Master of Fine Arts | Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Master of Fine Arts

Mentor Based.
Limitless Possibilities.

Situated within Minneapolis’s vibrant art-and-design scene, MCAD's Master of Fine Arts in Visual Studies is a rigorous four-semester program designed to expand your thinking and promote experimentation in your practice. Students are invited to be strongly self-directed and highly motivated as they set personalized goals and plans to guide each semester in collaboration with their chosen mentor. 

As a diverse, international community of makers, thinkers, researchers, and professionals, students explore social, cultural, and professional needs stretching across creative practices. Students are encouraged and supported in exploring wide-ranging processes and histories via rigorous studio practice, individual mentorship, and intense interdisciplinary discourse. All of our in-person, on-campus classes provide accessibility options to our students.

MFA student standing in front of their artwork

Hear about the MFA experience

As a Master's of Fine Arts student, you will:

  • Work one-to-one with a mentor to establish goals and plans for each semester.
  • Work independently and collaboratively in studios, classrooms, modern creative facilities, and public gallery spaces.
  • Pursue creative work in one or more practices: animation, comic arts, drawing/painting, engaged and public arts/social practice, fiber arts and textiles, film/video, furniture design, graphic design, illustration, installation, interactive/digital media, interdisciplinary, performance, photography, printmaking/paper/books, sculpture, sound art. 
  • Participate in opportunities in the Twin Cities’ creative community that includes galleries, art centers, regional funders, and nonprofits designed to set you up for success post-graduation. 
  • Become part of the strong, supportive MCAD alumni network.
Tell me more about Master of Fine Arts at MCAD
CAPTCHA This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Class Highlights

This 60-credit Masters of Fine Arts program required classes include: 

  • Criticism and Theory
  • Mentored Credits
  • Graduate Critique Seminar
  • Community and Context
  • Thesis Preparation

After MCAD

There are many paths to explore with a Master's in Fine Arts. Potential careers include:

  • Exhibiting Artist
  • Arts Educator
  • Arts Administrator
  • Graphic Designer
  • Photographer
  • Editorial Illustrator


Current Mentor Roster
Mentorship​ ​is​ ​regarded​ ​as​ ​the​ ​core​ ​of​ ​the​ ​MCAD​ MFA​ ​curriculum. Students​ ​work​ ​one-on-one​ ​with​ ​their​ ​mentor​ ​to advance​ their ​studio​ ​work,​ ​research,​ ​and​ ​professional​ ​practice.​

Current Students
Current students partake in various events such as field trips, professional practice workshops, and interacting with visiting artists. Students are encouraged to utilize the program’s flexible structure by tailoring experiences to reach individual goals.

In a survey of MFA alumni from 2010-2019, 85% reported working and doing freelance work in their field of choice. 


Opportunities such as funded launch programs are available to help MFA students set themselves up for success after graduation. Opportunities range across galleries, residencies, art centers, and various nonprofits such as:

  • MCAD / Arrowmount University Fellows Scholarship
  • Soo Visual Arts Partnership
  • Forecast Public Art Design/Illustration Fellowship
  • Rochester Art Center Partnership
  • Wisher Sponsored Residency
  • Mildred’s Lane Fellowship

"I initially joined the program because I was at a point in my life where I had no discipline in my studio practice, and I felt no real foundation to the work I made. MCAD allowed me to build confidence in my work again." –Sishir Bommakanti ’18, Freelance Illustrator