Craft/Material Studies

Master of Fine Arts in Fine Arts with a concentration in ceramics

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student working on ceramics project

About the Program

The Master of Fine Arts in Fine Arts with a concentration in ceramics, which requires 60 credits, is usually completed in two years of full-time study. The majority of credits are taken in the student’s area of specialization. Graduate seminars, art history courses and other studio/academic electives round out the graduate student’s individualized program. Studio visits and critiques with visiting artists and critics are an important aspect of the program. Graduate students interact formally and informally with the faculty in their areas and with other faculty in the department and in the School of the Arts. Each graduate student works closely with a faculty committee that meets at least twice a semester for critiques and discussions. At the end of the first year students present their work to the departmental faculty in a candidacy review. At the successful completion of the 60 credits a thesis exhibition is mounted at the university’s Anderson Gallery or at an alternative venue.

The MFA is the terminal degree in the studio areas and is a requirement for most university teaching positions. Within the studio concentration, emphasis is placed on self-motivation, individual investigation, and the development of professional attitudes and skills. You are expected to demonstrate a serious commitment to your work and develop mature ideas and forms of expression. Every effort is made to assist students in gaining valuable teaching experience while they are in our program.

The department aids students financially through a variety of scholarships and graduate assistantships. Opportunities exist for qualified students to teach courses during the academic year and in summer school. Admission to the graduate program and the awarding of graduate teaching assistantships and scholarships is highly selective and competitive.


Students have access to a wide range of equipment that allows for creative exploration in many forms, media, and scale. The Department of Craft and Material Studies is a well equipped area that includes: 13 electric kilns and two gas car kilns that are 35 cu. ft and 60 cu. ft, a plaster room with state of the art ventilation, fully equipped handbuilding and wheel rooms, a large raw material inventory, three clay mixers (2 Soldner, 1 Bluebird), two slab rollers, two manual extruders, a slip-o-matics clay slip mixer, a spray booth, and a two tier ball mill.

The Master of Fine Arts in Fine Arts with a concentration in ceramics is small and select and expectations are high. Up to six ceramic graduate students work in their own private studios and also have access to a large communal project space that is only open to graduate students within the program. The work that is made each semester is presented in our gallery space where formal critiques with your faculty and peers from the entire Department of Craft and Material Studies take place. Our diverse and accomplished faculty offer direction that encourages graduate students to create work that challenges the notions of contemporary ceramics and the art world beyond clay.