Kentucky's Premiere Photo Education Source

UK MFA Program

Master of Fine Arts in Studio



The Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) degree in Art Studio is the three-year terminal degree for studio artists and the required faculty credential for most institutions of higher learning.  In addition to being fully qualified to teach at the college-level, M.F.A. graduates will possess the skills to pursue careers in commercial venues or as full-time practicing fine artists.  Students enrolled in the M.F.A. program are encouraged to explore inter-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary mediums or concentrate upon a single media dependent upon the direction of their research.


Admission Requirements


See the Admissions pages on this web site for specific application procedures and deadlines.


Undergraduate artwork must be substantially equal in quality, scope, and number of hours to the undergraduate major at the University of Kentucky.


Degree Requirements


M.F.A. students designate one of the following major areas of study with the advice of the Director of Graduate Studies at the outset of graduate work and carry at least 12 credits in that area under the guidance of one faculty member selected as a major professor.


-New Media


A foreign language is not required and the M.F.A. degree is offered only according to Plan B (non-written thesis option).


The M.F.A. degree will be awarded on the completion of 60 hours of graduate course work. Of these, 30 hours must be at or above the 600 level and 40 hours must be in regular graduate level courses (not independent study). In addition, the 60 credit hours will include 30 to 36 credit hours in Art Studio courses (including Graduate Studio Seminar and Studio Thesis Project), 6 to 12 credit hours in Art History and/or Art Education (a total of 24 credit hours of undergraduate and graduate Art History study is required), and up to 18 credit hours in related graduate courses which may be taken outside the Department of Art in the College of Fine Arts or elsewhere in the University.


M.F.A. Reviews


In addition to frequent informal and classroom critiques, M.F.A. students undergo the following reviews:

      • 1. A Preliminary Review for first semester M.F.A. candidates takes place at the end of the Fall semester.  Its purpose is to prepare the student for his/her Qualifying Review the following semester.
      • 2. A Qualifying Review is held at the end of the semester in which the M.F.A. candidate accumulates twelve (12) studio credit hours, usually Spring semester of their first year in the program.
      • 3. Continuing Student Reviews are conducted annually at the end of the Fall semester.
      • 4. Graduate Critiques are held four time each semester – usually on Friday afternoons.
      • 5. A Final Examination is conducted by the student’s Graduate Committee during their M.F.A. exhibition.


Qualifying and Filing for Graduation


Graduation Checklist:


      1. 1. Outstanding bills to the University must be paid in full.
      2. 2. No incomplete “I” grades on transcript.
      3. 3. Sixty (60) credit hours of course work.
      4. 4. Thirty (30) credit hours at the 600 level or above.
      5. 5. Twelve (12) credit hours in discipline under student’s major professor.
      6. 6. Six (6) credit hours of A-S 767:  M.F.A. Thesis preparation.
      7. 7. Three (3) credit hours of A-S 793:  Graduate Seminar.
      8. 8. Six (6) credit hours of graduate level art history.
      9. 9. Twenty-four (24) credit hours of art history (undergraduate and graduate combined).


Students must successfully complete a final one-person M.F.A. exhibition of studio work, a final examination, and a visual documentation of that work together with an explanatory essay that is to be filed with the department prior to the exhibition. A total of 6 credits of A-S 767 (Studio Thesis Project) is required for the preparation of the exhibition and essay. Work toward the one-person exhibition will begin at a time determined by the Art Studio faculty.


To receive a degree, students must complete the online Application for Degree form found on the Graduate School web site during the first thirty (30) days of the semester in which they expect to graduate (fifteen (15) days for summer session and August graduation).


The Graduate School must receive a completed Request for Final Exam form from the Director of Graduate Studies at least two weeks before the final exam.  The student must initiate this process by downloading and completing the online Request for Final Examination form found on the Graduate School web site and giving it to the Director of Graduate Studies.  The DGS signs the form, copies it to the student’s file and transmits it to the Graduate School.  A Final Examination form is then issued to the Chair of the student’s Graduate Committee.


The final examination must occur during the M.F.A. thesis exhibition no later than eight days before the last day of classes.  When completed, the Chair and members of the Graduate Committee sign the examination form and return it to the Director of Graduate Studies for signature and transmittal to the Graduate School.


For more information about the M.F.A. program, please contact the current Graduate Advisor for Art Studio, Prof. Doreen Maloney, 207 Fine Arts Building, 859.257.8151.


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