The Masters of Fine Arts in Visual Arts offers students the opportunity to explore art history, theory and criticism in depth along with a hands-on creative production. This combination of theoretical study with production experience gives students a unique understanding of how art creates meaning.  



For a list of admission requirements to the MFA program, see Graduate Program - MFA in the Admission section of this Catalog. 

Fall, spring and summer semesters - $487 (per semester hour)



The MFA degree is a low-residency, 60-unit plan of study emphasizing visual art and the creative process of generating new works that are grounded in both classical and contemporary genres. The MFA at JU nurtures the development of more rigorous and refined relationships between three aspects of creative production: stimulus, practice and analysis are seen as mutually interdependent forces that continually shape artistic experimentation and response.

Studio or Related Areas

Code Course  Credit
ART 500 Graduate Seminar    4
ART 510 Process Investigation I     3
ART 515 Critical Theory I  2
ART 520​ Contemporary Practices​  6​
ART 525 Practical Methodology  2
ART 530 ​ Intermedia I​  3​
ART 535 Interdisciplinary Arts Seminar  2
ART 540 Graduate Critique  4
ART 555​ Research and Development I​  2​
ART 565​ Body Politics​  2​
ART 610 Process Investigation II  3
ART 615 Critical Theory II  2
ART 630​ Intermedia II​  3​
ART 655 Research and Development II  2
                                                                                           Subtotal:​  40​


Other Studies in Visual Art

Code Course Credit
ART 545 Art History and Criticism I  2
ART 550​ Pedagogy I​  3​
ART 645​ Art History and Criticism II​  2​
ART 650​ Pedagogy II​  3​
ART 665​ Graduate Thesis I​  4​
ART 675​ Graduate Thesis II​  4​
ART 685​ Portfolio​  2​
                                                                                             Subtotal:​  20​
​                                                                                                    Total:  60​




The Master of Fine Arts program requires the equivalent of at least two (2) years of full-time graduate study, with a minimum of 60 semester credit hours. Over 50% of the curriculum (32 credits) will be delivered during the onsite residency program during non-traditional semester and less than 50% of the curriculum (28 credits) will be delivered in a hybrid format using online study. This two-year degree program would consist each year of a six-week Summer Intensive, a one-week individual residency to work with undergraduate students in art at JU, and two (2) semesters of hybrid/distance instruction. 

Transfer of Credit - Transfer of Credit will not be allowed in the graduate curriculum.

Policies - Policies are clearly published on the program and University web sites and Academic Catalog.

Transcript Evidence - Consistent with graduation requirements and verified by the University registrar prior to the degree being granted from the program.

Thesis Requirement - The course ART 695. Research-Based Project/Thesis Continuous Enrollment (1 credit), will be required of candidates who do not pass ART 675 to assure the Thesis requirement is met. This course description is as follows: Prerequisite ART 675. This course is Pass/Fail. May be repeated for credit. Students must enroll in ART 695 each subsequent semester until the completion of the research-based project/thesis. Faculty will periodically review individual student’s progress in meeting course goals and completing the project/thesis. Upon completion of the project/thesis, faculty will approve the final paper and arrange for final paper presentation sessions. Students are expected to complete all objectives for ART 675 and finalize their projects for committee approval prior to their presentations.

Written and Oral Defense Qualifying Examination - The graduate student will select his/her exam committee and the written comprehensive examination will be distributed and evaluated through that committee. The committee may elect to have the MFA candidate complete an oral defense of the exam results. This exam will substantiate the candidate’s knowledge of the curriculum.

Thesis Project - During the Summer II intensive the student submits a 5-15 page proposal for the final thesis project to be approved by the thesis committee. The final project could take the form of a exhibition or some other performance event in which the students’ research is made evident. For example, students may undertake to create site-specific installation, organize opportunities for interactive performance with distinct groups of performers, produce film to be viewed on DVD. Whatever the final form, the project must demonstrate a thorough investigation and committed execution of a defined aesthetic concern. The final project includes a written component to be completed as a requirement of the thesis. This document, 20-40 pages in length, outlines the aesthetic focus of the student's research and provides a historical and philosophical contextualization for the project.​



A graduate student will be placed on Academic Probation at the conclusion of any semester in which the student’s cumulative GPA is less than a 3.0(B).  The student has the following one semester (or two courses) to raise the cumulative GPA to a 3.0.  A graduate student will be dismissed from the program if the student does not raise the cumulative GPA to a 3.0 within one semester (or two courses) of being placed on Academic Probation.  A graduate student placed on Academic Probation more than one time during the program will be dismissed from the program.  A graduate student earning one grade of “F” in any graduate course will be dismissed from the program.