Ceramics MFA

Graduate Admissions Counselor

David Wivell
585-475-5475, djwges@rit.edu

Department Contact

Jane Shellenbarger
585-475-2733, jmssac@rit.edu

Admission Deadlines & Requirements

Program Available Online? No
Application Deadline February 15 Priority Deadline
Admit Term Fall Term Only
Entrance Exam None
Other Portfolio
English Language Exams:
TOEFL (Internet) 80
PTE Academic 58


Priority deadline - COMPLETE applications that are received by this date are given priority consideration for admission and financial aid (if applicable). Applications received after the priority deadline will be considered on a space-available basis.

Rolling - There is no specific deadline for applications; applications will be accepted and reviewed throughout the year until the program reaches capacity.

Program overview

The MFA in ceramics focuses on intellectual and artistic development through an intensive teaching of the aesthetics and techniques of ceramic design. Graduate studio courses, seminar courses, and in-depth critiques, in conjunction with thesis planning and implementation, provide students with a deep understanding of not only their own work, but the work of other students and their peers. Students examine the creativity, perceptions, aesthetics, and criticism of the work of contemporary artists and craftspeople in courses and discussions. Thesis reviews track students' progress towards the final thesis presentation, which is completed when a formal critique and evaluation is performed by the thesis committee. The MFA program in ceramics strengthens and deepens the understanding of the aesthetics, techniques, and theory of this fine art.


Ceramics, MFA degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
CCER-701 Ceramics Graduate Studio I 6
CCER-702 Ceramics Graduate Studio II 6
ARTH-605 Thinking About Making: The Practice of Art in a Global Society 3
FNAS-702 Fine Art Research 3
  Free Electives 9
CGEN-702 Crafts Graduate Seminar 3
Second Year
CCER-790 Ceramics Thesis Initiation 6
CGEN-703 Thesis Implementation 3
CGEN-704 Thesis Review 3
CCER-890 Ceramic Thesis Resolution 9
  Free Elective 3
  CIAS Studio Electives 6
Total Semester Credit Hours 60


Admission requirements

To be considered for admission to the MFA program in ceramics, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete a graduate application.
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) from an accredited university or college in a field of arts, sciences, or education.
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work. Undergraduate degrees should include 50 semester hours in studio courses.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE. A minimum TOEFL score of 80 (internet-based) is required. A minimum IELTS score of 6.5 is required. The English language test score requirement is waived for native speakers of English or for those submitting transcripts from degrees earned at American institutions.
  • Submit a portfolio. (Refer to Portfolio Requirements for more information.)

Additional information

Studio residency program

The School for American Crafts offers a Studio Residency program for students in ceramics, furniture design, glass, and metals and jewelry design. Residence positions are limited and are awarded after the review of all applicants’ portfolios, transcripts, and references. An interview is required. Accepted residents are required to register for one independent study credit during each semester of residence.

Accepted residents are expected to be present in their assigned studio during class hours and to contribute up to 10 hours of work per week in the main studio. These work hours are coordinated and overseen by the faculty in the resident's discipline. In exchange, the school will provide workspace, access to facilities, and supportive instruction. The resident is invited to participate in the full range of studio activities.

Participants may be those seeking additional studio experience prior to undergraduate or graduate study, early career professionals, or teachers on leave who wish to work again in an academic studio environment. The faculty in each discipline will make decisions concerning appropriate candidates.

Inquiries should be made to the Studio Residency Program, School for American Crafts, College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, Rochester Institute of Technology, 73 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623-5603.

Career Outcomes

The RIT Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education website provides information pertaining to student skills and capabilities, salary data, career information, job outcomes, and contact information for the Career Services Coordinator by program.

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