 4th semester or after 36 SCH) to include oral presentation of research to the faculty.

Possible review results include Pass (sufficient progress), and Probation (inconsistent progress) with the chance for Re-review during the next semester. Those who do not pass the Re-review will be dismissed from the program. After each of the main Reviews (not including Re-review), a committee of faculty members is formed to provide mentorship and guidance.

Final Examination

An oral examination including a presentation and defense of M.F.A. exhibition (Oral may be repeated twice)