- Program Overview
The Department of Art’s master's of fine arts program in studio art occupies a unique position among graduate programs in art studies. The department’s programs have been built with a strong emphasis on modern art and contemporary visual culture, comprising a range of critical, theoretical, and interdisciplinary interests. Rather than being isolated at a special or autonomous art institute or school, these programs have all the advantages associated with the intellectual environment of a major research university.
Because of the Art Department’s extensive undergraduate programs, Stony Brook is the only major university in the New York metropolitan area to offer teaching experience to first- and/or second-year graduate students. Such experience is an invaluable asset in today’s job market.
Graduate studies are facilitated by Stony Brook's ideal location half-way between the art centers of New York City and the Hamptons, along the beutifully wooded North Shore of Long Island.
All curricula are designed to take advantage of the full range of museums, galleries and libraries of the metropolitan region as well as the facilities of a major research university campus. Thanks to the well-established ties of Stony Brook faculty to the professional art world, our students are regularly placed in internship and apprenticeship programs with artists, galleries, museums, arts agencies and other cultural institutions throughout the metropolitan area.
M.F.A. in Studio Art
The M.F.A. in Studio Art at Stony Brook is a flexible 60-credit terminal degree program combining studio work, academic studies, and theory. Although the degree requirements concentrate primarily on studio practice, the program requires several liberal arts courses as well as a teaching practicum. The program culminates in a one-person thesis show accompanied by a written thesis, as well as participation in a M.F.A. group exhibition in the Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery. Normally, the M.F.A. requires three years of full-time residency. Students are not accepted into the M.F.A. program on a part-time basis. The degree is especially suitable for students who plan professional involvement in the making of art as artists, and may also be the degree of choice for those preparing for careers in arts administration, art education, or gallery and museum work.
Admission to the M.F.A. Program in Studio Art
Admission into the M.F.A. program is at the discretion of the studio art faculty with the final approval of the Graduate School. Admission is for the Fall semester. Admission to the program assumes a minimum of a B average in undergraduate work and meeting the standards of admission to the Graduate School (including English Proficiency Requirements).
All candidates for the M.F.A. program must enter with a minimum of 40 semester hours of credit or the equivalent of undergraduate work in studio art in a B.A., B.S., B.F.A., or similar program. The candidate must submit with his or her graduate application 15 to 20 images of work and/or other appropriate materials by on-line submission using https://www.wetransfer.com only. Go to http://art.stonybrook.edu/graduate/g-ars/ to follow the full application procedure. Applicants should also have a minimum of 15 semester hours of credit in art history, theory, or criticism. At the discretion of the graduate faculty, those without sufficient background may be advised to complete further undergraduate coursework prior to acceptance and admission to the program. Decisions by the graduate art faculty on these matters are in addition to, and not in lieu of, the general requirements of the Graduate School.
Following should be submitted directly to the Art Department:
Statement of Purpose / Artist Statement: (250-500 words) describing the applicant’s reason for pursuing graduate study.
Resume/CV: Applicants must submit a resume that should include professional experience as well as related activities, such as research, awards and exhibitions.
Visuals: 20 visual images with short project description (100 words). Still images should be less than 5 MB and videos should not exceed 60MB.
All applicants must submit these files to <email@example.com> using https://www.wetransfer.com .
Please do not email directly.
- Degree Requirements
Requirements for the M.F.A. in Studio Art
The Department accepts only full-time students into the M.F.A. program.
A. Course Offerings
Courses are offered in painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, computer and electronic media, photography, ceramics, and ceramic sculpture. In addition, studio courses offered through other departments may satisfy area of concentration requirements, subject to approval by the studio art faculty and the Director of Graduate Studies.
B. Liberal Arts Requirement
Students are required to take three or four graduate liberal arts courses (in art history and criticism, literature, history, anthropology, philosophy, musicology, dramaturgy, cultural studies, among others).
