Art and Design Visual Arts
FACULTY: Gonsalez-Smith, Hebert, Jones, Luber (Graduate Program Director), Smith, Yang, and Widmer (Chair)
Degree Granted: Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
The Master of Fine Arts degree program in Visual Arts is a strongly studio-oriented professional preparation in the major emphasis areas of ceramics, drawing, metal smithing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, and mixed media art. Within and outside the visual arts areas there are many opportunities for balanced study in art history, graphic design, photo and supporting disciplines.
Details pertaining to admission requirements, degree requirements and courses offered can be found in the Degree section.
Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
Mission Statement and Program Goals
The mission of the Department of Art and Design’s graduate M.F.A. program is to provide quality educational experiences to the students that promote critical thinking and creative visual skills based upon the history of art, contemporary trends and theories, and technical skills in the fine art disciplines. Graduates will be prepared to be active artist/researchers who are engaged in a dialogue, which critically examines the larger culture of which the visual arts play an integral role. Graduates will be prepared to enter the professional art world as self-directed practioners/artists, educators, or occupations in art museums and galleries. These goals are accomplished through a curriculum that includes hands-on studio experience and academic seminars as a vehicle for the investigation into visual expression.
Goal 1: Students will refine technical skills, with materials, techniques, and equipment specific to the production of their visual art.
Goal 2: Students will refine oral and written skills as a means to communicate the conceptual basis of their visual research and to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the cultural, theoretical, and rhetorical issues in the history of art.
Goal 3: Students will develop skills to refine their critical thinking and the conceptual basis for their art work and contextualize their work within the history of art and/or contemporary trends and theories.
Goal 4: Students hone professional skills as artists needed to promote their creative research and to advance within their chosen careers.
Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
Applicants who are seeking admission to the School of Graduate Studies must meet all of the minimum general School of Graduate Studies admission requirements identified in the graduate catalog. In addition, the prospective students must fulfill the requirements for admission to the graduate program in Visual Arts.
- Admission to Approved Status requires a BA or BFA degree with at least 63 semester hours in studio courses plus a minimum of 12 semester hours in art history from a regionally accredited college or equivalent.
- A cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 2.75 for all undergraduate work or a GPA of at least 3.0 for the junior and senior years of undergraduate work (based on A= 4.00).
- Satisfy the School of Graduate Studies’ English Language Proficiency requirements as published in the graduate catalog.
- Image portfolio of twenty (20) clearly identified images representative of the student’s recent work and/or documentation in cd/dvd format. Images should be submitted at 72 dpi with the longest side not to exceed 1280 pixels in length.The work samples should be submitted to the Department of Art and Design’s Graduate Committee and accompanied by a list containing the viewing sequence, titles, date of completion, dimension (duration), and media.
- Artist Statement supporting the image portfolio or other documentative application information in cd/dvd format.
- For students who have earned graduate credit in art or hold an MA degree, a maximum of 15 credits may be accepted towards the MFA degree. Of those 15 credits, up to 6 credits in Art History may be accepted towards the 9-credit art history requirement.
The graduate program in visual arts operates on a rolling admissions basis. Applicants are advised to apply by March 1 for fall admission or October 1 for spring admission. Acceptance as well as financial support is considered pending availability of resources.
Students seeking the Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of North Dakota must satisfy all general degree requirements set forth by the School of Graduate Studies as well as particular requirements set forth by the Department of Art and Design.
- The program consists of 60 credits in the following areas:
Major Emphasis Area (Ceramics, Painting, Drawing, Metalsmithing, Printmaking, Mixed Media, or Sculpture) 30 Art History and Theory (See #6 under Admission Requirements) 9 Electives (including at least 12 credits in art) 18 Professional Exhibition 3 Total Credits 60
- At least one-half of the credits must be at or above the 500-level.
- A maximum of one-fourth of the credit hours required for the degree may be transferred from another institution.
- A critique of each MFA candidate’s work will be conducted by the entire faculty at the end of their first and second semesters in the program. MFA candidates in subsequent years of the program are expected to attend and participate.
