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 within the ceramics field. 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.

What is ceramics?

Ceramics is an artistic craft in which objects from earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain (including pottery, vases, bowls, sculptures, tiles, and more) are created and shapes using a mixture of clay, silica, feldspar and other materials. Once an object has been created, it is fired in a kiln, or a high temperature oven. Afterwards, may ceramic objects are then decorated with paints, glazes, and other finishing materials. 

MFA in Ceramics

RIT's MFA in ceramics focuses on 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. 

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.

Industries


  • Design

  • Fashion

  • Higher Education

  • Performing and Fine Arts

Typical Job Titles

Craft Artist Sculptor

Featured Work

Curriculum for Ceramics MFA

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. (This course is restricted to students in the CCER-MFA program.) Studio 12 (Fall, Spring).
12
STAR-701
Technology in Studio
This course will introduce a contemporary technology used by the course instructor in their studio practice. Students will be encouraged to investigate how this technology may be applied in their making process. The subjects offered in the course will vary according to the faculty teaching the class. The course can be taken multiple times with faculty permission. Studio 6 (Fall Or Spring).
3
STAR-702
Studio Art Research
This course will prepare graduate students for the written component of the thesis. Course content will cover defining research in the arts, arts based research, research through practice, critical judgment, writing strategically and critically for reflective thinking and scholarly dissemination. At the completion of this course students will be able to write a thesis proposal addressing a research question or direction along with objectives, context, and methods. (Prerequisites: STAR-701 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
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. (Prerequisites: This course is restricted to students in the FNAS-MFA or GLASS-MFA or METAL-MFA or CCER-MFA or WOOD-MFA programs.) Studio 6 (Fall).
3
 
Open 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. (This course is restricted to students in the CCER-MFA program.) Studio 12 (Fall, Spring).
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. (Prerequisites: This course is restricted to students in the FNAS-MFA or GLASS-MFA or METAL-MFA or CCER-MFA or WOOD-MFA programs.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
STAR-718
Research Methods and Publication
Students will conduct research appropriate for individual thesis directions, incorporate that research into writing, analyze and review their thesis body of work then produce and publish their written thesis document. (Prerequisites: STAR-702 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
STAR-790
Research and Thesis
This is the first of two courses designed to advance a student towards completion of their thesis. Students will work independently on their approved proposal while meeting on a regular basis with their committee chair. Students are required to meet at least twice with their full committee during the semester. (Prerequisites: STAR-702 or equivalent course.) Thesis (Fall).
3
STAR-890
Thesis
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. (Prerequisite: STAR-790 or equivalent course.) Thesis (Spring).
6
 
Open 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, cost, and financial aid 

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