Visual Art (MFA) - Creative Technologies and Practice
Master of Fine Arts in Creative Technologies and Practice (M.F.A.) Program
The Master of Fine Arts program in Creative Technologies and Practice at the University of South Alabama is a cross-disciplinary program appealing to creatives who are interested in a variety of media technologies. The program emphasizes interdisciplinary practice that spans multiple concentrations within the visual arts with technology serving to inform or facilitate the creative process.
The MFA in Creative Technologies and Practice will equip individuals to enter the workforce in a variety of creative technology areas, particularly to manage creative teams, to pursue careers as visual artists, to advance knowledge in the field through research or creative output, and to teach at the university level.
The requirements and procedures that follow are specifically for the Department of Visual Arts. However, the general rules and policies of the Graduate School also apply.
Minimum Requirements For Regular Admission
Students are normally admitted in the Fall Semester. Although applications for admission and assistantships are accepted throughout the year, application by February 15 is encouraged; beginning February 15 the admissions committee will make initial recommendations about applicants for the following Fall class. Depending on availability of space and funding, applications may be approved and students admitted throughout the year. The following criteria supplement the Graduate School criteria (see Categories of Admission):
1. GPA of 3.0 in undergraduate degree.
2. Official Transcript(s) from other institutions and sessions/programs/workshops the student has attended.
3. Artist’s statement of no more than 500 words.
4. Letter of intent of no more than 500 words.
5. Resumé or Curriculum Vitae
6. Three letters of recommendation.
7. For applicants for whom English is a second language, the students must have a working proficiency of the English language and submit a TOEFL IBT score of at least 71 or IELTS score of at least 6 (Paper-based score of 525, computer-based score of 197) or equivalent score on computer administered tests. Note that ESL applicants must apply through the International Admissions Office at USA.
8. A portfolio of up to 20 pieces that shows proficiency of media in which the student
wishes to dedicate further study. If the student is focusing on video, film, or animation
we require portfolio equivalents of at least five works. (Submit an electronic portfolio
of your work on DVD, CD, USB [mac formatted] thumb drive or as a website link.) To
submit a website or to use a file hosting service for a digital portfolio, please
email the information to the graduate coordinator. Email found on the departmental
To submit a thumb drive or disk, see below for address.
Requirements 1–7 should be sent to the Office of Admission.
Requirement 8 (Portfolio Materials) should be emailed to the graduate coordinator (email found on the departmental website) or mailed to the address below:
ATTN: Graduate Program Coordinator
Department of Visual Arts
The University of South Alabama
501 North University Blvd.
Mobile, AL 36688
1. A minimum GPA of 2.50.
2. Same as requirements 2 through 8 for Regular Admission.
The Department of Visual Arts offers assistantships to M.F.A. students annually on a competitive basis. Assistantships include a stipend, a tuition fellowship, and waiver of out-of-state fees. Applications are taken continuously. See Graduate Coordinator for information and application. (See also Bulletin section on Graduate School, "Assistantships and Fellowships.") Students awarded assistantships must complete all semesters of study in residence at the University of South Alabama. More information about assistantships is available from the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School, Mobile Townhouse 222, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL 36688-0002.
The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Technologies and Practice degree is awarded in recognition of the student's demonstrated ability to create original, creative research at the highest levels without extensive supervision. The degree is not granted solely upon completion of a stated amount of course work, but rather after the student demonstrates and defends a body of work or presentation of a major project in a public exhibition.
General Required Credit
A minimum of 60 semester hours of approved graduate credit is required. Details about the curriculum are given below.
Graduate courses taken at another accredited university, such as for students with MA degrees in the same (or a closely related) subject as that of the M.F.A. program, may be considered in the M.F.A. plan of study up to a maximum of 12 semester hours. Only grades of "A" or "B" may be accepted as transfer credit. The graduate coordinator, in consultation with the Chair, and if necessary, the advisory committee, will evaluate transfer credit; the transfer credit is approved by the Dean of the Graduate School only after completion of a minimum of nine semester hours of graduate course work in the masters program at USA.
A minimum of four semesters of study in residence is required. The residency requirement must be met at USA.
The final two semesters of study may be completed as low residency. The low residency requirement obligates each student to visit the USA main campus two to three times during each semester of low residency.
