University of Oregon

Department of Art

Graduate Program

The University of Oregon's Master of Fine Arts in Art is an interdisciplinary program that prepares students for serious and engaged art practice. The program is focused on creative practice and research that demonstrate potential to advance in the field. Challenged to devise methods of experimentation and a significant understanding of historical and contemporary context, students develop an informed, independent practice, specific to their intentions and sensibilities. We expect graduate students to arrive at an accomplished body of work, but also to acquire strategies and critical thinking skills necessary to sustain and develop professional practice and inquiry.

Working within and across the areas of sculpture, photography, digital arts, ceramics, drawing, fibers, metalsmithing and jewelry, painting, drawing, and printmaking, the curriculum combines the best of both disciplinary depth and interdisciplinary thinking. Students have contact with faculty members from other media areas and disciplines through graduate reviews, independent studies, and interdisciplinary courses.

As practicing, professional artists, the Department of Art faculty members are nationally and internationally recognized artists with active exhibition and publication records. Each one is committed to both practice and teaching. Through seminars, critique colloquia, studios and independent studies, students interact with a challenging and diverse faculty. Enhancing that discourse, an active Visiting Artist Program brings a broad range of innovative artists and critics to campus.

The MFA program is a three-year period of rigorous studio investigation, critical discourse, and conceptual development. Emphasis is given to developing a course of study tailored to the needs of the individual student, while encouraging exploration and risk-taking.  The program supports a thorough engagement with the processes and principles that are fundamental to the discipline, as well as an informed awareness of issues and practices within the larger art community. Visual literacy, a willingness to engage in critical discourse, and fervent art practice are expected. Developing fluency in critical discourse, analysis, and writing are important parts of graduate life. The MFA program culminates in a year-long terminal project and group exhibition.

With a total of around thirty MFA graduate students, students develop a tight knit community with high contact with faculty members and regional artists, gallery directors, curators, and arts managers. Working intensively in independent studios on the Eugene campus, you are part of a world-class research university in the compelling Pacific Northwest. Awarded annually, Graduate Teaching Fellowships provide opportunities for significant financial support, as well as and teaching and professional experience.

We encourage applicants to visit the facilities and meet the faculty members.  We offer tours during most of the year.  Visit our Tour Registration page for information on available tour dates.


Past MFA Exhibitions



Graduate Studies in Art

The MFA curriculum is designed to provide both interdisciplinary discourse and disciplinary depth. Across the Department of Art, MFA students have much of their course work in common through classes such as graduate critique (ART 612), theory and history seminars, and special topics courses. Graduate review and thesis committees are made up of faculty from more than one media concentration. Through media-centered Issues and Practices seminars and independent studies, students also have opportunities to concentrate on particular areas of specialization.

Specialized facilities and equipment are available in all eight media areas that comprise the department – digital arts, sculpture, photography, ceramics, jewelry and metalsmithing, painting and drawing, printmaking, and fibers.

Nine consecutive terms of full-time enrollment, not including summer session, is the minimum residence requirement. Under special circumstances, an offical University of Oregon leave of absence may be requested.


MFA Requirements

Minimum of 90 credits (54 must be graduate level) over 3 years.

Courses Credits

Graduate Critique (ART 612) twice/year (5 terms)


Two graduate-level History of Art and Architecture (ARH) courses; one course must be in
contemporary art    


One art theory and criticism seminar


 Issues & Practices (chosen from ARTC, ARTD, ARTF, ARTM, ARTO, ARTP, ARTR or ARTS 590;  
 one course each year


Terminal Creative Project MFA (chosen from ARTC, ARTD, ARTF, ARTM, ARTO, ARTP, ARTR, or ARTS 609) 


Graduate Studio,  six courses in first two years


One writing course


Additional art credits


A minimum of 24 credits must be graded with a grade of B or better.

  1. Participation in at least two graduate reviews—one prior to reclassification to graduate master's candidacy and a second prior to the MFA exhibition
  2. Public exhibition of the MFA thesis and final review with the terminal project committee
  3. Terminal creative project report


Facilities and Curriculum to Support:

We offer an innovative art curriculum reflecting contemporary practices. Students and faculty employ a fluid continuum of practices – using old and new media in surprising ways to speak to compelling questions. The department fosters breadth and interdisciplinary engagement, along with depth and discipline within media. The curriculum encompasses a broad range of media including ceramics, digital arts, drawing, fibers, jewelry and metalsmithing, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture. Within and across these media, students encounter diverse practices including video, installation, letterpress, performance, alternative materials and processes and emerging technologies. Emphasis is on the inextricable linkage of making and thinking, of material and technical skills with conceptual and critical understanding.