1) COURSE – We offer a professionalism course, Post Grad 246, that includes practical advise on how to function as artists after the MFA. Course content includes discussion with visiting curators, gallery owners and museum exhibition designers (best practices). Students gain interview, grant-writing, and project management skills while practicing persuasive speaking and clear writing.
2) EXHIBITIONS – Every student gains experience designing and installing exhibitions and can curate shows in our student gallery. Our students often arrive with very active exhibition records. We encourage students to continue to experiment and challenge themselves while studying at UCSB. Some of our MFAs have gone on to curatorial positions.
3) NETWORKING – Our MFA students are encouraged to get to know faculty on campus as well as visiting artists and speakers. Multiple opportunities exist throughout the year to discuss work one-on-one with visiting artists. Graduate students assist in our artist speaker series by arranging their visits, getting to know each guest and discussing their own work in one-on-one studio critiques. Studio visitors and speakers include high profile artists, curators, educators, and writers in the arts.
4) WRITING – The level of writing required for the degree is unique and prepares our students for future careers in many different sectors. Art criticism and theory are intrinsic to the requirements for the MFA. Students write many papers for coursework and an MFA thesis paper that accompanies the MFA exhibition. This experience, gives our students an advantage when looking for employment.
5) TEACHING – Our teacher training is extensive and hands-on. Students who have been given Teaching Assistantships are placed directly in the classroom under the advice of faculty and other instruction specialists. A good proportion of our students go on to teach in higher education or in non-academic settings, providing workshops in museums, etc.
6) COLLABORATION – Working together is an intrinsic part of our program. Each student needs to create singular work within visual art to receive the MFA, however, our program’s objectives build in the need to work together to make the program work effectively. This collaborative environment is essential to becoming leaders in the field.