Mar 22, 2023  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog

Studio Art, MFA

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A three-year, 60-credit residential program with studio concentrations in Ceramics, Jewelry & Metalsmithing, Painting, Printmaking, and Sculpture. Enrolled students have a primary studio concentration and an assigned studio space, and work in conjunction with a faculty thesis committee as they explore their chosen media. Students engage in interdisciplinary dialogue through seminar courses. An MFA thesis exhibition is held during the final semester.  PennWest is accredited by NASAD, the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the MFA degree are prepared to be life-long learners and researchers. They work as professional artists and are credentialed to pursue college-level teaching. Some graduates work in museums and galleries or become arts administrators. Others work as studio assistants or fabricators. 

Admissions Requirements

Individuals seeking admission as degree students in this program must comply with the general admission requirements for graduate students at PennWest University and with the following specific admission requirements for this program: 

1. Complete the online application. 
2. Pay an application fee of $35. 
3. Provide an official transcript verifying an earned baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education. 
4. Submit a letter of intent. Please indicate the main medium of interest: Ceramics, Metals/Jewelry, Painting, Printmaking or Sculpture. 
5. Three letters of reference. At least two of these should be faculty members the applicant had as instructors for undergraduate or graduate art courses. 
6. Submit the required portfolio of 20 images of recent studio work using the SlideRoom account found at Include title, media, size, and date of each image. These must be submitted on or before the priority application deadline of February 1 for Fall semester admission. Applications will be accepted until April 1 for any remaining seats. 
7. A personal interview if notified by the department.  

All necessary steps of the admission process, except the personal interview, must be completed by February 1st to be considered for priority admission. Later applicants must complete all necessary steps, except the personal interview, by April 1st. Must be able to enroll in this program as a full-time student for at least two consecutive semesters excluding summer. If applicable, submit request for the acceptance of transfer credit. 
Note: This program has a limited enrollment; therefore, there is no guarantee that individuals who meet the admissions requirements will be accepted into this program or that accepted students will be allowed to enter at a later date. 


Curriculum Requirements

Required Advanced

Studio Art, MFA Ceramics Concentration

The MFA Ceramics concentration focuses on developing our student’s individual artistic direction through making. Emphasis is placed on understanding the craft of creating and firing clay objects and on developing the concept behind the work as we embrace both functional and sculptural approaches to Ceramics.

Concentration Credits Required: 30

Studio Art, MFA Jewelry/ Metalsmithing Concentration

The MFA Jewelry and Metalsmithing concentration encourages candidates to pursue a distinct artistic direction while advancing both technical mastery and critical thinking. Graduate students work closely with faculty in a program that fosters self-reliance within a supportive community.

Concentration Credits Required: 30

Studio Art, MFA Painting Concentration

Students in the MFA Painting concentration work with a wide array of faculty to explore formal, technical, and conceptual approaches to painting and drawing.  Studio immersion is complemented by critical dialogue with faculty and peers as students develop a distinct and mature body of work.

Concentration Credits Required: 30

Studio Art, MFA, Printmaking Concentration

Graduate Printmaking students develop a deep understanding of printmaking processes as they construct a resolved body of work that utilizes the unique image-making potential inherent in printmaking. Students may also work with Egress Press and Research honing their collaborative skills as a master printer.

Concentration Credits Required: 30

Studio Art, MFA, Sculpture Concentration

The MFA Sculpture concentration focuses on self-guided research while working closely with faculty through regular critiques, demonstrations, and discussions. Students are encouraged to begin with a wide-ranging exploration that grows increasingly more focused, culminating in a distinct and mature body of work.

Concentration Credits Required: 30

Related Electives

Related Electives Required: 6

Required Art History

Art History Credits Required: 9

Related Requirements Required: 9

Studio Exhibition

Studio Exhibition Credits Required: 3

Total Number of Credits to Complete the Program: 60

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