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Washington State University Factsheets

Master of Fine Arts

Faculty working with Students: 16
Students: 14
Students receiving assistantships or scholarships: 100%
Priority deadline:
  • Fall January 15
Campus:
  • Pullman: Yes
Tests required:
  • 550 TOEFL Minimum score
  • 80 TOEFLI Minimum score

Degree Description:

The MFA program at Washington State University is a two-year interdisciplinary program where students may focus in, but are not limited to, ceramics, drawing, digital media, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. Emphasis is placed on personal and conceptual artistic development in light of contemporary art practices. Graduates meet with faculty for one-on-one studio discussions. First year students have an exhibition in the departmental gallery and the second year program culminates in a thesis exhibition held in the Museum of Art. A final oral examination and a thesis document are also required. The degree requires 57 graded credit hours and 5 credit hours of thesis work (FA 700) totaling 62 credits.

Admission Requirements:

All M.F.A. applicants must comply with the requirements for admission to the Graduate School as specific in the Graduate Studies Bulletin. “Undergraduate degrees (BA, BFA, BS, BEd) differ in disciplinary credit distribution and educational emphasis. In order to compensate for these differences in the studies (both undergraduate and graduate) leading ultimately to the MFA degree, the following combined (undergraduate plus graduate) semester credit totals are recommended: art studio, 100; history of art, 24.” http://www.collegeart.org/guidelines/mfa

The Department of Fine Arts require:
1) A statement of intent indicating your area(s) of focus, the subject of your work, the concepts and issues you are exploring, and how you foresee your work evolving within the program;
2) Please upload your supplemental MFA portfolio of exactly 20 images. If you have time based work, each link will count as 1 portfolio image. Each file must be less than 2 MB in size. Form for submission can be found here: https://finearts.wsu.edu/mfa-portfolio/
3) An inventory list with the title, medium, size and approximate date of completion for each work included in the  portfolio.

Those applying for a teaching assistantship must furnish three letters of recommendation to the Graduate School indicating in which areas they are qualified to assist and teach. If out of the ordinary facilities are needed, the applicant should inquire if they are available in the department.

Student Learning Outcome:

All graduates will be able to:

  1.  An ability to solve open-ended problems/challenges of artistic expression.
  2.  An ability to analyze the working methods of artists and the results of their efforts in a diverse and disciplined way.
  3.  An ability to communicate effectively through their artistic practice. Students should be aware of and engaged in a thorough way with art history, critical theory and visual culture in a  way that considers a broad cultural awareness considering both local and/or global issues in order to make critical judgments about contemporary are while gaining a deeper  understanding of their own personal values.
  4.  An in-depth understanding of the visual arts, art history, critical theory and visual culture, sufficient to prepare them to move into a professional career in the arts, including essential  concepts and theories of studio production in a variety of disciplines, with a sophistication and refinement especially in a major field.
  5.  A ability to take risks in experimentation. This could mean breaking from usual habits. Trying new materials and methodologies in confirming the direction of their work.
  6.  A clear and thorough understanding of their personal practice. Each candidate should be able to demonstrate a strong commitment investing time and resources to generating  continual development and inquiry. This includes both working in the studio and researching artists and theory of art-making.
  7.  Communicate effectively in both written and oral form. Students will be able to:
    •  Demonstrate awareness of context, audience, purpose, and the presented artwork.
    •  Use appropriate and relevant content to develop and present ideas.
    •  Demonstrate consistent use of credible, relevant sources to support ideas.
    •  Demonstrate delivery techniques (posture, gesture, eye contact, and vocal expressiveness) make the presentation interesting, and speaker appears comfortable.

Student Opportunities:

Training and Professional Development Opportunities include:

-Opportunities to work in a professional museum context and learn to install exhibitions, give tours etc.

-Our Endowed Visiting Artist program, which enables students to work one-on-one with professional artists in the field. These artists give critical feedback to our students in the form of studio visits.

Career Opportunities:

Post Graduate Empolyment Opportunities:

-Teaching at the college/university level
-Professional Artist
-Curatorial/Gallery work

Career Placements:

Post-Graduate Career Placements:

WSU Museum of Art
Teaching Middleton, Texas
Adjunct Teaching at WSU and Tri Cities,
Teaching at Missouri State University
Teaching at Green River Community College
Teaching at Black Hills State College and Nevada State College
Teaching at Columbia Basin College
Clinical Assistant Professor DTC, WSU
Adjunct Professor of Art, Prince George’s Community College in MD
Adjunct Professor Iowa Western Comminity Colege
Adjunct Professor Community College of Spokane and Yakima Valley College
Adjunct Professor Eastern Washington University, Whitworth University and North Idaho College
Academic adviser and instructor Tennessee Tech University
Assistant Professor Yakima Valley College
Freelance Graphic Designer
Studio Technician University of Arizona
Program Assistant at Present Los Angeles
Assistant Professor Midland College
Staff Vermont Studios
Adjunct Professor South Dakota State University
Assistant Professor Valley City State University
Instructor/Technician Bullseye Glass Co.
Studio Assistant Reed College
Professional Photographer
Assistant Professor Spokane Falls Community College
Adjunct Professor Olympic College and Green River College
Adjunct Professor Metropolitan State University Denver, CO
Assistant Professor Mott College, MI
Adjunct Green River College, WA

Faculty Members:

Bawa, Avantika, M.F.A.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Brown, Thom, MFA

Serves as: chair or member on graduate committee

Christenson, Peter, M.F.A.

Serves as: chair or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

New media, psychosocial and relational art, narrative,
documentary and experimental video/film, sound, interventionist practices,
institutional critique, performance, installation and immersive
experience, digital culture, design and visual rhetoric, net art, zines
and bookmaking.

Creston, Sena Clara, M.F.A.

Serves as: co-chair or member on graduate committee

Dehart, Dennis, M.F.A.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Research Interests

DeHart’s fine art photographs and interdisciplinary projects that are compelled by the connections, conflicts, and intersections of the natural and cultural worlds.

Gast, Doug, M.F.A.

Serves as: chair or member on graduate committee

Haas, Kevin, M.F.A.

Serves as: chair or member on graduate committee

Hedges, Joe, M.F.A.

Serves as: chair or member on graduate committee

Higgs, Harrison, M.F.A.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Holloman, Michael, M.F.A.

Serves as: chair or member on graduate committee

Kinkel, Marianne, Ph.D.

Serves as: chair or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

20th Century American Art and visual culture, portraiture, ethnographic sculpture, representation of race and gender, museum displays, 20th century cartography and caroons.

Kolden, Zachary, M.F.A.

Serves as: member only on graduate committee

Research Interests

Photography

Meisel, Squeak, M.F.A.

Serves as: chair or member on graduate committee

Meredith, Hallie, D.Phil.

Serves as: co-chair or member on graduate committee

Palmer, Io, M.F.A.

Serves as: chair on graduate committee

Safavi, Reza, M.F.A.

Serves as: chair or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Video, sound, photography, interactivity, performance, installation, sculpture, web art, media/film studies.

Contact Information:

Sophia Handel
5072 Wilson Road
PO Box 647450
Pullman, WA 99164-7450
509-335-8686
509-335-7742