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-701
Ceramics Graduate Studio I
Ceramics Graduate Studio I is the first of a four-semester sequential class covering the advanced aesthetics and techniques of ceramics and culminating in the Master's of Fine Arts Thesis. This program 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. **Fee: There is a lab fee required for this course**
6
CCER-702
Ceramics Graduate Studio II
Ceramic Graduate Studio II is the second of a four-semester sequential class covering the advanced aesthetics and techniques of ceramics and culminating in the Master's of Fine Arts thesis. This program 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 ceramic techniques, design fundamentals and encouragement of personal expression. Student will be encouraged to evaluate new techniques, materials and concepts. This sequence leads to the Master's of Fine Arts thesis, proposed by the student and approved by the faculty. **Fee: There is a lab fee required for this course**
6
ARTH-605
Thinking About Making: The Practice of Art in a Global Society
A discussion based art history elective for graduate students. The course seeks to bridge the gap between studio practice and contemporary art history. Students will explore very current work and ask questions about what is art, who is the audience, what is “our” art making practice and how does that fit within the larger context of the current state of the global art world. How do we measure success and artistic failure? The course emphasizes observation, critical analysis and written interpretation.
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
STAR-706
Business Practices
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
 
Free Electives
6
Second Year
CCER-790
Ceramics Thesis Initiation
Ceramics Thesis Initiation is the third of a four-semester sequential class covering the advanced aesthetics and techniques of ceramics and culminating in the Master's of Fine Art thesis. Students will develop a topic of investigation for the Master's of Fine Arts thesis, select a graduate thesis committee, and begin the planning, research, and development of a body of creative work. This program is structured on the basis of the individual student's needs, interests and background preparation determined through research and faculty consultation. There will be a strengthening of ceramics techniques, design fundamentals and encouragement of personal expression. Student will be encouraged to evaluate new techniques, materials and concepts. This course is the prequel to the Master's of Fine Arts thesis, proposed by the student and approved by the faculty. **Fee: There is a lab fee required for this course**
6
CGEN-703
Thesis Implementation
This course, coordinated and overseen by the School for American Craft's Graduate Director and Thesis Chief Adviser, will monitor the progress of a graduate student in the development of their Thesis. Students will review their work regularly throughout the semester, with both major faculty and the thesis committee. A minimum of three comprehensive thesis reviews with thesis committee members will take place during the semester. Students will create a written response, submitted to their Thesis Chief Adviser, for each review. In addition, a final and formal thesis critique by the student's thesis committee will take place at the end of the semester. Students will receive a written evaluation of this critique from the committee.
3
CGEN-704
Thesis Review
This course is a continuation of the process begun in CGEN-703 Thesis Implementation, coordinated and overseen by the SAC Graduate Director and Chief Thesis Advisor, will monitor the progress of a graduate student in the development of their written thesis as defined in the SAC Graduate Handbook. Students will review their work regularly throughout the semester, with both major faculty and the thesis committee. A minimum of three comprehensive thesis reviews with thesis committee members will take place during the semester. Students will create their written thesis based on the Timeline for the written thesis defined in the Handbook. A final and formal thesis critique by the student’s thesis committee will take place at the end of the semester. Students will submit their finished and Thesis Committee-approved written thesis as the culminating experience in this course.
3
CCER-890
Ceramic Thesis Resolution
Ceramics Thesis Resolution is final course covering the advanced aesthetics and techniques of ceramics. Working from an approved topic of investigation for the Master's Thesis, students work independently and create a body of work supported by a written Thesis paper. In consultation with a selected graduate Thesis Committee, students plan, research, and develop a body of creative work for exhibition and review. This program is structured on the basis of the individual student's needs, interests and background preparation determined through research and faculty consultation. There will be a strengthening of ceramic techniques, design fundamentals and encouragement of personal expression. Student will be encouraged to evaluate new techniques, materials and concepts. **Fee: There is a lab fee required for this course**
9
 
Free Elective
3
 
CAD 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 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.