Master of Fine Arts degree program at UMass Amherst is a tuition-free, three-year immersive course of study that provides students with a platform for critical engagement with their work. The program offers a hybrid learning environment for students to develop conceptually based, multidisciplinary cultural practice. Teaching and learning techniques and philosophies of visual art at higher education is an integral component of this program.
Interdisciplinary study is at the core of our philosophy, and we encourage students to pursue experience across art disciplines, as well as exploring the diverse fields of arts, humanities, and sciences open to them at this premier research university. Our graduate students engage in studio production, site-responsive work, social practice, critical pedagogy, writing, curatorial work, performance, and collaborative work with peers in the program as well as those in other disciplines.
Our campus boasts five galleries dedicated to exhibitions of student and professional contemporary art. We offer New York Professional Outreach Program to both graduates and undergraduates to connect students to artists, writers, and curators in the professional world and to allow them to see firsthand current exhibitions in the galleries and museums in New York.
UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth’s flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges Consortium (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region. Graduate students can take advantage of courses offered at these colleges at the graduate level.
Successful applicants who maintain good academic standing are awarded Graduate Teaching Assistantships and tuition remissions. The assistantships augment the Program’s pedagogy while providing excellent opportunities for graduate students to gain hands-on college-level teaching experience. The department provides a year-long teaching workshop to help students become effective educators. An assistantship includes a bi-weekly stipend, a tuition waiver, health, dental, and vision insurance coverage.
There are also other forms of financial support available in and beyond the Department of Art: annual departmental merit grants, UMass Arts Council grants for various types of projects and exhibitions, and Research Enhancement and Leadership Fellowship for promising graduate students from traditionally underrepresented groups.
Recent Visiting Artists and Curators
Katherine Behar, Sarah Braman, Caitlin Cherry, Diana Cooper, William Cordova, Lisa Dent, Anthony Discenza, Pamela Fraser, Alexandra Foradas, Sarah Fritchey, Charles Goldman, Eric Gottesman, Oliver Herring, Iman Issa, Wendy Red Star, Leah Triplett Harrington, Lennart Lahuis, William Lamson, Jennifer McCoy, Larry Ossei Mensah, Patricia Montoya, Luz Munsell, Anne Pasternak, Paul Pfeiffer, Sara Greenberger Rafferty, Marc Andre Robinson, Diana Shpungin, Rachel Steinberg, Hank Willis Thomas, Summer Wheat, Emily Zimmerman.
The MFA program is highly selective and accepts candidates through an annual application process. Application portals at the UMass Amherst website and slideroom.com will remain open from December 1, 2018 to January 15, 2019. All applicants must hold an undergraduate degree or be in their final year of an undergraduate degree program at the time of applying.
Interviews are not required, but we do welcome visitors. To tour the department, please make an appointment by calling (413) 545 6937.