The Master of Fine Arts Thesis is a cohesive body of creative works in studio art accompanied by a written exposition of ideas and analysis placed in associated context.
The creative visual work is considered to be of primary importance. It is required that the candidate support position and hypothesis with secondary source materials. The studio work of the candidate is expected to be stylistically cohesive and should demonstrate a mastery of studio art-making methods, materials, and processes.
The thesis subject matter may be found in personal autobiographic, ethnographic, historic, and/or conceptual frameworks.
It is required that the subject be focused, thereby, in the professional judgment of the thesis committee, be manageable within the time period allocated.
The proposed work of the thesis, as outlined by the candidate, should be brought to fruition in three semesters.
The written thesis must be unanimously accepted by the committee and should bear the signature and date of the acceptance by all members. Copies are physically and digitally archived in the Art Department Office.
The thesis faculty advisor works closely with the thesis committee chair, a senior faculty member in the field of concentration or sub-field will be responsible for the flow of documents, communication among the committee members, and progress reports to the Department Chair and faculty. The committee chair recommends that candidate to the faculty for approval for awarding the MFA degree.
Thesis Defense and Final Graduation Requirements
Once the student’s graduate advisor and thesis committee agree that the thesis is complete and that the scholarship and body of work meet departmental and graduate school requirements, the thesis defense will be scheduled and the university community will be invited to attend.
The thesis defense begins with a 30- to 40-minute oral presentation that describes the research and conclusions augmented with slides, thesis artwork, and other pertinent materials. The candidate then responds to questions posed by the thesis committee after which visitors are invited to ask questions.
Upon completing the final thesis manuscript, successfully defending the research and its conclusions, and submitting three copies of the thesis to the Department Chair, the student is recommended to the Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for final clearance for graduation.
In the event, the student does not successfully accomplish the above requirements the candidate must register for Thesis V (1 credit) until the requirements are met.