If a student plans on completing his/her final two semesters in residency elsewhere the student must meet the following by February 1 of his/her second year:
No one with an assistantship will be able to apply for the final year to be held in low residency.
1. The student must have internet access and a computer or phone on which to video chat weekly with primary thesis advisor, having virtual studio tours.
2. The student must provide proof of access to a facility where they can create and obtain suitable studio space in which to work.
3. The student must have the ability to transport the work to the University of South Alabama main campus.
4. The student’s thesis show must be on the University of South Alabama main campus.
5. The student must have the ability to travel during the weeks specified for both semesters.
6. The student must be on campus for a thesis review during the first full week of classes during the Fall Semester and once again during the last week of October or the first full week of November. In the Spring Semester the student must be on campus three times: once during the first full week of class, the second time will be the week before spring break, and the third time will be at the end of the semester to hang and present his/her thesis show.
7. The student must be available per the faculty’s schedule.
Failure to complete the work within the periods specified shall necessitate reevaluation of the student's program and may result in a recommendation for dismissal by the Director of Graduate Studies to the Graduate Dean.
All requirements for the M.F.A. degree must be completed within seven years from the date of matriculation. A student who has not satisfactorily completed a thesis in a seven-year period must apply for a defined extension to complete the degree based on a personal hardship. This request must be recommended by the major professor, the Chair of the Department, the Director of Graduate Studies, and approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. If the extension is not approved, the student will be dismissed.
If the student does not complete the degree requirements in any defined extension period, the Director of the Graduate Program may recommend and the Dean of the Graduate School may take whatever action is necessary up to and including dismissal.
All students must have fifteen credits of art history including Contemporary Art History at time of graduation, but students may exempt the requirement using undergraduate courses. However, any credit hours exempted must be replaced using appropriate graduate coursework.
Each student must have at least 18 semester hours in art history, theory, criticism, and creativity seminars, 36 hours in directed research, and at least 6 hours in thesis development.
|Schematic of Typical Program||Credit Hours|
|MFA Creative Technologies Seminar (six enrollments)||18|
|Directed Research, Graduate level coursework in Art History or Studio Art, or approved Graduate Coursework outside of the Department of Visual Arts||36|
|Thesis (1 per semester)||6|
Defense of Thesis
The final oral defense of the thesis is scheduled after the public exhibition and submission of written component is completed except for such revisions as may be necessary as a result of the defense.
The goals of the Department of Visual Arts include preparing students for graduate work or careers in the visual arts; providing suitable programs and courses for persons who want to study or practice the arts for their own personal development and cultural enrichment; and introducing students to their cultural tradition.
The Department of Visual Arts offers Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Fine Arts
degree with concentrations in Animation, Art History, Ceramics, Graphic Design, Painting,
Photography, Sculpture, Glass, and Printmaking.
These degree programs are intended for students who plan to pursue careers in Art or Art History, which will typically require their having continued their studies at the graduate level. The Department offers minors in Studio Art and in Art History.
All first-time freshmen must successfully complete CAS 100: First Year Experience as a degree requirement. Students must enroll during their first term at USA, except for summer-entry students who must enroll in the fall semester following entry. Students receiving a B.A. in Visual Arts must take ARS 396 (Studio Art students) or ARH 493 (Art History students) to fulfill the technology requirement. Students receiving a B.F.A. in Studio Art must take ARS 396 (Studio students), or ARS 479 (Graphic Design students), or ARH 493 (Art History students) to fulfill the technology requirement.
The University of South Alabama offers a Masters of Fine Arts degree (MFA) in Creative Technologies and Practice, which is the terminal, or highest, degree available in the field. It is a cross-disciplinary degree program appealing to creatives who are interested in a variety of media technologies. The program emphasizes interdisciplinary practice that spans multiple concentrations within the visual arts with technology serving to inform or facilitate the creative process.
The MFA in Creative Technologies and Practice will equip individuals to enter the workforce in a variety of creative technology areas, particularly to manage creative teams, to pursue careers as visual artists, to advance knowledge in the field through research or creative input, and to teach at the university level.
The University of South Alabama offers a Masters in Art Education and an Alternative Masters in Art Education which are housed in the College of Education and Professional Studies. Course work in the visual arts is within the Department of Visual Arts. Further information regarding these degree programs is listed in the Bulletin under graduate programs in the College of Education and Professional Studies.