- After the formation of the candidate’s graduate thesis committee two formal reviews of the MFA candidate’s work will be conducted. See candidacy for degree requirements.
- Prerequisites to graduation include:
- Preparation and presentation of a Professional Exhibition, which will be a formal presentation of creative work.
- Supplementary exhibition materials including artist’s statement and exhibition announcements.
- An image portfolio and/or documentation in cd/dvd format of the Professional Exhibition must be submitted to the Department of Art and Design for its permanent files. Images should be submitted at 72 dpi with the longest side not to exceed 1280 pixels in length.
- Successful completion of ART 510 Art History: Issues in Contemporary Art.
The MFA degree requires at least two semesters, or one semester and two summer sessions taken within a three-year period, in residence.
Professional Exhibition and Artist Lecture
All MFA candidates are required to register for ART 599 Professional Exhibition (three credits). The intention is to give candidates a summary experience as they near the end of their formal training, which will serve as a benchmark in their career development. The presentation and format of the catalog may vary with what the candidate and committee deem appropriate and complimentary to the work to be presented in the exhibition. The artist’s statement may include such things as a critical statement on the candidate’s work, its development, its cultural, philosophical and historical context, and/or reference to the artist’s procedures and techniques. The candidate will present an Artist Lecture that will be open to the public. The candidate’s graduate thesis committee will then examine and evaluate the student’s performance in the Professional Exhibition and Artist Lecture, and report the results to the School of Graduate Studies on the form titled “Final Report on Candidate” by the deadline specified in the academic calendar. The advisor and department chairperson will certify receipt of a copy of the Exhibition Catalog and an image portfolio of the Exhibition.
M.F.A. Candidate Recommended Timetable for Completion of Program
While the program is normally completed in three years, it is possible to achieve the degree in two years.
|First Year||Fall Semester||Full Faculty Critique|
|Spring Semester||Full Critique|
|Second Year||Fall Semester||Form Thesis Committee|
|First Committee Review|
|Turn in Program of Study to School of Graduate Studies for approval|
|Third Year||Fall Semester||Second Committee Review|
|Spring Semester||ART 599: Professional Exhibition and Artist Lecture|
Candidacy for the Degree
Admission of a student to the School of Graduate Studies as a degree student in Approved Status implies only that the student has met the minimum entrance requirements and will be permitted to take graduate courses that normally may be expected to lead to a degree. The student has not been admitted as a candidate for a degree. Advancement to candidacy is granted only after the completion of specific requirements and upon the recommendation of the faculty advisory committee. Candidates for the MFA degree will not be permitted to graduate in the same semester or summer session in which they are advanced to candidacy.
Students in Approved Status may be advanced to candidacy for a MFA degree when they have satisfied the following requirements in approximately the following sequence:
- Completion of the first comprehensive review by the candidate’s graduate thesis committee. During the course of study, all MFA students will be evaluated twice and recommendations will be made regarding continuation in the degree program. The first review, held near the end of the second semester or the beginning of the third, is conducted by a graduate thesis committee of three members from the Graduate Faculty of the Department of Art and Design. After formal review of the student’s work, the committee prepares a written summary of the results of the evaluation and a recommendation regarding the continuance of the student. A copy of the evaluation is sent to the School of Graduate Studies.
- Program of Study should normally be approved no later than the beginning of the third semester of enrollment.
- Completion of a substantial portion of the course work for the degree with an overall GPA of no less than 3.00.
- Completion of the second committee review prior to the end of the semester preceding the semester in which the student expects to graduate (normally the third or the beginning of the fourth semester in residence). The evaluation will be conducted by the student’s graduate thesis committee and will consist of a review of the student’s progress toward completion of degree requirements, and a review of plans for the professional exhibition and Artist Lecture. The results of the evaluation will be filed with the School of Graduate Studies and will include a recommendation regarding advancement to candidacy for the MFA degree.
- Recommendation to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies for advancement to candidacy by the graduate thesis committee.
The graduate thesis committee will examine and evaluate the student’s performance in the Professional Exhibition and Artist Lecture, and report the results to the School of Graduate Studies on the form titled “Final Report on Candidate” by the deadline specified in the Academic Calendar. The advisor and department chairperson will certify receipt of a copy of the Exhibition Catalog and an image portfolio and/or documentation in cd/dvd format of the Exhibition.
