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School of
Ohio University > Fine Arts > Art > Academics > MFA Degree Programs

MFA Degree Programs

MFA Requirements

MFA Programs: Ceramics, Graphic Design, Painting + Drawing, Photography + Integrated Media, Printmaking, and Sculpture + Expanded Practices.

Credit-Hour Requirements Summary

The graduate program leading to the MFA degree in one of the studio areas listed above requires the completion of at least 90 semester hours of graduate study, including at least 28 credits in studio courses within the major, 12 credits of additional studio electives, 6 credits in seminars, 12 credits of art history/academic studies, up to 7 credits of electives and at least 25 credits in thesis. Directed electives are selected in consultation with faculty.

•28 studio major

•12 studio electives

•12 art history/academic studies (including AH 5101 and AH 5902)

•6 seminars (3-credit seminar in area + 3-credit other School of Art seminar)

•7 discretionary electives

•(65 minimum total course credits requirements)

•25 studio thesis


1. Studio Area: 28 hours
Graduate courses are numbered Art 5000 and above.

2. Studio Electives: 12 hours
12 hours of studio electives (5000 level and above) are required. Studio electives must not be drawn from the major program.

3. Art History/Academic Studies requirements: 12 hours
is required, including AH 5902 (Contemporary Art Theory and Criticism) and AH 5101 (Contemporary Art History); and 6 other credits in art history or other courses pertinent to the student’s studio practice (approved by the ADGC and student’s advisor). Photography students must complete Art History 5610 (History of Photography).

4. Seminars: 6 hours
6 hrs must be distributed as follows: major studio area seminar (3 hours) and another school of Art studio Seminar (3 hours), NOT Teaching Seminar or Professional Practices seminar.
**In addition, all graduate students who will eventually have teaching responsibility with the School of Art need to complete ART 5000: Teaching Seminar (3 hours). Full gradebook responsibility will not be given until the student has taken this course. ART 5000 will count as a discretionary elective.

5. Studio Thesis: 25 hours
A minimum of 25 hours is required. The studio thesis is intended to provide credit for preparation of the student’s final presentation and professional growth. The Thesis culminates in a Thesis exhibition and oral defense.

6. Written Thesis: a maximum of 8 hours may be earned.
A written thesis is optional, and may not be substituted for the studio thesis. A written thesis is only allowable as an adjunct to the studio thesis and must follow the form specified by Ohio University. The hours earned for a written thesis does not count toward the 90 hours of required course work. The student’s advisor and the student’s thesis examination committee members must approve the written thesis.

7. Discretionary Electives:
Discretionary electives are intended to broaden the graduate student’s knowledge beyond the normal studio offerings. Discretionary electives may be taken in languages, history, philosophy, anthropology, or film seminars, for example.

Independent Studies and Service Learning credits do not fulfill any requirement for graduation.

Graduate Committees and Reviews

An incoming graduate student is assigned a Thesis committee of 3 faculty members (2 area and one external). The Thesis committee works with the graduate student throughout the 3-year duration of their study. The committee meets with students formally in reviews and also in informal one on one studio visits throughout the 3 years.

There is a progress review at the end of the first semester, a candidacy review at the end of the second semester, a thesis proposal review at the end of the fourth semester, and an oral defense and exhibition at the culmination of the degree.