Fine Art Graduate Degrees

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Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Degree

The Master of Fine Art program provides students a framework for advanced study in drawing and painting, printmaking, and sculpture. Students are focused on technical and conceptual development in figurative, abstract or landscape work. The School of Fine Art provides graduate students with studio space, exhibition galleries, and world class facilities.

MFA Fine Art Unit Requirements

Major 27 units
Directed Study 18 units
Graduate Liberal Arts 12 units
Electives* 6 units
TOTAL 63 units
*Per director approval

MFA Fine Art Degree Requirements

  • Successful completion of a Final Thesis Project
  • Minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA
  • Minimum grade of C in all required 63 units

Additional Information

MFA Program Learning Outcomes

Graduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:

MFA Thesis Project

  • Present an original thesis concept worthy of the MFA degree
  • Demonstrate the feasibility of the thesis project
  • Produce a body of professional-level artwork warranting a professional gallery exhibit, demonstrating personal vision, rigor and cohesiveness in style, group and concept

Visual Communication

  • Work with appropriate skill in a chosen medium or mediums.

Planning and Conceptual Development

  • Conduct project-related research
  • Explore ideas and articulate concepts.
  • Choose appropriate materials and techniques to support concepts.

Critical Analysis

  • Critically evaluate personal work using objective criteria: describing facts, analyzing composition, interpreting content, and judging results.

Communication Skills

  • Give clear and concise professional presentations (verbal and visual).
  • Professionally present ideas in writing.

Professional Readiness

  • Produce a gallery-ready professional portfolio.
  • Produce professional promotional materials.

Specialty Skills: Printmaking

  • Demonstrate proficiency in relevant printmaking techniques
  • Demonstrate editioning skills

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.


Please see Degree Breakdown for requirements for the program. Explore our course catalog and take classes based on your interests, either online or in our world-class facilities in San Francisco.

Graduate Degree Breakdowns

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

The MFA curriculum in Fine Art allows students to concentrate on Painting, Printmaking or Sculpture with a focus on technical and conceptual development. The departments provide graduate students with studio space, exhibition galleries and state-of-the-art facilities and equipment.

The resulting student portfolios are critically appraised at the graduate student's Final Review and are professionally exhibited to the fine art community in San Francisco's gallery district.

Gainful Employment Information

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Carrie Ann Plank

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