The MFA in furniture design is structured around the individual student’s needs, interests, and background. As such, the program seeks to strengthen students' techniques, advance their aesthetic and design sensibilities, and hone their personal expression. The first year of the program exposes students to a broad range of critical issues related to the conception and production of art, serves to inspire and provoke their critical reflection, and facilitate the development of a preliminary thesis topic. In the second year students propose and fully engage in a thesis project, which culminates in a major exhibition in the spring.
Furniture design, MFA degree, typical course sequence
|Course||Sem. Cr. Hrs.|
|CWFD-701||Furniture Design Graduate Studio I||6|
|CWFD-702||Furniture Design Graduate Studio II||6|
|ARTH-605||Thinking About Making: The Practice of Art in a Global Society||3|
|STAR-702||Studio Arts Research||3|
|STAR-714||Ideation and Series||3|
|CWFD-790||Furniture Design Thesis Initiation||6|
|CWFD-890||Furniture Design Thesis Resolution||9|
|CAD Studio Electives*||6|
|Total Semester Credit Hours||60|
* CAD Studio Electives refers to any graduate level course in the College of Art and Design that includes a studio component.
To be considered for admission to the MFA program in furniture design, 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.)
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 Art and Design, Rochester Institute of Technology, 73 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623-5603.
Quarter Curriculum - For Reference Only
Effective fall 2013, RIT converted 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.
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.
Applicants to this program come from diverse backgrounds such as architecture, interior design, industrial design, art history, law, and teaching, as well as undergraduate wood programs. In the first year, students identify issues in their technical and aesthetic background and, along with faculty, create a program of study to address these areas. Simultaneously, they discover directions in their work that are promising for further exploration. Based upon this experience, students develop a thesis proposal and, in the second year, create a comprehensive body of work. This work culminates in the end-of-the-year graduate thesis exhibition in the college gallery and a written thesis in support of the work.
Woodworking and furniture design, MFA degree, typical course sequence (quarters)
|Course||Qtr. Cr. Hrs.|
|2044-781||Graduate Wood I||9|
|2044-782||Graduate Wood II||9|
|2044-783||Graduate Wood III||9|
|2039-715||Thinking About Making||3|
|2037-785||Forms of Inquiry||2|
|2045-753||Crafts Graduate Seminar||2|
|Total Quarter Credit Hours||91|
To be considered for admission to the MFA program in woodworking and furniture design, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:
- Hold a baccalaureate degree in a field of art, science, or education from a regionally accredited institution in the United States,
- Demonstrate, through the quality of the undergraduate record and creative production, a genuine, professional potential,
- Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work (undergraduate degree should include 75 quarter credit hours [50 semester hours] of studio courses), 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. An IELTS score of 6.5 is required. For international students coming from countries where the baccalaureate degree is not given 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.
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.