Studio Art Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

MFA Cara

An MFA in Art program in the James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History provides students with an intensive studio experience in an interdisciplinary environment. At Wayne State students work closely with faculty across the Department of Art to create an individual experience based on their creative interests. In this rigorous, studio-based research setting students broaden and enrich their practices through studio work, theory, critique, and mentorship.

Studying at Wayne State

Students in the Master of Fine Arts degree major in Studio Art and can focus in an area of concentration. The Master of Fine Arts Degree is a 60-credit hour program, requiring full-time enrollment and is completed in 2-3 years.

MFA Concentrations:

Graphic Design

Major Concentration Studio Credits (36 credits)

Students focus on their studio practice through taking independent studio credits within their concentration with advising faculty. Through these credits students have access studio facilities and instruction.

Electives (12 credits)

Students can explore their interested by taking credits outside of their area of concentration. These credits can include and array studio courses across the Department of Art or art history courses including a rotating selection dynamic topical seminars and contemporary issues.

Art History (6 credits)

Students select from a range of art history courses from experts in the field. One of these courses should be a Modern or Contemporary course, which will explore art and issues that have shaped today's art world.

Master of Fine Arts Seminar (6 credits)

This seminar course covers concepts of art and contemporary art problems through rotating thematic topics presented by faculty across the Department of Art.


Lively discussion and feedback is an integral part of the MFA program. Each semester MFA students have the opportunity to present their work for feedback from faculty and a visiting critic.

Visiting Artists and Critics

Each semester there are a variety of visitors in the department with opportunities for graduate studio visits, lecture, and critiques. The Studio Art MFA program invites a visiting critic to provide feedback to graduate students.

Recent visiting Artists and Critics Include:

Cathy Byrd (Founder and Artistic Director of Fresh Art International)
Jova Lynne (Visual Artist and Curator Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit)
Margaret Laurena Kemp (Visual Artist)
David Buckley Borden (Visual Artist)
Alison Wong (Visual Artist and Director of Wasserman Projects)
Kambui Olujimi (Visual Artist)
Sarah Rose Sharp (Visual Artist and Arts Writer)
Jason Yates (Visual Artist)
Irina Nakhova (Installation Artist)
Jennifer Willet (BioArtist)


For detailed curriculum descriptions, procedures and requirements students and applicants are encouraged to thoroughly read the Graduate Student Handbook

Graduate faculty

Students can work with faculty with broad research interests across the department. A list of the full-time Art Department Faculty can be found here


Students in the MFA program have access to an array of department facilities including the department woodshop and digital fabrication studio. Through studio credits, course work, and arrangements with area coordinators student can access facilities in ceramics, digital arts, drawing, fashion design, fibers, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, metalsmithing, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture.


Each MFA student is provided a private studio in our graduate studio area. The studio area includes communal installation space, a spray booth, mini shop, and break room.


Graduate Teaching Assistantships

The department has six GTAs. There are two GTA categories: Art History and Studio Art/ Design. Find out more

Graduate Professional Scholarship

The Graduate School sponsors one competition annually for Graduate-Professional Scholarships (GPS). Find out more.

Thomas C. Rumble Graduate Fellowships

The award includes a living allowance, tuition scholarship, subsidized medical, dental and vision care insurance coverage and a housing allowance. Find out more.

Department of Art Scholarships

In addition to Wayne State University scholarships, the Art Department offers departmental scholarship opportunities for freshman, transfer, and current students. See below for information on eligibility requirements, application deadlines, and portfolio requirements. We accept applications for all new and transfer student scholarships through the posted applications. Find out more.

Art Activities Award

Students who have shown a serious commitment to the Art & Art History program. Amount varies depending on activity or project. Contact advising faculty or graduate officer to find out more.

Presidents Endowed Scholarship

Please contact department for details.

Graduate Student Professional Travel Fund (GSPTF)

The Graduate Student Professional Travel Fund (GSPTF) is a limited fund made available to encourage and support master's and doctoral student paper presentations at conventions, conferences, workshops, etc. Find out more.

Graduate School Thesis/Dissertation Research Support

The Graduate School has a grant program to defray expenses necessary to the completion of approved thesis or dissertation research. Awards are limited to a maximum of $1,000 for dissertation research and $500 for thesis projects. Find out more.

Incentives for Competing for Externally Funded Awards

Graduate students who apply for an external fellowship and meet the eligibility criteria above may be eligible for a $1,000 award to supplement their research activities. Find out more.

Munich Exchange Fellowship

The Graduate School holds an annual competition for the Munich Exchange Fellowship for graduate students. The fellowship supports the awardee to study one year in Munich. Find out more.

U.S. Fulbright Student Program

Each year the Fulbright program allows Americans to study or conduct research in over 100 nations. For more information contact the Study Abroad and Global Programs Office, 1600 David Adamany Undergraduate Library, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202. Telephone: 313.577.3207

Apply to the Studio Art MFA Graduate Program

MFA Kristen

Complete the WSU online graduate application visit: WSU Graduate School. For admission consideration, submit the completed application, official transcripts, application fee, and other materials as directed.

Applicants to the Studio Art MFA must also submit a portfolio of twenty (20) images of

recent work, a list or descriptions of images, a statement of intent, a curriculum vita (CV), and three (3)letters of recommendation through the application upload process.

These are examined by the faculty admissions committee, along with the applicant's academic record, in order to make a preliminary admissions decision. If this decision is positive, a formal admissions interview may be scheduled.

Application Deadlines

The Art Department has one application deadline for the MFA in Studio Art: January 15 (for study beginning in August). The department deadlines supersede any other published deadline.

For all applications completed by the deadline, the applicant will receive a notification letter stating the department's decision. 

Graduate Teaching Assistantships Application Deadline

The department deadline for Graduate Teaching Assistantships is January 15. Applicants can download the GTA application form (here), print and complete the form, and either send it to the department via US Mail or submit it by email to with a copy to

Questions or need more information?

Contact Lauren Kalman (MFA) Associate Professor, Graduate Officer at

Forms and Policies

Graduate Programs Handbook (.pdf)
Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) Application Form (.pdf)
Plan of Work Form (.pdf)
Change of Plan of Work Form (.pdf)
Studio Agreement (.pdf) 
Tuition and Map of Campus