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. uses an interdisciplinary approach, exposing students to a range of art and design practices, with the intention of engendering flexibility of thought and action to prepare 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 Professional Practice course further prepares 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 Lab, Print Rooms, Darkrooms, Design Studio, Digital Art Lab, Woodshop, and 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 division 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, and a willingness to be flexible, and to do research to make up for any gaps. 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 (6) of the following (Only one of the courses may be taken twice)
Book Arts
Interdisciplinary Ceramics
Graphic Design
Creative Photography
Alternative Photographic Process
Sculpture and the Environment
Special Topics (must be a studio class)
Art History & Visual Culture6
Choose two (2) of the following
History of Art
Art and Social Movements
Art and Decoloniality
Reshaping the Art History Canon
Special Topics (must be an Art History & Visual Culture class)
Can be taken outside division with advisor permission.
Required Courses
ART 5003Critique Seminar (taken five times)15
ART 5063Theories of Art3
ART 5793Professional Practices in Art3
ART 5943Art-Based Research Writing (cannot be taken simultaneously with M.F.A. Thesis Exhibition; must be taken the semester prior to that class except with Division Head permission)3
or ART 5843 Art-Based Research Writing
ART 5963M.F.A. Thesis Exhibition (must be taken in the final semester)3
or ART 5883 M.F.A. Thesis Exhibition
Total SCHs60


  1. First Year Review (after at least 18 SCH and at least 1 year in the program) to include oral presentation of research to the faculty.
  2. Second Year Review (after at least 36 SCH and at least 1 year after the first review) 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, and students must attend at least two meetings per each long semester with that committee.

Final Examination

An oral examination consists of a presentation and defense (to the Graduate Committee) of artwork made for the M.F.A. exhibition, with the examination usually occurring before the exhibition is up. It is required that a predominant majority of the work be complete at the time of the oral examination. Graduate Committee response to the oral examination also takes into account the quality of the Thesis document. The oral exam may be repeated twice.