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Master of Fine Arts in Art Practice (Studio)

University requirements for the M.F.A. are described in the "Graduate Degrees" section of this bulletin.



The applicant must have a B.A., B.F.A, or B.S. from an accredited school. It is expected that the applicant will have a strong background in art practice, either an undergraduate degree or at least three years of independent studio practice. Applications and portfolios for the Art Practice program must be received by January 10, 2012. Students accepted to the program are admitted for the beginning of the following Autumn Quarter. No applicants for mid-year entrance are considered.

Portfolio Specifications—See the department web site at for portfolio requirements.


Fields of study for the M.F.A. degree are offered in Painting, Sculpture, New Genres, and Photography. These fields of study are not declared on Axess; they are not printed on the transcript or the diploma.

  1. Residency—Completing a minimum of two years (six quarters) of graduate work in residence at Stanford.
  2. Units—The student must complete 48 units of study. Students must discuss their programs of study with their academic adviser and the department's student services administrator to ensure that an appropriate program of study is chosen.
    1. Seminar Requirement—Six quarters (36 units) of ARTSTUDI 342, Master's Project, which includes two weekly seminars (the Object Seminar and the Concept Seminar) and Studio Practice, which is an individual tutorial with a selected member of the faculty.
    2. Elective Requirement—Three courses of academic electives (12 units) are required in the first year. These courses can be chosen from a large variety of disciplines in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies.
  3. Faculty Reviews—The student is expected to pass three faculty reviews:
    1. at the end of the first quarter; any student judged to be making inadequate progress is placed on probation and requires an additional review at the end of the second quarter
    2. at the end of the third quarter
    3. at the time of the M.F.A. exhibition.

    The purpose of these reviews is to evaluate development and to assess the progress of the student.

  4. Thesis—During the fifth quarter in the program, students must write a thesis paper addressing the development of their work over the two-year period at Stanford. Participation in the M.F.A. exhibition at the end of the year is required.
  5. Graduate Student Teaching—Regardless of their source of funding, students are required to assist with the department's teaching program for a minimum of eight hours per week over the period of six quarters; the particulars of this assignment are at the department's convenience.

The studio faculty reserves the right to make use of graduate paintings, sculptures, and photographs in exhibitions serving the interests of the graduate program.

Graduate students must remain in residence at Stanford for the duration of the program.

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