MCAD’s MFA program strives to build a community of makers, thinkers, researchers, and creative professionals.

As you pursue creative work in a lively, interdisciplinary environment, you respond to social, cultural, and professional needs while engaging in entrepreneurial opportunities that stretch across art and design practices.Students are encouraged and supported in exploring wide-ranging processes and histories via rigorous studio practice, individual mentorship, research, and intense discourse.

Throughout the program, you are invited to participate in opportunities—unique to MCAD’s MFA program—at galleries, art centers, and nonprofits designed to set you up for success-post graduation. 

Most credits are earned through one-on-one work with a faculty mentor. Others are earned through critique and liberal arts seminars, as well as a range of engaging educational opportunities, including optional internships. The final year culminates in a capstone thesis exhibition and paper.


MCAD’s MFA program pivots around a rigorous one-on-one mentor-based model. As a graduate student you will work closely with a mentor who is an expert in your chosen field.


“Mentorship allows students to have a very personalized and direct learning experience. Having that time to talk about and reflect on my work with someone was really significant. It also encouraged me to push further and try new things within my practice.” –Luisa Rivera ’15, MFA

Launch Programming

With a special emphasis on networking, these pivotal funded programs help MFA students set themselves up for success after graduation. Opportunities range across galleries, residencies, art centers, design agencies, and various nonprofits.


This is a unique program in which two MFA students are awarded a free week-long summer workshop that includes room, board, and a travel stipend during the summer after they graduate.


Soo Visual Arts Center, founded in 2001 by Suzy Greenberg ’98, MFA, is a nonprofit art space that connects the community with fresh, under-represented and provocative art. 

Every year, a competition is held with one MFA candidate receiving a financially supported solo exhibition at Soo Visual Arts Center.


Water Bar and Public Studio is a bar that serves free tap water to build relationships that activate and sustain community. They are also an art space, a social hub and an incubator of collaborative projects on water, place, and environment. 

An annual call for exhibition/curation proposals as well as a fellowship for designers are both available to MFA candidates. A student will be selected for each program and will receive financial support for their work.


The Rochester Art Center offers the opportunity for all people to understand and value the arts through innovative experiences with contemporary art. 

An annual competition in which the winner receives a financially supported solo exhibition at Rochester Art Center is available to all MFA candidates.


Rob Fischer ’93 has sponsored a residency in Park Rapids, MN for up to three current MFA candidates or alumni one year out of the program. This five–ten day residency is a great opportunity for rest, reflection, and creativity over the winter break.


At over two decades old, Mildred’s Lane is a 94-acre project site in the Pennsylvania woods on the Upper Delaware River where fellows and practitioners apply tools and concepts of contemporary art to landscape, vernacular architecture, installation art, sculpture, history, archaeology, natural sciences, utopian studies, and creative domesticity.

For summer 2020, the MCAD MFA program is sending one fellow for a week-long experience.


Master of Fine Arts Program Outcomes

  • Pursue an active production and critical methodology of studio work through individual meetings with mentors, visiting artists, and other community members.
  • Research the historical and contemporary issues of their field and the larger field of art and design.
  • Present and defend ideas related to their work and the work of their fellow students through both written and verbal forms.
  • Contribute to group learning processes in multi-disciplinary critiques, advanced studio seminars, liberal arts seminars, and collaborative projects.
  • Complete a significant body of work, which will include the installation of a thesis exhibition and written thesis statement.
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