Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art (MFA)

Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art (MFA)

The mission of the Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art [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, seminar, 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 pursue both excellence in teaching and an active agenda of research and creative work. The MFA degree is a full-time, 60-hour program that culminates in an exhibition and an optional written thesis.


The Studio Art [MFA] program is built upon strong mentorship, where graduate students will work closely with instructors in their areas of concentration. Incoming Graduate students are selected by Faculty Mentors to provide support and guidance through the program. Graduates are encouraged to schedule individual meetings with Faculty from other areas to discuss their creative activities.

The School of Art & Design works to place interested graduate students into Area Assistantships and Teaching Assistantships as often as possible. Area Assistants work closely with faculty to maintain facilities and support undergraduate students working in those areas. Teaching Assistantships develop and implement University level curricula for 100-level or other introductory studio art courses. While not guaranteed, MFA graduate students in the School of Art & Design are commonly appointed assistantships for up to four semesters.

Areas of Concentration

The School of Art and Design offers degrees in Studio Art with concentrations in 2D; 3D; Photo/New Media; and Graphic Design.

The School of Art & Design has facilities and offers graduate courses in the following areas: drawing, painting, printmaking, graphic design, digital fabrication, fibers, ceramics, furniture design, metals, new media, photography, sculpture, and watercolor.


Graduate students have access to the School of Art & Design facilities and are also assigned a personal studio space to develop their creative work.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do we accept International students?

YES. The School of Art & Design encourages International students to apply. Please look at the International Graduate Student sections of the website for more information.

Do we offer Financial Support?

YES. The School of Art & Design offers the following financial support opportunities on a competitive basis:

  • Scholarships: The School of Art & Design has general scholarship funds and area-specific scholarship funds allocated. These funds can range from a few hundred dollars to over $1,000 per academic year. Students need to have their applications completed before the February deadline to be considered. The Scholarship funds are determined in the Summer.
  • Graduate Assistantships: Graduate Area Assistants and Teaching Assistants receive a stipend and tuition reimbursement for approximately 10 weekly hours of studio or teaching duties.

The University's financial aid page is a great resource to find more information:

Who will be my Faculty Mentor?

Your faculty mentor will be determined by who you request in your application and faculty availability. Feel free to look at the School of Art & Design’s faculty page and visit their websites to discover like-minded faculty.

When do you accept students into the MFA program?

The School of Art and Design accepts applications year round but has 2 major application deadlines:

  • To begin courses in the Fall-Applications are due by February 15th.
  • To begin courses in the Winter-Applications are due by October 1st.
How do I apply?

All persons must apply to the Graduate School to gain admission to the University.

Portfolios, accompanied by the appropriate materials, should be submitted to the School of Art & Design for evaluation through Slideroom, available through the Centralized Application System.  

For other questions about the program, faculty or the application process, please contact the School of Art & Design’s Graduate Coordinator Leslie Atzmon at [email protected]