Guidelines for Master of Fine Arts Degree
Department of Art and Design
The Department of Art and Design offers the Master of Fine
Arts degree. The degree program
consists of a minimum of sixty (60) hours of graduate work and is structured
Graduate School Requirements
a 3.0 GPA throughout the MFA program
- Complete the degree requirements within 6 years
- Degree Requirements
- 34 semester credit hours, studio major (to include
terminal thesis project of 16 credit hours).
- 16 semester credit hours of Art History and
Concepts—at least two “in-house” art history courses must be taken. A maximum of seven (7) hours of
Readings in Art History is all that is allowed.
- 10 semester credit hours in studio art other than the
- Areas of Major Studio Concentration:
- Design (Graphic Design, Photography)
General Admissions Policy:
The applicant must have a Bachelor’s degree with a
major in Art from an accredited institution and have completed a minimum of 36
semester credit hours in art on the undergraduate level. Deficiencies must be completed before
candidate is allowed to proceed to the M.F.A. degree program. A minimum of 10 hours in a studio
concentration on the undergraduate level must be completed before the student
is considered a major on the graduate level.
If a student desires to have
graduate credit transferred from another college or university, he/she must
realize that a maximum of nine (9) credit hours only may be transferred
and that these hours must be justified by portfolio or research paper review. In addition, the graduate student must
contact the Department of Art and Design regarding departmental requirements
relating to the transfer credits.
Candidates may request that graduate credit earned in other institutions
of recognized standing be accepted for degree requirements subject to the
departmental limits on transfer credit and approved by the Graduate Dean. Under no circumstances can a course be
transferred to the graduate program until an official transcript for the course
has been received in the Graduate School.
Only graduate courses used on a degree program will be added to the Fort
Hays State University transcript.
The degree courses are transferred the semester of graduation. No course may be transferred for which
validation will be required because of time limits.
- It is expected the applicant
have a 3.0 (B) average on the last 60 hours of undergraduate work.
an official undergraduate transcript and an application of admission to the
three letters of recommendation from people who are, or have been associated
with the applicant as an artist (e.g. instructors, colleagues, etc.).
a statement of purpose concerning motivation in seeking the degree. The student must indicate what his/her concentrations
20 images of his/her work. Each image
must be properly identified with the artist’s name, title, medium, date and
size of work. Images should
include: 10 works from the major concentration and 10 works from other areas of
art. Include an image identification sheet, numbered to correspond with the images. There will be no waivers of image portfolios.
- Submit a resume including exhibition
record and professional employment.
M.F.A. Admissions Committee will review all applications, and at its
discretion, may require completion of particular courses to remove deficiencies
in undergraduate training. Such
courses would be requirements in addition to the minimum required for the
graduate degree. The M.F.A.
Admissions Committee will make a recommendation about admission to the Graduate
Dean, who makes the decision regarding admission. No decision will be announced over the phone.
The M.F.A. candidate must spend two semesters in residency. Summer school is considered as
fulfilling the residency requirement.
A graduate with an M.A. degree from Fort Hays State may
apply up to a total of 36 credit hours toward the M.F.A., subject to the
approval of the major professor and the student’s graduate committee at the
time of filing the degree program.
Consideration will be given to the date of the conferring of the M.A.
degree in determining the number of credit hours acceptable.
Admission to the M.F.A. degree program does not guarantee
graduation or that the student will be awarded a degree. He/she may be dropped from the
enrollment or held in attendance beyond the customary two to three years if
his/her progress does not measure up to the standards of the Department of Art
and Design. Incompletes are not
viewed as satisfactory progress.
Courses must be completed before enrollments are allowed in subsequent
There will be a minimum of three reviews conducted by the
candidate’s graduate committee to determine graduate progress: First Review,
Preliminary Oral Examination, and the Final Oral Examination.
The student should complete at
least 9 hours of graduate credit but no more than 12 hours before they will be
required to have their First Review.
The major professor has the option to invite relevant faculty. The committee will exercise one of
in the program without interruption.
semester of probation with a second review at the end of that period.
- Termination in the program.
The Preliminary Oral Examination
is to be held mid-way through the program after completion of approximately 30
semester hours. This exam should
be done prior to enrolling in thesis hours. The student’s graduate committee will conduct this exam and
make one of the following decisions:
- Continuation in the program without interruption.
- A semester of probation with a second review at the
end of that period.
- Termination in the program.
Final Oral Examination:
Following the opening of the
thesis exhibition, the graduate committee will meet for the oral examination
over the thesis project. Upon the
committee’s approval and recommendation, the candidate will be allowed to
graduate with the terminal M.F.A. degree, provided all other degree
requirements have been fulfilled.
Admission to Candidacy and Filing of Program:
Admission to candidacy means the following conditions have
been met. The student has:
- Had all deficiencies successfully removed.
- Demonstrated satisfactory achievement in course work
presented for admission to candidacy with at least a 3.0 grade point average.
- Received recommended candidacy approval from the
- Presented a thesis project approved by the major
- Filed in the Graduate School a degree program worked
out at the recommendation of the major professor and approved by the Graduate Dean.
Change of Major or Minor:
If a graduate student decides to change their major, he/she
must reapply to the Department of Art and Design and the Graduate Admissions
Committee by submitting images in their new area of concentration. If the student’s request is approved,
the student must realize the need to restructure his or her program, if one has
been formally established, which may result in additional requirements and time
required to complete the degree program.
An appropriate advisor will be assigned to each M.F.A.
candidate and is determined by the studio major indicated on the application of
admission. This advisor works with
the student throughout his/her graduate study.
