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Graduate Students

Graduate Catalog 2015-16


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The Department of Art and Design offers graduate programs that lead to the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in art with a specialization in art studio and the Master of Arts (MA) degree in art therapy counseling. In conjunction with the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, the department also provides studies leading to the degree Master of Science in Education, major in secondary education, with a teaching field in art. In addition to the general policies, regulations, and requirements of the Graduate School, the following specific requirements pertain to these degrees.



The Master of Fine Arts degree is a terminal studio degree designed to further the individual development of degree candidates and to provide them with professional competency in the creative arts of ceramics, photography/digital arts, drawing, metalsmithing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, and textile arts.


In addition to meeting the general admission requirements of the Graduate School, an applicant seeking admission to the graduate program leading to the MFA degree shall meet the following requirements:

A slide or CD portfolio of representative work by the applicant must be submitted to the Department of Art and Design to be reviewed by the faculty in the applicant's intended studio area. Where quality of slides or CD images makes evaluation inconclusive, applicants may be asked to submit the actual work. All applicants must present a letter of intention to pursue graduate study.

Persons with deficiencies may enroll as unclassified graduate students for a limited time. Upon completion of the deficiencies, the student submits a portfolio of recent work to the graduate art faculty before admission to the program is granted.

Students pursuing the MFA degree work toward a graduate emphasis or concentration in one of the principal studio areas. Those wishing to transfer from one studio area to another or desiring two studio emphases must submit an acceptable portfolio in each area; however, it is not possible to apply for two studio emphases when making the initial application.

Degree seeking candidates should send the following materials directly to: MFA Admission Committee, Department of Art and Design, Campus Box 1774, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL 62026-1774, Telephone (618) 650-3071:

a. Three (3) letters of recommendation, preferably from art instructors (at the undergraduate degree granting institution) or from artists familiar with the applicant's current artwork.

b. A letter of intent of approximately 500 words, indicating professional aspirations and more immediate objectives pertaining to the program of study the applicant will pursue while in graduate school at SIUE.

c. A slide or CD portfolio consisting of twenty (20) slides in the area in which application is made. (Some areas also require additional drawing slides; contact the area head to discuss any additional image requirements.) The slides should be labeled and submitted in a carousel tray (with the slides placed in the tray so they will project with the correct side up and facing in the proper direction). Accompanying the CD or carousel slide portfolio should be a typewritten list of images (in the same order that the images appear in the carousel or on the CD) indicating name, media, dimensions, and date work was created. Portfolios sent in anything other than a standard CD or slide carousel tray, portfolios not labeled properly, or portfolios not having the corresponding typed list will be returned. Please provide sufficient postage for the return of the portfolio.

It is the candidate's responsibility to make sure the application, transcript(s), letters, and portfolio arrive at SIUE on time. It is recommended that the candidate mail the three letters of reference and the letter of intent together with the portfolio in one mailing. In this way the applicant will know that all materials and documentation have been mailed. Some writers of letters of reference prefer to mail their letters directly. It is the applicant's responsibility to check to make sure that the letters have arrived. The same is true for transcript(s).

The deadline for admission is February 1st of the preceding spring semester. Additional applications will be considered after these dates on a space available basis.

A committee consisting of the graduate studio faculty who offer MFA degree classes will review letters, transcript(s), and portfolio. When a decision is reached, the applicant will be notified initially by the Graduate Admissions Office, and a follow-up letter will be mailed by the Department of Art and Design. Letters will be mailed approximately one month following the deadline. If an application is not approved, the carousel portfolio will be promptly returned. If approved, the portfolio will be retained by the department until the student arrives on campus or until its return is requested.

So that the MFA program can achieve a broader perspective, students who receive their undergraduate art degrees at institutions other than SIUE will be given higher priority in acceptance for admission.


The full-time student should expect to spend a minimum of three academic years in residency to complete the degree. The program is based on the individual's area of interest and undergraduate training. It is jointly planned by the student, a committee of the graduate faculty, and a professor who serves as adviser to the student in the principal studio area.

· Total 60 credits (at least 30 at the 500-level)

· 21-30 credits in major studio area

· 9 credits in Art History

· Electives: 6-15 (outside major studio area)

· ART 505 Seminar (3 hours)

· ART 441 Studio in Drawing (3 hours)

· ART 599a Thesis (3 hours)

· ART 599b Thesis (3 hours)

· ART 599c Exhibition/Thesis (3 hours)

Mid-Course Review

Prior to the beginning of a student's fourth term or upon completion of 30 hours of graduate credit (whichever comes first), the candidate will undergo a rigorous mid-course academic review, conducted by the candidate's MFA Committee, which should consist of at least three members of the graduate faculty, at least one of whom must be a specialist from the student's major studio area.

The mid-course review consists of an oral interview in which the candidate shall present the creative work completed since arriving at SIUE. In addition the candidate shall present evidence of his/her knowledge of art history and other material deemed pertinent by the committee for successful completion of the degree.

Additional evidence will also be submitted in the form of written essays composed in response to questions from members of the candidate's graduate committee who will evaluate the candidate's answers for clarity of expression as well as for correctness of factual detail. The student's principal studio area adviser shall notify the student of the results of the written portion of this examination.

Thesis and Thesis Exhibition

During their final year, all candidates for the MFA. degree in Art Studio must complete 9 semester hours of thesis. The thesis topic must be approved by the student's committee at least one term prior to enrolling in ART 599a, in which the candidate writes the initial draft of the thesis.

The written thesis is then completed in ART 599b in consultation with the candidate's committee. In ART 599c, the candidate designs and mounts the thesis exhibition.

The thesis consists of a written exposition of the candidate's artwork, including but not limited to the final studio project(s), accompanied by images, in proper thesis form. As part of this requirement, ordinarily during the candidate's final term, a thesis exhibition of the candidate's work must be presented. The exhibition and all related material pertaining thereto shall be prepared, designed, and installed by the candidate as approved by the candidate's committee. One piece of artwork, chosen by the candidate in consultation with the thesis committee, is retained by the Department of Art and Design for the permanent art collection of the SIUE University Museum.


The final examination for the MFA degree includes both written and oral forms, including a thesis defense. Upon acceptance of the thesis, the student's graduate committee and other members of the graduate faculty are invited to be present for the final oral examination. This examination is typically scheduled during or after the thesis exhibition. The candidate is expected to defend the thesis and exhibition and to show knowledge of the general area of investigation and related areas of art and art history.


CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION with a specialization in


The Department of Art and Design, in cooperation with the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, offers an art education teaching field as part of the Master of Science in Education (MSEd) degree in curriculum and instruction. A jointly advised program ordinarily including at least 15 hours in art will be designed, taking into account each

student's background and interests. Throughout the program, the student must consult with the art graduate advisor before registering for any courses in art. Upon completion of the program, the student must have accumulated at least 42 semester hours in art (graduate and undergraduate work combined). Thus, students admitted to the program with less than 27 hours of acceptable undergraduate work will be required to complete more than 15 graduate hours in art in order to satisfy degree requirements. Students must achieve a 3.0 (A=4.0) grade point average in the art teaching field, as well as an overall average of 3.0. For further information, see "Curriculum and Instruction" elsewhere in this chapter.

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