MFA Overview

The students admitted to the MFA program at UNCG are a diverse group of artists working within a creative community across many disciplines. Our mission is to foster an environment in which students can simultaneously create, think critically, and engage with peers and faculty members. Our professors work within a wide range of contemporary art practices that explore the visual language or previous art movements and embrace the plurality and potential within the current art world. Students are expected to produce bodies of work that are materially and conceptually grounded and provide evidence a strong dedication to both process and craft. In addition, we expect that our students will become self sufficient, motivated contributors to the visual arts.

We view our students as practicing artists.

Our students have access to state of the art facilities and studios in the Maud Gatewood Art Building adjacent to the world-class Weatherspoon Art Museum. In addition, they benefit from regular interaction with visiting artists and lecturers through the Falk Visiting Artist Program, as well as, competitive teaching and graduate assistantships and, competitive scholarships for nationally renowned residencies.

Links to more information about our program:

Applicants are required to have completed a BA or BFA degree in Studio Art. Applicants with Bachelor’s degrees in other fields, whose portfolios demonstrate the ability to work successfully at a graduate level, will also be considered for admission.

The Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art is a full-time, two-year, sixty-hour degree. Students complete coursework in studio art, art criticism, art history, free electives as well as thesis work. The Graduate level work encompasses a broad range of practices, aesthetic issues, personal explorations, and technical approaches.

To request additional information from the Graduate School please Click here


138 Gatewood
P. O. Box 26170
Greensboro, NC 27402-6170

Mariam Stephan: Director of Graduate Studies
(336) 334-5669

Christopher Cassidy : Director, School of Art
(336) 256-1092

School of Art
(336) 334-5248

Admission Information

Application Deadline : January 25, 2016

No GRE or MAT is required for the Art Department. Applications are accepted only for entry into the FALL term of each year. The Art Department will be happy to schedule appointments for applicants who wish to speak to faculty about the program and tour the Gatewood Studio Art Center facilities. Please contact the graduate program secretary if you wish to schedule a visit. 336-334-5248.

Application to the UNCG Graduate school is an online application only. All fees, requests for recommendations (3) and transcripts are part of the online application.

*Application requirements specific to the Art Department:

Send directly to the School of Art:

  • 20 images of recent work on CD (These should be professional quality images of your work. Simply provide them as jpg files, approximately 1MB each in size, and titled as follows “01_LASTNAME_Title of work,” “02_LASTNAME_Title of work,” etc. If you have time-based work, please send a link to works on youtube or vimeo; no more than 3 clips at no more than 3 minutes each. You may also submit a link to web-based work. Applicants focusing on Painting, Drawing, Printmaking and Sculpture are encouraged to include 3 – 5 drawings that relate to their practice.
  • An accompanying image list including image #, title, date, media and dimensions for each image.
  • 1-2 page Statement of Purpose
  • CV / Resume

Mail To:

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
School of Art
Attn: Graduate Coordinator
138 Gatewood Bldg
P.O. Box 26170
Greensboro, NC 27402-6170

Requirements for completion of the M.F.A. program

The student must complete 60 hours of course work in studio art, art criticism, art history and electives, attend summer Abroad Study Initiative, pass all required examinations, complete thesis work and pariticpate in the MFA exhibition at the Weatherspoon and the Post MFA Exhibition in New York City.. This is a full time in residence 2 year program.

More information may be found at The Graduate School Bulletin.

Admission to Candidacy

To be formally admitted to candidacy for the M.F.A. degree, students must have successfully completed two semesters of full-time graduate work, including ART 620 and 622, removed all deficiencies, possess a minimum of a B (3.0) average in all courses taken during the first two semesters, and have an overall grade record consistent with the regulations stated in The Graduate School Bulletin. In addition, the application to candidacy must be approved by a committee of the Art Department graduate faculty to be appointed by the department head. The committee will meet with students to review work and sign candidacy forms early in the fall semester of the second year of graduate work. Students are limited to two candidacy reviews. If a student is not admitted to candidacy during the first review, the review team will issue written recommendations for further studies. The second review will take place within a year of the first. Failure to pass candidacy for the second time will prohibit the student from continuing in the program.

