November 24, 2021

Open house for MFA in Studio Arts and MA in Art Education

Department of Art at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Nima Nikakhlagh, Vishnupad S. Barve, AMERICA IS GREAT, 2019. Performance view, LEG gallery, UMass Amherst, 2019. Photo: Omid Shekari.

Please fill out this form in order to register for our virtual open house event.

Learn more about the programs here.

To imagine is to think otherwise. The department of art is committed to fostering a transformative, interdisciplinary education for learners who aspire to explore ideas that are hospitable for the well-being of individuals, communities and the planet. As we evolve to address the demands and opportunities of current and future creative practices, we will continue to use the invaluable experience gained over time to refine our Undergraduate and Graduate programs.

Art’s inherent capacities to generate multiple perspectives and interpretations allows for a nuanced understanding of our increasingly complex world. We aim to nurture self-care, care of others and cultivate empathy, so that we can engage with communities both within our department and beyond. Through deep listening and close looking we seek to expand our perceptual capacities; creating new forms of making, being, and thinking towards sustainable practices in art and design. We believe in art’s potential to offer alternative modes of thinking, representations, and models, as well as to embody and enact our aspirations.

Art is made in context. We encourage our art, art education, and design students to situate their practices and their own creative identities within historical, theoretical, conceptual, geographic and institutional frameworks. We are fortunate to be a part of a tier one research university, enabling collaboration between artists and experts in other fields of inquiry. As such, we ask our students to engage in a process of rich qualitative research and reflection to locate the unseen work in the future, to hold collective ownership of our endeavors, and to envision and craft inclusive and equitable worlds for following generations.

The MFA in studio arts is well positioned for students to benefit from the academic excellence UMass and the Five College consortium offer. Students are encouraged to take courses in the other colleges, university departments and programs that deepen their research interests. The three-year MFA program also offers a comprehensive overview of teaching art in higher education settings, an introduction to critical pedagogy, and a solid teaching experience.

We are a highly competitive program accepting approximately six students per year. To defray the cost of tuition, teaching assistantships are awarded to all accepted students. Graduate students have 24-hour access to their studios, equipment, and facilities.

The MA in Art Education program provides two tracks: an open track & an Initial Teacher License track.

Open track MA in Art Education
The 36-credit program consists of advanced and extended study in Art Education, studio arts, art history, and education, and professional practices in PreK-12 public or private schools, museums, and community organizations. The curriculum focuses on studio art experience and practice; art history and criticism; and research, literature, and theory in the fields of art education and education.

Initial Teaching License track MA in Art Education
The 36-credit program prepares teacher candidates to earn an Initial Teacher License in Visual Arts granted by the State of Massachusetts for PreK–12 settings. The coursework is designed to align the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education in Massachusetts’s Visual Arts Subject Matter Knowledge and Professional Standards for Teachers.

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