C. Demonstrations of Studio Proficiency
All M.F.A. candidates should demonstrate proficiency through the development of a comprehensive body of work. Proficiency is determined by the faculty through periodic evaluation of the work, including mid-term and final critiques each semester, and thesis exhibition review by the student’s thesis committee in the third year.
D. Final Year and One-Person Exhibition
During the final year, in addition to regular coursework, the student will prepare a one-person thesis exhibition for the Lawrence Alloway Gallery or some other suitable venue on campus. As part of the thesis requirement, the student will submit to the department appropriate visual documentation (color slides, photographs, digital images, videos) of the exhibition and a written commentary that conforms to the Graduate School’s requirements for master’s theses. The written thesis should complement the visual work as an articulation of the student’s thoughts and objectives within the broader context of arts and ideas. Third-year students will also participate in the Paul W. Zuccaire Art Gallery’s annual M.F.A. group exhibition.
E. Teaching Requirement
All graduate students are required to assist in teaching a minimum of one semester; this course offers three credits toward the M.F.A. degree under ARS 531. In addition, the Art department requires a preliminary semester of observing in the course to be taught under faculty supervision during the following semester. The semester of observation offers an optional three credits toward the degree. Beyond the three or six credits teaching practicum applied toward the degree, all other teaching by students with Teaching Assistantships is part of their obligation and is done without academic credit.
F. Course Requirements
The student will be required to complete successfully 60 credits of graduate work, as outlined in the list of courses below. No graduate studio course may be taken for more than three credits per semester.
1. ARS 550 In Process Critique (3 credits) to be taken during the first year. May be repeated and counted toward studio credits.
2. At least nine graduate studio courses (27 credits).
3. Two semesters of ARS 580 Visual Arts Seminar (6 credits). Additional Visual Arts Seminars are encouraged.
4. Three courses in graduate liberal arts, e.g., art history, languages, literature, philosophy, etc. (9 credits).
5. ARS 531 Graduate Teaching Practicum (see item E, above) (3-6 credits).
6. ARS 532 Thesis Project (up to 6 credits).
Art Department Facilities
Since 1976, the Department of Art has enjoyed the resources of the Staller Center for the Arts. This 226,026-square-foot building includes the Departments of Art, Music, and Theatre and is a vibrant hub of lectures, concerts, performances, and other cultural activities. The complex includes faculty and staff offices, art history classrooms, and a graduate lounge. The first floor of the Art wing features a magnificent art gallery space devoted primarily to exhibitions of contemporary art, including the annual M.F.A. show. In addition, the department has substantial graduate studio space available at other locations on campus. Each M.F.A. student is provided individual studio space and there are large common spaces used regularly for discussion, temporary exhibitions or installations, and documentation of work. The Lawrence Alloway Gallery provides exhibition space with media exhibition equipment and network connection for M.F.A. students, and there are several other on-campus locations where students have opportunities to exhibit their work. Studio facilities in the Staller Center include full foundry, metals, and wood shops; a ceramics and ceramic sculpture studio; spacious painting, drawing, and studio classrooms; printmaking studios with etching, stone lithography and photo plate making and screen printing facilities; extensive digital facilities; and a shooting studio with gang and individual darkrooms. Art history classrooms are equipped with data projectors. The main library houses extensive collections of scholarship on the arts, including recent exhibition catalogues and the most important art history and criticism journals. Proximity to New York City makes available the numerous libraries, museums, galleries, ateliers, and publishing institutions of the greater metropolitan area. Finally, the Pollock-Krasner House and the Pollock-Krasner Study Center, in East Hampton and Southampton, Long Island, are affiliated with the University. Once the home and studio of Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner, the Pollock-Krasner House is now a both a landmark museum and a forum for lectures, seminars, and other academic activities. The Study Center comprises extensive reference materials and archives, including books, photographs, oral histories, and journals available for research.
Amy Cook, Staller Center 2221 (631) 632-7250
M.F.A. Graduate Program Director
Nobuho Nagasawa, Staller Center 2225 (631) 632-7250
Lisa Perez, Staller Center 2228 (631) 632-7270
M.F.A. in Studio Art