Metals and Jewelry Design Master of fine arts degree

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Overview

In this dynamic metalsmithing and jewelry design degree, you'll challenge traditional ways of thinking as you design and craft stunning works of art.


The MFA in metals and jewelry design is a professional degree for practicing artists, craftspeople, or designers who desire to leave a lasting impression on their fields through a devotion to their work and the high standards of discipline and artistic ideals. By immersing yourself in soldering, fabrication, stone setting, silversmithing, forging, and casting, this metalsmithing and jewelry design degree will develop your knowledge and deepen your experience working with different theories and materials while you are challenged to think unconventionally in order to redefine industry standards.

The MFA in metals and jewelry design is generally a two-year, full-time program that involves the presentation of a thesis, which includes written documentation and a formal exhibition of a body of work.

The program provides students with broad exposure to metal working techniques, expands knowledge of applied design, strengthens perceptual and philosophical concepts, and develops an individual mode of expression. This sequence leads to a master’s thesis, inaugurated by the student and overseen by the faculty. The program is structured on the basis of individual needs, interests, and background preparation, as may be determined through faculty counseling.

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


  • Performing and Fine Arts

  • Fashion

  • Design

  • Retail Stores

Typical Job Titles

Accessory Designer Accessory Jewelry Designer
Apprentice/Employee for Artist or Master Craftsperson Art Critic
Blacksmith Corporate Jewelry Designer
Custom Jewelry Designer Design Consultant
Design Corporate Manager Entrepreneur
Faculty/Instructor Fine Jeweler
Goldsmith Jewelry Design Entrepreneur
Jewelry Design Professor Jewelry Design Repairperson
Jewelry Industry Supervisor Jewelry Instructor
Jewelry Salesperson Jewelry Technician
Metalsmith Product Designer
Professional Artist Self-employed Artist, Artisan and/or Designer
Silversmith Studio Jewelry Artist
Studio Fine Artist Studio Technicians
Visiting Artist

Featured Work

Featured Profiles

Curriculum for Metals and Jewelry Design MFA

Metals and Jewelry Design, MFA degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
CMTJ-601
Metals and Jewelry Design Graduate Studio
This course covers the advanced aesthetics and techniques in metals and culminating in the Master’s of Fine Arts Thesis. The course is structured on the individual student’s needs, interests and background preparation as they may be determined through faculty counseling. There will be a strengthening of metals techniques, design fundamentals and encouragement of personal expression. The student will be encouraged to evaluate new techniques, materials and concepts. This course is repeatable and leads to the master’s thesis, proposed by the student and approved by the faculty. Lab fee is required. (This class is restricted to students in the METAL-MFA program.) Studio 12 (Fall, Spring).
12
STAR-701
Technology in the 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
CMTJ-601
Metals and Jewelry Design Graduate Studio
This course covers the advanced aesthetics and techniques in metals and culminating in the Master’s of Fine Arts Thesis. The course is structured on the individual student’s needs, interests and background preparation as they may be determined through faculty counseling. There will be a strengthening of metals techniques, design fundamentals and encouragement of personal expression. The student will be encouraged to evaluate new techniques, materials and concepts. This course is repeatable and leads to the master’s thesis, proposed by the student and approved by the faculty. Lab fee is required. (This class is restricted to students in the METAL-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 the MFA program in metals and jewelry 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 Graduate Portfolio Requirements for more information.)

Learn about admissions, cost, and financial aid 

Latest News

  • February 14, 2020

    Kibaek Sung metalsmithing a silver platter.

    Co-op stories: Tiffany & Co.

    Instead of having breakfast at Tiffany’s, Kibaek Sung ’19 MFA (metals and jewelry design) got to work with the chefs in the jewelry-crafting kitchen during his co-op with the world-renowned luxury jewelry company.