The course work for the M.F.A. degree must follow a
structured plan as determined by the student and his/her major professor. The program must meet the Department of
Art and Design’s requirements and must be approved by the major professor and
the Graduate Dean.
The graduate committee of the candidate is selected through
advising the student and must be composed of the advisor as chair, two
additional faculty members from the Department of Art and Design and one campus
graduate faculty member outside the department. The chair of the department may be considered an ex-officio
member of all graduate committees but may be an active member upon the request
of the student. The student must
personally invite all faculty members to serve on the graduate committee and
keep the committee informed of progress.
The department offers a limited number of graduate
assistantships. Applications are
available from the Graduate School and are due in that office March 1st
of each year. Announcement of
awards are made by May 1st of each year. In the first year of graduate study, the graduate assistant
must enroll in no less than six (6) and no more than twelve (12) graduate hours
per semester. Graduate
assistantships are limited to two years; however, a student may take more than
three years to complete the degree.
Intent to Graduate:
The Graduate School has specific deadlines for filing the
“Intent to Graduate.” The student
who plans to graduate at the end of a given semester or summer term must file
an “Intent to Graduate” at the time of enrollment or before the deadline given
in the academic calendar for that semester or summer term. The student must be admitted to
candidacy before being eligible to file an “Intent to Graduate.” In the event the student does not
graduate after filing an “Intent to Graduate,” a new form must be completed
before the deadline for the semester or summer term in which the student next
plans to complete requirements.
Written Comprehensive Examination:
Each applicant for a M.F.A. degree must pass satisfactorily
a written comprehensive examination over Philosophy of Creativity, Art History,
and the student’s major concentration.
The student must sign up for the examination in the Graduate School.
The Philosophy of Creativity and Art History components of
the written comprehensive are included in the Concepts of Art Seminar. The
studio concentration component is completed in the semester of the Thesis
Thesis 899 and Thesis Exhibition
The graduate student will enroll in a terminal creative
thesis project totaling at least 16 credit hours. The advisor will work with the student in developing the
thesis project. The graduate
thesis exhibition will be scheduled with the major professor’s approval.
The thesis title must be submitted to the Graduate School
on a specific date designated by that office. The students should check the academic calendar each
semester for that date when planning the thesis project exhibition.
The candidate for the M.F.A. degree will present the thesis
project in a formal exhibition, at which time the final oral examination will
take place. The major professor
reserves the privilege of selecting at least one piece of work from the
candidate’s exhibition. This work
will become a part of the university’s permanent collection.
In addition to the thesis exhibition, the candidate will
design and publish a catalog of the exhibition. This will include photographs of work, a resume, and a
statement made by the candidate.
The minimum number of catalogs required is two (2) catalogs for the
Graduate School, and twenty-five (25) for the Department of Art and Design. The cost for this catalog is the
Catalog standards and stipulation:
Purpose of the M.F.A. Catalog
Graduate Catalog is a partial fulfillment of the requirement for the Master of
Fine Arts degree. The Catalog is a photographic and literary documentation of
the M.F.A. candidate’s graduate art experiences.
of the M.F.A. Catalog
Minimum Scale 8” x 8”
Maximum Scale 9” x 12”
M.F.A. Catalog Content
Cover must include:
Name of the candidate
Title which reads: Graduate Catalog, Master of Fine Arts Degree, Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas, ___(date)
The artist’s statement should be organized in terms of a literary structure which is, above all, clear and conclusive: i.e.
- Introduction -- Thesis
- Body -- Explanatory
- Examples -- Specific
justification for statement made
- Conclusion -- A
positive restatement or “wrap-up”
phrase—Must read: “This catalog is submitted to
the Graduate School in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of
Master of Fine Arts.”
Notes on the statement: The statement should be a
positive argument for why and/or what the artist creates. An extremely varied
range of catalog recipients read the statement; therefore, the need for lucid
readability is obviously a necessity. The length of the statement
should be relative to the attitudes and the philosophy of the individual
artist. It is suggested, however,
that the candidate not become enmeshed in excessive rhetoric.
reproductions of the artist’s work
The number of photographs is somewhat arbitrary; however, an absolute
minimum of six (6) photographs is mandatory.
Photographs must be identified
(verticals first/horizontals second, depth third)
(if necessary for clarity)
- A Photograph of the candidate
- Photographic quality must be
catalog must include a numbered listing of all works represented in the
graduate exhibition (even if all pieces are not photographically reproduced in
the catalog). Each listing must
artist’s biography should contain:
(optional) and place
background (excluding public school)
- Date of expected degree
of exhibitions or professional achievements, including dates
catalog must contain:
seal of Fort Hays State University
name (correctly spelled, please) of:
of Graduate School
– professional rank and area
– professional rank and area
– professional rank and area
– professional rank and area
of the Department of Art and Design
NOTE: Printing credits should be included on the back of the
catalog, if applicable.
It is the candidate’s responsibility to design (or
supervise the design if done by a graphic designer) and to seek out a printing
firm of high standards. The
quality of the printing job may well result in a favorable or unfavorable
impression of the artist’s work and the University by recipients of the
IMPORTANT: Before taking catalog to the printer,
have at least five competent people proofread for errors. This is important because there have
been cases when the student had to have the entire catalog reprinted, resulting
in additional costs..
The catalog must be off the press and ready for
distribution by, or before, the first day of the thesis exhibition.
usually takes from four to six weeks for the printer to complete the catalog,
so plan ahead.
is the responsibility of the candidate to distribute a catalog to all members
of the Department of Art and Design faculty, all University officials listed in
the catalog, and to the President of the University.