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Graduate Catalog 2016/2017

Art (MFA)

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Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
CIP Code: 50.0702
College of The Arts (FA)
Total Minimum Program Hours Required (Post Bachelor's Degree): 60

Contact Information:
College of The Arts
School of Art and Art History Department (ART)
4202 E. Fowler Avenue FAH110
Tampa FL  33620

Program Director or Coordinator:
Wendy Babcox
Phone: 813-974-2360


Faculty Search: The Arts Faculty List

Program Information

The nationally ranked M.F.A. Program in Studio Art has been carefully designed as a course of study that will maximize the students potential for in depth investigation of his or her chosen artistic ideas, themes and /or media. Students are encouraged to acquire technical and conceptual skills in more than one medium or studio discipline and to work toward developing techniques that best communicate the content of their artistic pursuits.


Accreditation Information:

Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of College and Schools.


Admissions Information

Admission Deadlines

There is an established University deadline for the submission of admission application materials. Programs may have earlier deadlines than the University deadline. The deadlines reflected below are the earliest of the two deadlines. Graduate Programs may continue to accept and process applications after the published deadline if space exists within the program. Check with the Program for availability.

Application Deadline (domestic application)

Fall: January 15
Spring: ---
Summer: ---

International Students

Foreign applicants who are outside the U.S. are required to apply for a visa. Depending on the country of origin, this may take a few months. So the deadlines for these international applicants may be earlier than the Program deadline and these applicants must apply prior to both deadlines. They are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible. Foreign applicants who are in the U.S. and are currently on a visa may use the domestic application deadline dates. In addition to meeting the published application deadline for the Program of interest, all immigration documents should be submitted as soon as possible, but must be on file at USF no later than the following processing deadlines:

Fall: January 15
Spring: ---
Summer: ---

Admission Requirements

You must comply with general University policies and meet general University Admission requirements in addition to those listed below.

Must meet University requirements (see Graduate Admissions) as well as requirements listed below.

Program Admission Requirements

  • A Bachelor's degree or equivalentfrom a regionally accredited university or art school
  • Meet at least one of the following criteria
  • Earned a “B” (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) average or better in all upper division studies as an undergraduate student
  • Earned a graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Approved portfolios are required for admission into the M.F.A. Studio Art Program (see program website)

Admissions Status: Apply (Direct Receipt)


Program Degree Requirements








Seminar in Art History: Critical Perspectives in Contemporary Art
  Prerequisite: 20th Century Art History or its equivalent
Graduate Seminar I
Graduate Seminar II
MFA Professional Practices
Seminar in Art History (various specialized topics)
M.F.A. Research Project






ART5000 and 6000 Studio and Discretionary Electives
3 hours of electives must be taken from a program other than the School of Art and Art History


Graduate Instruction Methods
(This course is an elective option for students who have not worked as a Teaching Assistant.)


As part of the student's studio and discretionary electives, he/she may register with a faculty member under a Directed Study Contract. All M.F.A. students are required to take coursework for a grade until they have formed their Supervisory Committee. The descriptions for Directed Study are as follows:

ART6940, Selected Topics in Art, Grading option Regular (For a grade), 1-4 credits
Suitable for coursework by contract in an area in which the student has prior skill.

ART5910, Research, Grading option Regular (For a grade), 1-4 credits
Suitable for coursework by contract in an area in which the student has little or no prior skill.

ART6907, Independent Study, Grading option S/U, 1-19 credits.
Suitable for graduate level coursework in any area for which the student does not wish a letter grade, or which justifies more than 4 hours of credit.  May be used only after the student's Supervisory Committee is formed. (See S/U Grades)

ART6911, Directed Research, Grading option (For a grade), 1-19 credits.
Suitable for graduate level coursework in any area that justifies more than 4 hours of credit.  May be used only after the student's Supervisory Committee is formed. 

As noted, ART 6907 and ART 6911 are not for use by M.F.A. students who have not yet established their Supervisory Committees.  The other, media specific, course numbers such as Sculpture or Painting are not often used as they are fixed at 4 credit hours.

