M.F.A. exhibition showing close up of a sculpture.

Art, M.F.A.

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, Penn State School of Visual Arts is the ideal place to explore your strengthening artistic voice.

Program Application Deadline

The deadline for applications for AY 2023–24 is January 15, 2023.

To be assured full consideration, please apply by this deadline. The M.F.A. program application requires submission of a portfolio of work, details are available via the SoVA SlideRoom link below.

SoVA M.F.A. – SlideRoom

Earn a Master of Fine Arts in Art at Penn State

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, 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.


With specialized resources and faculty, students will pursue a focused degree from the following concentration areas.

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

Options in ceramics, drawing/painting, graphic design, new media, photography, 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 close-knit community.
  • Faculty bring a range of teaching and professional experience from across the country and the world.