What are the overall course requirements for the MFA?
A minimum of 72 units are required for the M.F.A. program – 36 units of graduate studio courses (Art 244, 261, 591), 12 units of theory and criticism (Art 245, 594, and 595), 12 units of M.F.A. thesis preparation (Art 593), and 12 units of electives (any approved graduate-level coursework). Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and receive at least a B in core courses taken in the department. If a student receives a grade of lower than a B in Theory outside the department, the student must take Theory in the department and receive an acceptable grade. The time-to-degree for the MFA is two years. The requirements sheet can be found here:
Descriptions of courses in the Art Department are found in the General Catalog.
Can I take undergraduate studio art classes?
Yes, you can take an UG Art class if you get prior approval from the Faculty Graduate Advisor. You must enroll in the class via an MFA Petition form, signed by the instructor, Faculty Graduate Advisor, and yourself. When the form is complete, turn it into the Staff Graduate Advisor, who will give you an add code to enroll in the course as an Independent Study.
Can I take classes outside of the Art Department?
Yes, if they are Graduate level courses (200 and above), then you can enroll directly.
If you want to take an UG class, then you must get approval from the Faculty Graduate Advisor. You must enroll in the class via an MFA Petition form as an Independent Study, signed by an instructor in the Art Department, the Faculty Graduate Advisor, and yourself. When the form is complete, turn it into the Staff Graduate Advisor, who will give you an add code to enroll in the course.
What Fellowships are available, and how do I apply for them?
During the second year of your residency, you may be eligible for a Central Continuing Student Fellowship. These are awarded for the following academic year, and include payment of fees, and currently, a stipend of $24,000 for the academic year. The Art Department will nominate their most meritorious first year student(s), and a central faculty fellowship committee will determine if any of our nominees will be granted a Fellowship. You may be asked to write a summary of your research and a diversity statement. The nominations are usually due by mid-March and decisions come out in May.
There are a limited number of Continuing Fellowships which students may apply directly for. The deadline is usually in mid-March. Forms for these can be found on the Graduate Division website here: http://www.graddiv.ucsb.edu/financial/central-campus-fellowships.
What is the First Year Review?
Early in the Spring quarter in the first year of residency graduate students are reviewed by the full faculty through open studio visits, a group exhibition, and presentations (which are augmented by written statements), and a vote is taken regarding advancement to the second year of study.
Prior to the review, students prepare a 1-2 page artist’s statement to be distributed to the faculty addressing their work. First year students present images of their work in front of all the faculty one evening after the exhibition has been installed. Students also meet with two faculty members in the presence of their work at the exhibition to discuss and answer questions relevant to the student’s interests.
Advancement to candidacy criteria: first year coursework completed, interacted with faculty on a regular basis, invited faculty into their studios on a regular basis, became a dynamic part of the graduate community, studio or praxis work has assumed a trajectory of exploration and growth, TA or Reader work has been carried out well. Following the review, each student must meet with his/her thesis committee to review specific feedback and faculty critiques. Students who fail to receive a favorable majority from the faculty in this review are placed on monitored status for a second review in the fall. If progress is still unsatisfactory, students may be detained in their advancement towards graduation or asked to leave the program.