Ceramics Master of fine arts degree

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Overview

Enhance your artistic expression through the study of aesthetic and theory.


The MFA in ceramics develops your intellectual and artistic thinking through an extensive curriculum. You will rigorously examine the work of historical and contemporary artists and craftspeople as you expand your knowledge of the techniques of ceramics design. In-depth critiques give you a deep understanding of your own work as well as your peers to enhance your artistic expression and personal voice. Earning your MFA in ceramics will deepen your understanding of aesthetics, forming processes, and fine art theory.

The ceramics program focuses on artistic development through 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. 

Industries


  • Performing and Fine Arts

  • Fashion

  • Design

  • Higher Education

Typical Job Titles

Craft Artist Sculptor

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Curriculum

Ceramics, MFA degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
CCER-601
Ceramics Graduate Studio
Ceramics Graduate Studio is the advanced aesthetics and techniques of ceramics and culminating in the Master’s of Fine Arts Thesis. The course is structured on the basis of the individual student’s needs, interests and background preparation as they may be determined through faculty counseling. There will be a strengthening of ceramics techniques, design fundamentals and encouragement of personal expression. The student will be encouraged to evaluate new techniques, materials and concepts. This sequence leads to the master’s thesis, proposed by the student and approved by the faculty. Lab fee is required.
12
STAR-701
Technology in Studio
Students will be introduced to three-dimensional modeling software and visualization its application in creating art. Three-dimensional modeling techniques will be used to visualize student ideas. In addition to modeling, this course will introduce lighting principles that will provide guidelines for presenting work. A variety of simulated materials will allow students to explore color, pattern, texture, opacity, and other surface characteristics. Students will construct their “virtual sketches” using traditional methods, 3D printing output, or a hybrid of both.
3
STAR-702
Studio Art Research
Graduate students prepare for the written component of the thesis through practice with research, critical judgment, and development of outlines and essays. Contemporary art issues are clarified through discussion and readings in art history, art criticism, artist statements and interviews.
3
STAR-714
Ideation and Series
Creative flow, having an endless stream of ideas, alternatives, and choices for solutions, helps creative work evolve and reach more advanced levels. In this course students develop appropriate skills and strategies to generate ideas and develop them effectively into a cohesive body of work.
3
 
Free Electives
6
 
Professional Elective
3
Second Year
CCER-601
Ceramics Graduate Studio
Ceramics Graduate Studio is the advanced aesthetics and techniques of ceramics and culminating in the Master’s of Fine Arts Thesis. The course is structured on the basis of the individual student’s needs, interests and background preparation as they may be determined through faculty counseling. There will be a strengthening of ceramics techniques, design fundamentals and encouragement of personal expression. The student will be encouraged to evaluate new techniques, materials and concepts. This sequence leads to the master’s thesis, proposed by the student and approved by the faculty. Lab fee is required.
12
STAR-706
Business Practices for Studio Artists
This class is devoted to business issues that artists must address including portfolio management, pricing and marketing strategies, and public relations for pursuit of a professional career as studio artists. Financial and communication skills are highlighted as are networking skills for the advancement of an artist’s work.
3
STAR-718
Research Methods and Publication
3
STAR-790
Research and Thesis
In this first of two thesis courses students will choose their committee members and work with them to finalize and approve a thesis proposal while beginning the thesis body of work. Through several mandatory meetings faculty advisors will give feedback on writing, direction and visual studio work produced in preparation for the thesis exhibition.
3
STAR-890
These
For this final thesis course students continue working with their committee to evaluate work produced, and select the work to be exhibited. In addition, students will work with gallery coordinators and curators to install and exhibit their final body of work. Students are expected to defend their work to the committee through an oral defense and a written document.
6
 
Free Elective
3
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. (Please refer to Graduate Portfolio Requirements for more information.)

Learn about admissions and financial aid 

Additional Info

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.