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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, graphic design, new media, photography, printmaking, and sculpture.

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

Graphic design professor earns recognition for post-COVID-19 workspace design

Huiwon Lim, assistant professor of graphic design, co-designed a collaborative workspace that was selected as a winner in Work Design magazine’s Next Work Environment Competition.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The collaborative design of a shared office in the post-COVID-19 workplace by Huiwon Lim, assistant professor of graphic design in the Penn State Stuckeman School, and

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College offers full slate of virtual events for fall 2020

We may not be able to safely gather in person right now, but the College of Arts and Architecture is offering a full slate of virtual events and opportunities this fall.
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Shepherd opens solo exhibit in New York

Rudy Shepherd's "Calling all Gods" exhibit open through Oct. 16
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