2017-2018 Graduate Catalog


Studio Art, MFA

Master of Fine Arts degree available in painting (including drawing), printmaking and sculpture (including ceramics and new media).

TCU offers a three-year (60-semester-hour) program in art leading to the Master of Fine Arts degree. The faculty welcomes applicants whose work displays high quality, originality and sustained visual ideas.

Program Prerequisites

B.F.A., or equivalent, including concentration in intended specialty as evidenced by appropriate credit, an acceptable portfolio of work, a statement of professional experience and goals, and letters of recommendation. Admission to the program is based on:

  • Portfolio acceptable to faculty committee
  • Strong G.P.A. in undergraduate art courses
  • Statement of professional experience and goals
  • Good overall academic G.P.A.
  • Three letters of recommendation.

Degree Requirements

At least 60 semester hours must be earned, including no less than 12 in one area of specialization, and one hour in Thesis Exhibition. Six hours of Graduate Seminar, 12 hours of ARST 60120 and 6 hours of Special Topic Contemporary Art History are required. If necessary, 3 hours in art history may be chosen in consultation with the student's advisory committee. The remaining hours may be selected with the approval of the student's thesis committee, but with no more than 6 hours taken outside the School. Suggested Credit-Hour Distribution:

First Year

1st Semester

Studio  4
Grad. Critique 
Seminar 
Total  10

2nd Semester

Studio  4
Grad. Critique 
Art History 
Total   10

Second Year

1st Semester

Studio  7
Seminar 3
Candidacy  
Total  10

2nd Semester

Studio  4
Grad. Critique 
Art History 
Total  10

Third Year

1st Semester

Studio  7
Grad. Critique
3
Total  10

2nd Semester

Studio  9
Thesis Exhibition
1
Total  10

Sequential Summary

First semester-request appointment of thesis committee; complete sequence of courses as approved by committee; complete any conditions contained in the admission letter from the Graduate Office. Second semester-complete sequence of courses as approved by committee. Third semester-complete sequence of courses as approved by committee; seek candidacy approval of committee. Forth semester-complete sequence of courses as approved by committee. Fifth semester-request committee approval for preparation of Thesis Exhibition; complete sequence of courses approved by committee. Sixth semester-enroll for ARST 70991 Thesis Exhibition with major adviser as chair of committee; complete approved sequence of courses; give careful attention to the special deadlines for graduating students as they are outlined in the Bulletin or "Information and Deadlines for Graduation" available from the Graduate Office. Students are advised to work at least two weeks ahead of deadlines to avoid disappointments caused by unexpected delays and schedule conflicts.

Thesis Committees

Students admitted to the program will be assigned a temporary adviser in their major or specialty area until an ultimate area of specialization is determined. In the first six weeks of study the student must request, in writing, that the director appoint a faculty member as a permanent major adviser. The student must confer with the proposed major adviser, and ensure that the faculty member is prepared to accept the student before requesting the director to appoint the major adviser. The student may also suggest the names of two other faculty members to serve on the thesis committee. The thesis committee is formally appointed by the Graduate Office on the recommendation of the director of the School of Art.

While every effort will be made to compose a committee of the student's first choices, it may be necessary to make changes in light of the student's field of concentration, and the load or commitments of the faculty members.

A student may request, in writing, to the director, that a change be made of the major adviser, or committee members, if the field of specialization changes, or if other justifiable reasons arise that would make the continuation of the existing committee contrary to the best interests of the student or the program.

The major adviser will be responsible for committee activities, for aiding the student in matters of the program and for informing the director, in writing, of the progress of the student.

Colloquia

Colloquia are offered by the faculty of the School. These are intended to serve the specific purpose of establishing a personal and informal means of communication between students and faculty. The colloquia will feature presentations and discussions by on and off-campus speakers, faculty and members of the School of Art.

Candidacy

Admission to candidacy requires the approval of the thesis committee of each student. Admission to candidacy is expected no later than the end of the third semester of graduate study. Those who have not been admitted to candidacy by the beginning of their forth semester may not earn additional credits. Those who wish additional elective credits may continue for a probationary period of not more than 12 semester hours as a 'non-degree' student. Further enrollment will be permitted only if a student is re-admitted to the degree program.

Exhibition

Thesis exhibition enrollment requires admission to candidacy as a prerequisite. Actual installation of the thesis exhibition requires approval of the thesis committee. The written portion of the thesis exhibition also requires committee approval. This written portion, and the format of the permanent record of the thesis exhibition, will be determined by the committee. The written portion of the MFA requirement is to be called 'Thesis Exhibition Statement' and will contain the following:

  1. Title page;
  2. Approval (signatures) page;
  3. Index to the written portion;
  4. Curriculum Vitae of the student;
  5. List of illustrations (with title, media, dimensions);
  6. Narration;
  7. Illustrations in the form of photographs.

The narration (6 above) will take one of the following formats:

  • Program notes of an explanatory nature from the student's work in the exhibition;
  • Student's personal evaluation of the art forms contained in the exhibit;
  • Contemporary or historical perspectives supporting the student's exhibit.

An electronic version of the Thesis Exhibition Statement will be submitted to the library. This copy will contain digital images of the work, which must include the title, date, media and dimensions of work.

Oral Examination

Candidates for the M.F.A. are required to perform satisfactorily in a final oral examination.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships are offered each year to qualified candidates. Graduate assistants have an obligation of eight hours a week in service to the School. They are given a full tuition waiver plus a stipend. Graduate assistants are assigned a studio space.