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Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
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M.F.A. in Art

Envision. Advance. Explore.
Amplify your artistic voice.
Your artistic vision is becoming a reality with each work you produce, and you are prepared to solidify your place in the evolving art world. Our world-class faculty is eager to help. In a highly specialized atmosphere that offers the tools and support you need to grow, the Penn State School of Visual Arts is the ideal place to explore your strengthening artistic voice.

Do you see your art having an impact? We do.

The M.F.A. in Art offers concentrations in ceramics, drawing and painting, new media, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. An M.F.A. in Art with a concentration in graphic design is jointly support by the Department of Graphic Design in the Stuckeman School and the School of Visual Arts

Our program is recognized for emphasizing excellence in the study and production of visual art and cultural engagement. We embrace the reality that the art world has changed radically in recent years, and we strive to produce professional artists who are prepared to navigate those changes.

The School of Visual Arts requires completion of a minimum of 60 credits to earn the M.F.A. in Art. Of the 60 credits required for graduation, candidates are expected to complete 30 credits in a major area of concentration, 12 credits in art history and critical studies, 10 credits in related areas, and 8 credits in graduate seminar. No more than 10 credits may be transferred from other accredited graduate institutions.

Is the M.F.A in Art right for you?


Our graduates have consistently demonstrated not only the skills traditionally associated with studio production, but also an acute awareness of critical issues in art, shifts within contemporary culture, and developments in the rapidly changing post-industrial age.

Throughout the course work, students will be guided by an invested faculty that encourages interaction among graduate students and faculty across disciplines within the school, the College of Arts and Architecture, and the University.

In addition to course work, M.F.A. in Art candidates must pass a candidacy review, which is usually held at the end of the second semester of study, submit an artist’s statement, pass the M.F.A. comprehensive oral examination and produce an M.F.A. exhibition and public presentation.


M.F.A. exhibition installation Bloom Bloom.

Considering the M.F.A. in Art? Consider this.

Options in ceramics, drawing/painting, graphic design, new media, photography, printmaking, and sculpture.

  • Enjoy the vibrant, collegial environment in Penn State’s Arts District.

  • All the resources of a large research university while studying in SoVA’s closeknit community.

  • Faculty bring a range of teaching and professional experience from across the country and the world.

Alumni Spotlight

Metropolitan Opera design director Karin Satrom.

Alumni Spotlight

Karin Satrom

B.Des. in Graphic Design 2001

Karin Satrom leverages her degree in graphic design and photography as the design director at the Metropolitan Opera, where she oversees and creates the concepts and designs for all print and digital materials for each season. To improve efficiency, she reorganized the design team to create an “in-house agency,” the Met Opera Studio.

Billboard poster for Metropolitan Opera's 'Voices Rise' by designer and Penn State alumna Karin Satrom.
Metropolitan Opera's 'Black Voices at the Met' environmental signage by designer and Penn State alumna Karin Satrom.
Metropolitan Opera 2018-19 Season Book cover by designer and Penn State alumna Karin Satrom.

News from A&A

SoVA team receives grant to facilitate remote teaching of ceramics

SoVA Ceramics faculty received a grant to transform Intro to Ceramics into a completely remote course.

Kris Grey, visiting artist and assistant teaching professor in ceramics, is the leader of a team of Penn State School of Visual Arts faculty and students who received a Schreyer Institute

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Alfred curates exhibition highlighting sound and the visual arts

Brian Alfred, associate professor of art, is the curator of “Sound & Color,” a group exhibition at Miles McEnery Gallery in New York City that runs through December 19.
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New online gallery features past THON logos from Stuckeman School alumni

The THON website recently published a new virtual gallery showcasing five previous logos from the annual event as well as the designers responsible for them.
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