ART 501. Sculpture. 1-6 Credits.
Extensive work and study in three dimensional form, media, and methods. Repeatable to 30 credits. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Repeatable to 30 credits.
ART 510. Art History: Issues in Contemporary Art. 3 Credits.
Examines issues in contemporary art relevant to practicing artists. Addresses current intellectual debates around the work of contemporary artists and issues relevant to artists working in a regional setting. Examines the institutional context of contemporary art practice, such as exhibitions venues and funding for professional artists.
ART 520. Painting. 1-6 Credits.
Individual research and experimentation in painting. Repeatable to 30 credits. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Repeatable to 30 credits.
ART 530. Drawing. 1-6 Credits.
Experimentation and elaboration to drawing skills and techniques, both innovative and traditional. Emphasis on individual exploration. Repeatable to 30 credits. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Repeatable to 30 credits.
ART 537. Graduate Cooperative Education. 1-4 Credits.
An elective opportunity in the VA graduate program toward the MFA to participate in an apprentice experience in one's selected field of concentration. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and approval of departmental advisor/coordinator.
ART 540. Printmaking. 1-6 Credits.
Individual research and experimentation in printmaking. Repeatable to 30 credits. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Repeatable to 30 credits.
ART 550. Ceramics. 1-6 Credits.
Individual instruction and experimentation in Ceramics. Repeatable to 30 credits. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Repeatable to 30 credits.
ART 560. Metalsmithing: Jewelry and Small Sculpture. 1-6 Credits.
Exploration of historical, traditional, and innovative jewelry and small sculpture techniques using non- ferrous metals, gems, and other materials. Repeatable to 30 credits. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Repeatable to 30 credits.
ART 570. Mixed Media. 1-6 Credits.
Individual instruction and experimentation in mixed media. Repeatable to 30 credits. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Repeatable to 30 credits.
ART 573. Time based Media Arts. 1-6 Credits.
Individual research and experimentation in time-based and media art practice through video, animation, media installation, performance, and/or interdisciplinary art. Repeatable to 30 credits. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Repeatable to 30 credits.
ART 581. Workshop. 1-6 Credits.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Repeatable to 12 credits.
ART 590. Individual Research. 1-9 Credits.
Research and creative experiences within a specific area of interest in the Visual Arts and emphasis on refinements of aesthetic applications of techniques and media. Repeatable to twenty-two credits. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Repeatable to 22 credits.
ART 599. Professional Exhibition. 3 Credits.
Artist statement, preparation, design, installation, and catalog of solo show. Prerequisite: Permission of student's graduate committee.
ART 996. Continuing Enrollment. 1-12 Credits.
Repeatable. S/U grading.
Undergraduate Courses for Graduate Credit
ART 410. History of Art: Selected Topics. 1-4 Credits.
Study of varied topics in the history of art and architecture. May be repeated as title changes. Repeatable. F,S,SS.
ART 413. History of Graphic Design. 3 Credits.
Study of the political, cultural, aesthetic and technological influences of graphic design including the creative innovators who established graphic design as a profession. Prerequisites or Corequisites: ART 210, ART 211, Junior or Senior Standing, or instructor consent. S.
ART 416. History of Art: Renaissance and Baroque. 3 Credits.
ART 417. History of Art: Museum Studies Practicum. 3 Credits.
ART 419. History of Art: Late18th through the19th Century Art. 3 Credits.
ART 423. History of Art: 20th and 21st Century. 3 Credits.
ART 424. History of Art: Non-Western Traditions. 3 Credits.
ART 490. Special Projects/ Independent Research. 1-6 Credits.
Advanced independent study within a specific art discipline outside of subject areas normally covered within regularly scheduled courses in studio art, graphic design, art history and art education. Formal contract must be signed with professor of record. Repeatable, no more than 6 credits in each discipline area. Prerequisites: Senior standing and permission of instructor. Repeatable to 12 credits. F,S,SS.