Feb 28, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog This is not the most recent catalog version; be sure you are viewing the appropriate catalog year.

Studio Art [MFA]

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The mission of the MFA program at Eastern Michigan University is to provide a broad yet rigorous environment that prepares students for professional success through creative work and research.

The MFA curriculum fosters experimentation, intellectual risk-taking, and critical thinking through studio work, seminars, and cognate courses; students are expected to produce a body of original work that extends knowledge by making a proven contribution to the field. Cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary work is encouraged. MFA coursework includes seminars in history and theory. MFA work also stresses the effects of diverse cultural influences on art, the role of the artist in society, and the relationships between studio practices and art and design history and theory. Faculty teaching in these programs pursues excellence in teaching and an active agenda of research and creative work. The MFA degree is a full-time, 60-hour program culminating in an exhibition and an optional written thesis.

Program Admission

Graduate School Application

After reviewing the admission requirements below, please select the appropriate application. The University is transitioning application platforms; pay close attention when selecting the application below.

The program you are applying to may not accept applicants every semester.

For additional information regarding the application process, please see Graduate Admissions or International Admissions.

Admission Requirements

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

A four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or an equivalent degree from a non-U.S. institution. In addition, a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale, or 3.0 in the last half of the undergraduate program, is required for full admission. Applicants who do not meet minimum admission requirements may be considered for conditional admission. See International Admissions for international applicant requirements.

Applicants must also meet the following program criteria:

  • Have an undergraduate degree, with a major in art or approximately 30 hours of undergraduate coursework in art through an accredited institution
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Letter of Intent that concisely expresses the applicant’s goals and objectives as an artist/designer and the reason(s) for pursuing graduate study
  • Artist statement describing current artwork and research objectives/goals
  • A portfolio of 15-20 images, videos, and/or audio files of the applicant’s studio work, with a corresponding list stating the title, medium, size, and completion date for each artwork submitted

Winter 2022 Applications - The items above will be submitted using SlideRoom (slideroom.com). Applicants will also submit a graduate school application

Beginning with Summer 2022 Applications - The items above will be submitted using GradCAS.  


Applications received in the School of Art & Design by February 15 for the Fall semester and October 1 for the Winter semester will be given the highest priority. Late applications will be considered as studio space permits. Please consult the Graduate School section of this catalog for application deadlines.

School Information

Art & Design | Sandra Murchison, MFA, Director | 114 Ford Hall, 734.487.1268, smurchis@emich.edu

Advisor Information

Brian Spolans, MFA, Graduate Coordinator, 114 Ford Hall, 734.487.1268, bspolans@emich.edu

Program Requirements

The graduate coordinator will meet with each student to construct a program of study. Students should follow closely the Graduate School requirements for “Application for Diploma.” Students whose degree program includes a final exhibition of work must apply for gallery space one semester prior to the proposed exhibition. Two years of residency (full-time enrollment) are required; exceptions may be made to this requirement with the approval of the student’s advisor and the M.F.A. committee.

At the end of the first year, the M.F.A. committee will review the work of each M.F.A. student and either allow the student to continue or formally ask the student to withdraw from the program. Individual passing grades assigned by a student’s principal advisor or other faculty during the first full year of enrollment in the M.F.A. program shall not be construed as a guarantee that any student will be granted continuation in the M.F.A. program beyond the initial year of study, since the mid-program review by the M.F.A. committee is based upon a de-novo review of the student’s entire first year of M.F.A. work and his or her performance in the mid-program review. Further, no student may rely on statements by faculty or other agents of the University that would suggest, even remotely, that the student is ensured continued enrollment in the M.F.A. program prior to a review and recommendation by the M.F.A. committee.

Degree Requirements: 60 hours

The M.F.A. requires the completion of 60 hours of course work to be distributed among required courses, elective courses and cognate courses as follows:

Critique and Professional Preparation Seminar: 12 hours

One course from the following. The course must be repeated for a total of 12 credit hours.

Elective Courses: 12 hours

Twelve hours selected from courses outside the area of concentration (or major concentration as listed in MA). Courses may be grouped to form a minor concentration in consultation with an advisor.

  • Art elective courses (6 hrs)
  • Art History elective courses (6 hrs)

Cognate Courses: 6 hours

Six hours selected from art or other areas in consultation with an advisor.

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