The Master of Fine Arts is a rigorous, three-year course of study within and across the areas of ceramics, digital media, drawing, graphic design, metalsmithing and jewelry, photography, painting, and printmaking. Inquiry begins from the standpoint of a main concentration area, paired with supporting studio, research of current and historical contexts, in-depth mentorship from faculty, ongoing dialogue with a community of peers, and the opportunity to work with university faculty in disciplines beyond art and design. Focused studio practice that extends beyond one area into other art disciplines is encouraged. There are 17 full-time Graduate Faculty members in art, design, and art history who are actively engaged makers, writers, theorists and researchers. Representing a broad range of media, processes, critical approaches and technical expertise, faculty are available to work with students through independent studies, seminars, and structured classes.


The 60-credit hour program culminates in the development of a body of work or project, accompanied by a supportive written document.  Skilled handling of materials, subject and form are essential, as well as inventiveness, and the ability to communicate ideas visually.  Awareness of contemporary art or design practice, and mastery of the visual, conceptual, technical and written tools necessary for critical analysis is also emphasized. As a terminal degree program, the MFA in Art provides students with the competency and experience to have successful careers as professional artists and designers, to teach in higher education and to participate in other art related occupations.


The MFA requires 60 semester credit hours, which are distributed over six semesters of a three-year program.  The credit hours include:


Major Concentration 35-40 credits

Supporting Studio Courses 3-8 credits

Art History Electives  6 credits

Graduate Contemporary Issues Seminar 3 credits

Graduate Seminar 2 credits

Electives  6 credits


The requirement for the MFA degree consists of (1) the Graduate Exhibition: a substantial body of original works of art to be exhibited on or near campus during the final semester of the student’s program, and (2) a written document in which the candidate offers context in support of the body of work, and demonstrates proficiency in analyzing, interpreting and organizing materials, conducting research and communicating perceptions, insights, and conclusions.


A final oral examination will be given at the time of the exhibition.



To be admitted as a graduate student in the M.F.A. program, the applicant must have a B.A., B.S., or B.F.A. degree from an accredited institution, adequate undergraduate education in the visual arts, an undergraduate average of B (3.0) or better in the last 60 semester credit hours from the last college or university attended. The applicant should have at least 60 undergraduate semester credit hours in visual arts, with a minimum of 20 semester hours in the area of concentration. Areas of concentration include: ceramics, digital/experimental media, drawing, graphic design, metalsmithing/jewelry, painting, photography, and printmaking. All international students applying to the M.F.A. program must meet the same level of achievement as US students. Once all application materials have been submitted and reviewed, the applicant will be notified by mail.


All application materials must be received in the Department of Art on or before the following deadlines:

US Citizens, Permanent Residents:  Deadline is January 15th, for the following Fall Semester.

International Applicants: Deadline is January 8th, for the following Fall Semester.


Application is through the Graduate School. There is a $50 fee for US Citizens and Permanent Residents, and a $75 fee for International applicants.


Application Requirements:


- Digital Portfolio (15 images of recent work)

- Statement of Intent/Purpose

- 3-Letters of Recommendation

- Letter of Teaching Interest

- Transcripts


International applicants will also submit:

- Affidavit of Financial Support

- Results English exam: English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System - academic exam (IELTS), or The Pearson Test of English



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graduate teaching assistantship

Qualified Students may receive 100% Tuition Waiver + Stipend


In addition to guidance in the development of a cohesive, culminating body of work, the program offers mentorship for students interested in university teaching. Qualified students receive a Graduate Teaching Assistantship their first year, with every effort made to extend appointments throughout the three years of study. The GTA awards carry a 100% tuition waiver and stipend during the 9-month academic year with an expectation of approximately 20hrs per week of teaching or work for the department. Graduate Teaching Assistants are assigned to teach courses or provide technical support related to their areas of focus, including: foundation design, ceramics, digital media, drawing, graphic design, metalsmithing/jewelry, painting, photography, and printmaking.  Students should explore additional financial aid opportunities through the Office of Student Financial Assistance.


The Department of Art has fully equipped studio and workshop facilities and provides studio space for graduate students. Willard Hall also includes the beautiful Mark A. Chapman Gallery where most MFA candidates have their solo exhibitions.  In addition, students have access to the 2D/3D digital print lab, documentation studio, and  woodshop in Willard hall as well as university’s library collections and Media Development Center for lab use, equipment checkout, technical training and instructional design support.

scholarship and financial aid

Outstanding graduate applicants of the United States (International students and Kansas State University students are NOT eligible) may be nominated for a Timothy R. Donoghue Scholarship. The department will select candidates and forward them to the Graduate School for consideration. For additional financial aid opportunities visit the  Office of Student Financial Assistance.

Kansas State University Department of Art

(785) 532-6605

111 Willard Hall, Manhattan KS 66506