Graduation Requirements

MFA students must complete a total of 15 SMFA at Tufts course credits in studio art including liberal arts and sciences classes. This includes the mandatory MFA Contemporary Art Practice (CAP) seminar and three graduate seminar electives. Please note students are permitted to register for no less than two and no more than three SMFA at Tufts credits of studio art each semester.

2-Year Plan

Fall Year I

Studio Art Course
.5 cr.
Studio Art Course
.5 cr.
Group Critique
.5 cr.
Contemporary Art Practice (CAP) Seminar
.5 cr.
1 Art History/Liberal Arts
1 cr.
Colloquia
*
Review Board
*
Total Semester Credits
3 cr.

Spring Year I

Studio Art Course
.5 cr.
Studio Art Course
.5 cr.
Group Critique
.5 cr.
Graduate Seminar Elective
.5 cr.
1 Art History/Liberal Arts
1 cr.
Colloquia
*
Review Board & Approval for Thesis
*
Total Semester Credits
3 cr.

Fall Year II

Studio Art Course
.5 cr.
Studio Art Course
.5 cr.
Group Critique
.5 cr.
Graduate Seminar Elective
.5 cr.
Thesis/Exhibition
1.5 cr.
1 Art History/Liberal Arts
1 cr.
Colloquia
*
Review Board
*
Total Semester Credits
4.5 cr.

Spring Year II

Studio Art Course
.5 cr.
Studio Art Course
.5 cr.
Group Critique
.5 cr.
Graduate Seminar Elective
.5 cr.
Thesis/Exhibition
1.5 cr.
1 Art History/Liberal Arts
1 cr.
Colloquia
*
Thesis Review Board & The Final Exhibition
*
Total Semester Credits
4.5 cr.

Please note that Colloquia, Review Boards and Final Thesis Review Committee are required for degree completion and are not credit bearing. 

Master of Fine Arts Degree Requirements

Studio Art at SMFA at Tufts

MFA students must complete a minimum total of 2 SMFA at Tufts course credits in studio art. This includes the mandatory MFA Contemporary Art Practice (CAP) seminar and three graduate seminar electives.

Graduate Seminars

The graduate seminars (CAP seminar and three approved elective seminars) are part of the studio credit requirements for successful completion of the MFA degree. A student who fails to attend the CAP seminar and/or successfully complete the course must repeat the CAP seminar the following year.

Graduate Critiques

MFA students must complete a section of Graduate Group Critique in each of the four semesters of the program. In addition to these requirements, it is mandatory that all graduate students attend the topic graduate colloquia scheduled during the fall and/or spring semester. Please note that during the student’s second year, he/ she may substitute MFA Individual Critiques: One-to-One for MFA Graduate Group Critique in the fall or spring semester.

Colloquia
The SMFA at Tufts Graduate Colloquia are conceived, proposed, and coordinated by Graduate advisors and MFA students. The Graduate Steering Committee reviews and selects proposals. These all-day events, generated around a topic relevant to contemporary art and culture, take place at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Speakers include invited guests, SMFA at Tufts faculty, and MFA students. Colloquia are an instituted part of the Master of Fine Arts curriculum. Attendance is mandatory for all first and second year MFA students. SMFA at Tufts Graduate Colloquia are open to the general public.

Art History/Academic Electives
Over the course of the program, four upper-level or graduate-level courses are required, and must include two-art history and two liberal arts electives. Electives may be art history, humanities, or a field other than humanities with advisor’s approval. Please note, graduate students may take a maximum of two of their four academic courses in Summer School. 

Thesis
All second-year MFA students are required to develop a thesis throughout the year and present a thesis exhibition at the end of the year. MFA students will apply theory and method in a project, formulating a question and developing a potential answer that has a consideration of the broader implications of their practice (such as aesthetic, social, political, economic, and scientific, among others). A thesis is never a definite conclusion, but a moment within the student’s development that demonstrates their ability to carry on their work outside the confines of the institution. The thesis carries a total of 3 Tufts credits, and 1.5 Tufts credits in both semesters of the second year. The Thesis Committee awards the final three credits based on each student’s exhibition.

Approval for Thesis
At each student’s second Review Board, a determination is made as to whether a student can move on to their thesis year. This approval process is managed, and approval is ultimately determined, by the specific faculty members participating in each Review Board. The outcome of the approval process is recorded in the student’s Review Board folder and submitted back to the Registrar’s Office.

Review Boards
The Review Board is an assessment and critique of a student’s entire semester of work. The Review Board provides each student with the opportunity to articulate their intent, discuss process, and receive critical feedback and direction from faculty and peers. MFA students are required to have Review Boards in each of the first three semesters of the program. MFA students are required to peer-review one student in each of the three Review Board semesters.

Final MFA Exhibition
The MFA Program culminates in a self-curated final exhibition, including a statement of the artist’s intention and goals. This group exhibition provides a platform for students to gain greater exposure within Boston and the Tufts community. Credit for the exhibition is awarded by the SMFA at Tufts Review Board, which is comprised of the student’s academic advisor and one member of the graduate studio faculty. *Please note that participation in the final MFA exhibition can only take place once an MFA candidate has met all graduation requirements