The Department of Craft/Material Studies offers graduate course work leading to the MFA degree in five disciplines: ceramics, fiber, woodworking/furniture design, glassworking and jewelry/metal working.
Within the studio concentration, emphasis is placed on self-motivation, individual investigation, and the development of professional attitudes and skills. Graduate students are expected to demonstrate a serious commitment to their work and develop mature ideas and forms of expression. Admission to the graduate program and the awarding of Graduate Teaching Assistantships and Graduate Scholarships is highly selective and competitive.
The Department of Craft/Material Studies is housed in a new Fine Arts Building that includes private and semi-private graduate studios. These new facilities provide a safe and excellent physical environment in which to work. Graduate students have access to well-equipped studios in each of the five media areas along with a computer lab and wood shop.
The MFA Program, which requires 60 credits, is usually completed in two years of full-time study. The majority of credits are taken in the student’s area of specialization. Graduate seminars, art history courses and other studio/academic electives round out the graduate student’s individualized program. Studio visits and critiques with visiting artists and critics are an important aspect of the program. Graduate students interact formally and informally with the faculty in their areas and with other faculty in the department and in the School of the Arts. Each graduate student works closely with a faculty committee that meets at least twice a semester for critiques and discussions. At the end of the first year students present their work to the departmental faculty in a candidacy review. At the successful completion of the 60 credits a thesis exhibition is mounted at the university’s Anderson Gallery or at an alternative venue.
The Ceramics program is dedicated to the idea that a student's future success is dependent on creative excellence, strong technical skills and a good basic liberal arts education.
Courses are designed to enable students to build technical skills, to provide exposure to contemporary methods of working in clay, to develop critical thinking skills, and to encourage students to develop a personal direction in the medium. Courses address contemporary issues and promote an atmosphere that is balanced between conceptual development and material exploration. Specific ceramics courses dedicated to wheel throwing and handbuilding are the foundation of the program. Special topics courses in glaze calculation, mold making, sculptural form, and vessels are also offered. In addition to courses within the program, ceramics students are encouraged to investigate the breadth of offerings in the School of the Arts. The University offers an MFA in Fine Arts with a concentration in Ceramics; this program entails a minimum of two years of intensive studio work. Graduate students are expected to demonstrate a serious dedication to their work and to the development of mature ideas and forms of expression.