Comprehensive Examinations

Oral Thesis Presentation

In the spring semester of the graduating year, each MFA candidate will give a formal oral presentation to their thesis committee prior to the installation of their thesis exhibition at the Weatherspoon Art Museum

Thesis (2-6 hours capstone experience)

After passing candidacy review in the fall semester of the final year, the student and the Thesis Chair consult together to name the remaining members of the committee. The Department Head and the Director of Graduate Studies review the membership of the committee before the student begins thesis. The committee consists of 4 to 5 faculty members who have graduate status at the University. Part time faculty do not serve on thesis committees. At least one member of the committee must be studio faculty that teaches in the same discipline as the student's studio practice and one other member must be an art historian. Students may select a faculty member from another department in the University but this faculty member should pursue scholarly research that relates to the students field of interest. Thesis Chairs are selected from the studio art or art history faculty.

Early in the final semester of thesis work, the student arranges a meeting with the thesis committee to discuss all aspects of final thesis work, including thesis paper, the oral presentation, the comprehensive art history exam, and the thesis exhibition. The thesis paper should be 5 to 10 pages in length, conform to Graduate School requirements, and be signed by all committee members before it is electronically submitted to the Graduate School. The body of work submitted for the thesis exhibition must receive final approval of all thesis committee members.

MFA Faculty

The faculty offers a wide range of artistic possibilities and viewpoints. Thirty artists, art historians, and art educators comprise the faculty. All have received recognition in their fields, all actively exhibit and publish. Numerous awards and honors attest to the quality of their work. For example, in the past three years the University has recognized three of our faculty with competitive and prestigious University Research Excellence and Teaching Excellence Awards. One of our art historians has been invited to speak as a scholar on the traditions of art teaching at the Muse de Louvre and another received the acclaimed Leon Levy Fellowship at the Center for the History of Collecting in America at the Frick Collection. Members of the studio arts sculpture faculty have work permanently installed in Japan, Hungary, England, China, India, the United Arab Emirates, South America and throughout the United States. One faculty member’s sculpture was selected to be displayed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics before it is permanently installed in the Olympic Fine Arts Museum in Beijing’s Forbidden City. Currently, he is an artist-in-residence at the Abu Dhabi International Sculpture Symposium, Bridging Societies Through the Language of Art.

A partial list of faculty accomplishments is provided below:

  • Faculty Publications
  • Fulbright Fellowship
  • Rhizome Project Award
  • North Carolina Visual Artists Fellowship (2)
  • Leon Levy Fellowship
  • Southeastern College Art Conference award for Excellence in Teaching (2)
  • UNCG College Teaching Excellence Awards (3)
  • Southeastern College Art Conference Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement
  • UNCG Alumni Teaching Excellence Awards (2)
  • UNCG Research Excellence Awards (2)
  • UNCG New Faculty, Regular Faculty, and Summer Excellence Grants
  • Central Piedmont Regional Artists Hub Program Grant (6)
  • Public Sculpture Arts Commission, Davidson, NC
  • Jet Blue Corporation Video Commission for the JFK International Airport
  • Public Arts Project, Denver, Colorado
  • Site specific sculpture, Davidson, North Carolina
  • Partial or full fellowship stipends to attend artist’s residencies throughout the US and in ten countries throughout the world
  • Olympic Fine Arts Gold Medallion for sculpture at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing
  • 2003 Outstanding Prize – Yuzi Paradise International Sculpture Award
  • The Rodin Prize, the Fujisankei Biennale, Japan
  • The Giacomo Manzu Special Prize, the 7th Henry Moore International Sculpture Exhibition, Japan
  • Horace H. Rackham Research Grant
  • Samuel H. Kress Foundation
  • Triangle Artist’s Workshop