The Department of Art at the New Mexico State University offers MFA in Studio Art and an MFA in Art History. Graduate students at the Department of Art are encouraged to work across disciplines and cultivate their personal visions within the broad context of Twenty-First Century art and art history. MFA students maintain on-campus studios and receive the mentorship and support of the studio art and art history faculty. The department supports work in and across the following areas: ceramics, graphic design and media arts, jewelry and metalsmithing, painting and drawing, photography, printmaking and sculpture. The MA in art history can concentrate on the periods from the Medieval to Contemporary including non‐western studies in the arts of the Americas and China. The student’s experience is also enriched through the visiting artists and scholars lectures and studio visits, University Art Gallery programming and interdisciplinary graduate seminars.
MFA Application Requirements
Admission to the Master of Fine Arts program in studio art is based on an accredited BA, BS, or BFA degree (or equivalent) with a major in art, including at least 45 credits in studio art courses and 15 credits in art history. An average GPA of 3.0 is required for admission. Any deficiencies must be corrected by undergraduate course work to be completed before advancement to candidacy. Exceptions to these requirements will be considered by the graduate committee. Students with an earned MA may be considered with the consent of the faculty, for advancement to candidacy for the MFA degree upon completion of one semester or 9 credits in residence at NMSU. The number of transferable credits from a previous graduate program will be determined by the department head and the graduate advisor before consideration for candidacy.
Master of Fine Arts in studio art degree requires a minimum of 60 credits of academic work, usually completed in three years. Of those 60 credits, 9 must be taken in art history, 6 in non-art courses numbered 450 or above, 6 in thesis work, 3 in graduate seminar: art theory, criticism, historiography and 12 credits in ART 596 Graduate Seminar. In order to remain in good standing in the MFA program and maintain the Graduate Assistantship award, a student must maintain an average GPA of 3.0.
At the end of the first two semesters, each graduate student’s creative work will be reviewed by the assembled faculty. Participation in semester reviews is required for successful completion of graduate studio courses. Candidacy occurs during the third semester of study in residency. Candidacy consists of a formal review of the student’s work by the assembled graduate faculty. The studio thesis will culminate in an exhibition of the candidate’s creative work and a written thesis statement. A successful oral examination and defense of the thesis and exhibition is required for graduation.
All applicants for admission to the MFA program in studio art must submitted through the NMSU Graduate School online application site:
1. A pdf portfolio of 20 images
2. An image list that identifies each piece by title, date, size, and media.
3. A written statement of intent, including scholarly and professional goals and the applicant’s interest in studying at NMSU
4. Letters of recommendation from three qualified people of the applicant’s choice
5. Official undergraduate transcripts
Admission to the MFA program in studio art will be decided upon consideration of all materials. The majority of teaching assistantships and studio spaces are awarded in the fall. Psychometric test scores are not required.
MA Application Requirements
Requirements of an MA degree with an emphasis in Art History include a minimum of 33 credits of art history courses, 6 of which may be thesis credits. Of the required minimum, 6 credits of related courses may be substituted with the approval of the department head and the student’s major advisor.
Master of Arts in art history degree requires a minimum of 33 credits of art history courses, 6 of which may be thesis credits. Of the required minimum, 6 credits of related courses may be substituted with the approval of the department head and the student’s major advisor. Reading proficiency in a foreign language is also required and should be acquired prior to the thesis public presentation and the thesis research for which it will be employed. A reading proficiency exam will be arranged in conjunction with the advisor.
All applicants for admission to the MA program must submit:
1. A polished undergraduate research paper.
2. A written statement of intent.
3. Letters of recommendation from three qualified people of the applicant’s choice.
4. Official undergraduate transcripts.
Research papers, statement of intent, and letters of recommendation must be submitted through the Graduate School online application site along with the official undergraduate transcripts. Psychometric test scores are not required.
The final submission date for all application materials and teaching assistantship applications is
January 20 for the Fall Semester.