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Ceramics MFA

Richard Hirsch, Professor
Jane Shellenbarger, Assistant Professor
(585) 475-6114, sac@rit.edu

http://cias.rit.edu/schools/american-crafts/graduate-ceramics-graduate

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 will examine the creativity, perceptions, aesthetics, and criticism of the work of contemporary artists and craftspeople in courses and discussions. Thesis reviews will 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.

Curriculum

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-601 Forms of Inquiry 3
ARTH-605 Thinking About Making: The Practice of Art in a Global Society 3
  Open Graduate Elective 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 Ceramics Thesis Resolution 9
  Open Graduate Elective 3
  CIAS Studio Elective 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:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree in a field of arts, sciences, or education from a regionally accredited institution in the United States,
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work (the undergraduate degree should include 50 semester hours in studio courses),
  • Demonstrate, through the quality of the undergraduate record and creative production, a genuine, professional potential, and
  • Complete a graduate application.
  • International students whose native language is not English must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language. Minimum scores of 550 (paper-based) or 80 (Internet-based) are required. Scores from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) are accepted in place of the TOEFL. A minimum score of 6.5 is required. Applicants coming from countries where the baccalaureate degree is not awarded for programs in the practice of art may be admitted to graduate study if the diploma or certificate received approximates the standards of the BFA, BA, or BS degrees, and if their academic records and portfolios indicate an ability to meet graduate standards.

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.

[arrow] Click to view program requirements in the Quarter Calendar

Quarter Curriculum - For Reference Only

Effective fall 2013, RIT will convert its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. The following content has been made available as reference only. Currently matriculated students who began their academic programs in quarters should consult their academic adviser for guidance and course selection.

Program overview

The MFA is a professional degree for practicing artists, craftspeople, or designers who desire to leave a lasting impression on their fields by devotion to their work and high standards of discipline and artistic ideals. The MFA is generally a two-year, full-time program that involves the presentation of a thesis. The thesis includes written documentation and the formal exhibition of a body of work.

The ceramics studio embraces the contemporary spectra of aesthetic ideas and innovative techniques to educate and train professional artists/craftspeople. It strives to support students’ career goals with pragmatic information and suitable facilities and equipment.

Our structured courses address specific issues inherent to utilitarian pottery, vessel aesthetics, ceramics sculpture, and mixed media. The ceramics program also receives substantial reinforcement from the other craft studios because they, too, explore similar formats and concerns that face artists and craftspeople in the 21st century.

Curriculum

Semester conversion
Effective fall 2013, RIT will convert its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. Each program and its associated courses have been sent to the New York State Department of Education for approval of the semester plan. For reference, the following charts illustrate the typical course sequence for this program in both quarters and semesters. Students should consult their graduate program adviser with questions regarding planning and course selection.

Ceramics and ceramic sculpture, MFA degree, typical course sequence (quarters)

CourseQtr. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
2044-781 Graduate Ceramics I 9
2044-782 Graduate Ceramics II 9
2044-783 Graduate Ceramics III 9
2039-715 Thinking About Making 3
2037-785 Forms of Inquiry 2
2045-753 Graduate Crafts Seminar 2
  Humanities 12
  Electives/Minor 9
Second Year
2044-784 Graduate Ceramics IV 9
2045-751 Thesis Implementation 2
2045-752 Thesis Review 2
2044-890 Graduate Thesis 18
  Electives/Minor 9
Total Quarter Credit Hours
91

Ceramics, MFA degree, typical course sequence (semesters), effective fall 2013

CourseSem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
CCER-701 Ceramics Graduate Studio I 6
ARTH-601 Forms of Inquiry 3
  Graduate Elective 3
  Humanities Elective 3
CCER-702 Ceramics Graduate Studio II 6
ARTH-605 Thinking About Making: The Practice of Art in a Global Society 3
  Graduate Elective 3
CGEN-702 Crafts Graduate Seminar 3
Second Year
CCER-790 Ceramics Thesis Initiation 6
CGEN-703 Thesis Implementation 3
  CIAS Studio Elective 3
  Humanities Elective 3
CCER-890 Ceramics Thesis Resolution 9
  Graduate Elective 3
  CIAS Studio Elective 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 60

Admission requirements

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

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree in a field of arts, sciences, or education from a regionally accredited institution in the United States,
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work (the undergraduate degree should include 75 quarter credit hours [50 semester hours] in studio courses),
  • Demonstrate, through the quality of the undergraduate record and creative production, a genuine, professional potential, and
  • Complete a graduate application.
  • International students whose native language is not English must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language. Minimum scores of 550 (paper-based) or 80 (Internet-based) are required. Scores from the International English Language Testing System are accepted in place of the TOEFL. A minimum score of 6.5 is required. Applicants coming from countries where the baccalaureate degree is not awarded for programs in the practice of art may be admitted to graduate study if the diploma or certificate received approximates the standards of the BFA, BA, or BS degrees, and if their academic records and portfolios indicate an ability to meet graduate standards.

Additional information

Studio residence program

The School for American Crafts offers a craft residence program. Participants are accepted in the ceramics, glass, metals, and wood studios.

Residence positions are limited and are awarded after the review of all applicants’ portfolios, transcripts, and references. An interview is required. Accepted studio residents are required to register for at least two quarter credit hours of independent study during every quarter of residence. These two quarter credit hours can be taken as an audit, thus reducing the tuition cost to the resident.

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 will be coordinated and overseen by the major faculty in the area. 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 major faculty in the area will make decisions concerning appropriate candidates.

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