October 27, 2022

MFA in Art program

USC Roski School of Art and Design

View of noé olivas: Que sueñes con los angelitos, Gayle and Ed Roski Fine Arts Gallery, Los Angeles, 2019.

View of Paulson Lee: Sorry I’m Late, I Just Didn’t Want to Come, Roski Graduate Gallery, Los Angeles, 2020. Photo: Dulce Soledad Ibarra.


View of Johnny Forever Nawracaj: This Body Can’t Be All There Is, Roski Graduate Gallery, Los Angeles, 2020. Photo: Ryan Miller / Capture Imaging.


View of Star Montana: By the rivers, I stood and stared into the Sun, installation view, Gayle and Ed Roski Fine Arts Gallery, Los Angeles, 2019. 

View of Dulce Soledad Ibarra: 9th to Olympic, installation view, Roski Graduate Gallery, Los Angeles, 2020. Photo: Ryan Miller / Capture Imaging.

View of Alexis C. McDonald: Power & Desire, Roski Graduate Gallery, Los Angeles, 2020. Photo: Ryan Miller / Capture Imaging.

Jessica Taylor Bellamy, Present Myth, Future Fantasy, 2022, installation view, USC Roski Graduate Gallery, Los Angeles. Photo: Ryan Miller / Capture Imaging

View of Danie Cansino: Sangre, USC Roski Graduate Gallery, Los Angeles, 2021.

Renowned faculty and peer collaboration within a world class research university, located in a thriving arts district.

One of the key features of USC Roski School graduate programs is the unparalleled access students have across diverse fields of study at the University of Southern California, which is one of the world’s leading research universities and home to 19 professional schools, with six schools in the arts. These electives offer a broader platform for interdisciplinary experimentation and provide expansive possibilities for complementary fields of study.

The USC Roski MFA Art program embraces a multidisciplinary approach to artmaking that maximizes a student’s studio experience, with a focus on analytical dialogue as provided by regular individual studio visits with faculty and visiting artists. Group critiques with student peers also play an important part in building relationships, collaborations, and expressive strategies.

USC Roski MFA Art candidates work with renowned faculty from two programs, MA Curatorial Practices and MFA Art; forming well-rounded and informed practices. Led by Director Jennifer West, MFA Art students work closely with artists that include Edgar Arceneaux, Nao Bustamante, Andy Campbell, Patty Chang, Amelia Jones, Mary Kelly, Suzanne Lacy, Jenny Lin, Keith Mayerson, madison moore, Thomas Mueller, and Ruben Ochoa, among others.

In addition to the USC Roski faculty, students have one-on-one access to additional artists, performers, curators and critical thinkers through the Visiting Artists and Scholar Seminars that includes talks, classes, and studio visits. Participants have included Andrea Bowers, Diedrick Brackens, Tania Bruguera, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Cecilia Fajardo-Hill, Theaster Gates, Rita Gonzalez, Josh Kline, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Julie Mehretu, Pepón Osorio, Gala Porras-Kim, Coco Fusco, Legacy Russell, Candice Lin, Senga Nengudi, Julio Cesar Morales, Crenshaw Dairy Mart artists, and Hamza Walker. Recent studio visits include: César García-Alvarez, Essence Harden, Anna Katz, Christine Y. Kim, and Aram Moshayedi.

The Roski Graduate Building includes the Roski Graduate Gallery, individual MFA studios, edit and maker spaces, media equipment and MA and MFA seminar classrooms. The building is located in the vibrant Los Angeles Arts District—home to dozens of museums, galleries, art spaces; and is within walking to the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Hauser & Wirth Gallery; and The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA.

MFA Art students also have access to a woodshop, sculpture area, ceramics studio, photography labs, and media equipment at USC Roski School’s main campus facilities; as well as an outdoor fabrication space, graduate woodshop and advanced photo lab at the Roski Studios Building (IFT) adjacent to USC’s main campus.

The program culminates with an MFA graduate thesis exhibition and written thesis in the spring of the second year. Exhibitions may be mounted in the new Roski Graduate Gallery, a well-appointed 2,000 square-foot space.

USC Roski MFA Art also offers competitive opportunities that extend beyond the classrooms and studios. The Macomber Travel Grant award supports projects involving research-based travel, the production of new art work, and a public presentation. The Teaching Assistantship comes with some tuition remission, a stipend and health benefits. And the opportunity to be a Post-Graduate Part-Time Lecturer, teaching/co-teaching one to two courses a semester; offering first-hand classroom experience as the instructor of record for a university-level art class at the USC Roski School.

USC Roski alumni include: Kelly Akashi, Jessica Taylor Bellamy, Danie Cansino, Carolina Caycedo, Crenshaw Dairy Mart (with Patrisse Cullors, alexandre ali reza dorriz, and noé olivas), Tyler Coburn, Amanda Ross Ho, Jibade-Khalil Huffman, Alex Israel, Young Joon Kwak, Elad Lassry, Emily Mast, Nicole Miller, Dianna Molzan, Sarah Rara, and Kenneth Tam.

Funding is available on a competitive basis.

USC Roski School of Art and Design
University of Southern California
850 West 37th Street
Los Angeles, California 90089

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