Transfer Credits
Requests for use of transfer credits or credits earned under non-degree seeking student status should be made when the student applies to the graduate program. The faculty will decide at the time of admission whether or not transfer credits and credits earned will be used toward the requirements for the M.F.A. degree. Transfer credit and credit earned as a non-degree seeking student to be used toward the students' M.F.A. degree is limited to 8 semester hours.

A Student may not take any course work for a grade of "S/U" until they have elected a supervisory committee, usually by the fourth semester. All course work taken during the first three semesters must be taken in course work assigning letter grades that designate quality points. Appropriate contract numbers would include graduate level studios such as Sculpture or Painting, and ART 5910 for an area in which a graduate student did not have prior skill, or ART 6940 for studies in an area where prior skill exists but the student requires variable credit or the research does not conform to clear categorization by discipline. ART 6907 Independent Study offers the S/U grading option and is not to be used until after the student has elected a supervisory committee.

The Graduate Supervisory Committee consists of a chair and two members from the Studio Art faculty. The Supervisory Committee must be approved by the MFA Program Coordinator. Exceptions only with approval of the MFA Faculty Coordinator and the Director of the School.

At the end of the first, second and third semester, students will receive a written evaluation from a faculty committee regarding  their progress in the program based on a presentation of their work. A student receiving “unsatisfactory” evaluations for any two of these three semester reviews will be dropped from the program.The full faculty will review a student with two unsatisfactory evaluations before they can be dismissed from the program.



A course in 20th Century Art History should have been successfully completed at the undergraduate level prior to entering the M.F.A. program. If not, new students must enroll in the USF course during the first year of graduate study.

The School of Art and Art History highly recommends that all students seeking an advanced degree in Art take a minimum of one course in Electronic Media.

The remainder of the program is discretionary and is designed by the student with the guidance of the Graduate Art Advisor, during the first three semesters, and with the student's Graduate Supervisory Committee thereafter.

During the fourth semester students will present a proposal for their MFA Research Project. The student must form and meet with their Graduate Supervisory Committee before the conclusion of their second year. The student must present a body of work and written paper supporting the student's proposed direction.

If a student's proposal is satisfactory, he/she will select a graduate Supervisory Committee to oversee the realization of the research project. If a student's project proposal is not satisfactory, another proposal can be presented before the end of the fourth semester. If the student's proposal and re-proposal are voted unsatisfactory the student will be dismissed from the program.

The exhibition, written document and the orals defense conclude the student's graduate program and take place after all course work is completed. The exhibition is usually during the term the student plans to graduate, typically the second semester of the third year. M.F.A. Research Project exhibitions cannot be scheduled for the summer term. Information regarding the exhibition, the written document and the orals defense will be distributed to students prior to the final semester.






College Degree Requirements

Refer to the College Section of theGraduate Catalog for College requirements and information.


USF Degree Requirements

See USF Degree Requirements —


Financial Assistance

Financial Aid

Fellowships & Scholarships

Graduate Assistantships


Registration Process

First, contact your graduate program advisor for guidance courses to register for. Obtain any electronic course permit if necessary. Register for the new student orientation online at Then go to the link to OASIS, USF's on-line registration system to register for your classes. Follow the directions given on-line.

To access online course materials, students must have a USF NetID (e-mail account). Please visit: to obtain your NetID.

New students, including those studying online, may obtain a USFCard. Please visit: to obtain your USFCard.

Tuition and fees: Fees are determined by the level of the course. Please visit Cash Accounting, Controller's Office, for information on tuition and fees.


Graduate Course Information

Use the list below to lookup graduate courses related to this program in the USF Course Inventory:

ARH6798, ART6890, ART6891, ART6999, ARH6798, ART6956, ART5000, ART6000, ART6937, ART6940, ART5910, ART6940, ART5910, ART6907, ART6911, ART6907, ART6911, ART5910, ART6940, ART6907, ART6911,