A low-residency, intensive year round program providing the conceptual, critical, historical, and practical knowledge needed to sustain a successful studio.

  • The University of the Arts offers a MFA in Studio Art, allowing candidates to explore in a multitude of artistic disciplines. Formerly known as the MFA in Ceramics, Painting and Sculpture, the program has recently expanded its range of disciplines to include Photography, Multi-media and Interdisciplinary Arts. Students can still choose to “major” in one of the three primary disciplines but will have access to a wider range of facilities and instruction. This allows students the opportunity to maintain a primary discipline while experiencing other facets of making that may have been previously unavailable to them, or that they wish to investigate on an independent basis fast-paper-editing.com.

    Low Residency

    The low-residency MFA in Studio Art program is a unique program which offers you a studio-based education providing the conceptual, critical, historical and practical knowledge needed to sustain a successful studio. The program is designed to meet the needs of artists working and living in the Philadelphia area, as well as artists who are seeking a distance learning master of fine arts degree.

    This program provides both a fully immersed campus experience and an independent study experience that offers the candidate the opportunity to complete the MFA in a year-round study both on and off-campus. Students enter the program in mid-June for an 8-week semester in residence at the center city Philadelphia campus until mid-August when they return to their home studios to take on the fall semester. During the fall and spring semesters, students work off-campus by seeing a faculty mentor every three weeks. Students living around the country follow the same curriculum by seeing artist mentors located in their region every three weeks.

    A low residency program is uniquely crafted to include an integral studio program coupled with a professional practice writing component to best prepare our graduates for the real-world experience in a creative discipline. In a traditional program a student would be challenged in a closed environment, while in a low-residency program, the environment is opened to include all aspects of the student’s life. Where life is often “on hold” during graduate study, we prefer our students to experience a graduate program from multiple viewpoints: as a student and as a professional. The summer semester of the program takes advantage of the mentoring, instruction and critical development that the university setting has to offer. The spring and fall semesters are independently designed by the student while they maintain constant contact with their faculty, either though personal meetings or distance learning.

    The definitions of Studio Art are continually changing. Our program understands the multi-disciplinary nature of visual arts in a contemporary world, and the importance of creating a path of study that reflects this dynamism. Moreover, we strongly feel that it is important for our graduate students to interact as a group and create lasting connections within the Program and the larger world.

  • The MFA low-residence program began accepting students in 1995. The NASAD accredited 60 credit MFA Program is structured as a year-round format and can be completed within 2 1/2 years. Students can only enter the program in June of each year. The schedule of study is listed below.

    Year One Credits: 21

    Summer Year One, Credits: 12

    • FINA 613 – Graduate Drawing: 3 Credits
    • FINA 610 – Major Studio I: 6 Credits
    • GRAD 655 – Graduate Seminar: Visual Culture Studies: 3 Credits

    Fall Year One, Credits: 4.5

    • FINA 611 – Independent Studio I: 3 Credits
    • FINA 621 – Independent Writing Project I: 1.5 Credits

    Spring Year One, Credits: 4.5

    • FINA 612 – Independent Studio II: 3 Credits
    • FINA 622 – Independent Writing Project II: 1.5 Credits

    Year Two Credits: 21

    Summer Year Two, Credits: 12

    • FINA 615 – Major Studio II: 6 Credits
    • FINA 614 – Studio Topics: Contemporary Practices: 3 Credits
    • GRAD 656 – Graduate Seminar: Contemporary Topics in Art and Design: 3 Credits

    Fall Year Two, Credits: 4.5

    • FINA 781 – Thesis Writing Project I; 1.5 Credits
    • FINA 783 – Thesis Preparation I; 3 Credits

    Spring Year Two, Credits: 4.5

    • FINA 782 – Thesis Writing Project II: 1.5 Credits
    • FINA 784 – Thesis Preparation II: 3 Credits

    Year Three Credits: 18

    Summer Year Three, Credits: 12

    • FINA 740 – Professional Practices: 3 Credits
    • FINA 710 – Major Studio III: 6 Credits
    • GRAD 750 – Graduate Seminar: Criticism: 3 Credits

    Fall Year Three, Credits: 6

    • FINA 785 – MFA Thesis Exhibition: 6 Credits


  • MFA students in the Studio Arts program have access to nearly all the University facilities during their summer semester. Each Student receives their own studio for the time they are working on campus. First year students will share a larger studio room broken into spaces while upper level students will have a shared or solo studio, depending on their needs.

    Beyond the personal spaces, students have full access to:

    • The university ceramics studio, including electric kilns, three major gas kilns with 90-, 40- and 30- cubic foot capacity, throwing wheels, storage space and workspaces
    • A dedicated painting studio space, individual or shared, along with printmaking facilities which can be used under the guidance of a printmaking MFA student or monitor
    • A full metal shop and wood shop specific to the needs of sculpture students
    • A foundry capable of large bronze pours (one to two are done each summer)
    • A full photo studio and darkroom
    • Several digital media labs with film and video editing and laser cutting capabilities
    • Gallery spaces and small installation spaces available for critiques, impromptu works and exhibitions
  • Students may chose to spend their summer semester in the university housing or in independently arranged housing. If you decide to arrange your own housing you may contact the graduate office for recommendations or help navigating the city. There are many apartment complexes within walking distance to the school, as well as many sublet opportunities posted during the summer. The easiest housing method, however, is through the university housing system described below.

    The University of the Arts has made a commitment to meet the residential needs of its students by housing them in a safe environment convenient to the University. Male and female student will reside in Furness Hall. Laundry facilities are available on the first floor. These modern 3 bedroom apartments contain a bathroom, full kitchen and a separate living room. Internet access is provided. Each apartment is furnished with a twin-size bed, dresser, desk and chair. There will be one student per apartment.


    Students are housed in a private one bedroom apartment for $221.00 per week. Please indicate your choice on the return portion of the form. A non-refundable $100 Housing Reservation Deposit is required before the housing application can be processed. This deposit will be applied against your housing bill. There is an additional $100 Housing Damage Deposit, which is refunded at the end of the summer after any charges for room damage are deducted.

    Housing Reservation and Application

    To reserve on-campus housing, complete the Housing Reservation Form available from the university website and return with the $100 non-refundable Housing Reservation Deposit. There are a limited number of on-campus spaces for graduate students. Those who submit an application and non-refundable Housing Deposit by May 1 will be considered on a first-come-first-serve basis. Please note that your Housing Reservation Deposit will not be processed unless a Tuition Deposit has been received.

    For additional Housing information contact:

    The University of the Arts
    The Office of Student Life