Cynthia Nourse Thompson, Program Director
The low-residency MFA in Studio Art is a highly selective professional graduate program that maintains a commitment to research, chronology, and the critical theory of the fine and liberal arts and their interconnectivity to the practice of art making; written proficiency; and the artist as catalyst exploring interdisciplinary work. An oath to the professional artist’s tradition of mastering skills, technologies, and social responsibilities of the fine arts reinterpreted in contemporary platforms remains the program’s foundation. The program acknowledges the internal and external associations of advanced learning through topical engagement and dialogue with leading artists, curators and critics gathered from substantial and comprehensive arenas to serve as visiting artists, professors, speakers, and mentors. In addition to intense studio based education, students pursue interdisciplinary investigations in studio topics common to each discipline and address contemporary critical issues and methodology in University graduate seminars.
The program provides both a fully immersed campus experience and an independent study experience that offers the candidate the opportunity to complete the MFA in a year-round study both on and off-campus. Students enter the program in mid-June for an 8-week semester in residence at the Philadelphia campus until mid-August when they return to their home studios to begin the fall semester. During the fall and spring semesters, students complete independent studios, writing and research projects, and independent thesis preparations. Regional students maintain contact with studio faculty and present studio work at specific intervals throughout the off-campus semester and at final critiques held at the end of the fall and spring semesters. Non-regional students meet with assigned studio mentors in their geographic region for concurrent periodic and final critiques of in-progress and completed work. Off-campus writing and research projects are completed via mail or e-mail communication with seminar faculty. A final thesis review and exhibition is held following completion of the third summer.
Academic plans provide a semester by semester suggested course sequence. Plans can be customized through discussions with academic advisors.
Program Requirements (60 credits)