The MFA in Studio Art offered by the Division of Art at SMU is a two-year program that prepares artists for professional careers in art. Students who earn the MFA develop a substantial body of artwork and understand the relevant contexts within which the contemporary artist and their works function. The degree is intended as an intensive period of focused study that culminates in the MFA qualifying exhibition mounted at the Pollock Gallery and off campus.
SMU offers up to six full fellowships each year, supplemented by teaching assistantships. This generous bulwark of support is offered to aid students in the development of their work so that they can begin their careers unencumbered by tuition debt. Additional funds are available for materials and travel related to student’s creative research.
The MFA program is interdisciplinary in that students are free to explore a wide range of materials, processes and histories. Each year the most competitive, ambitious and thoughtful artists are admitted regardless of medium.
Each year an intensive program is offered off campus, including the MFA Site Seminar, a weeklong retreat held alternately in an international location and on the SMU campus in Taos, N.M. These seminars are run by faculty along with visiting artists or scholars, and are engaged with the development and expansion of the parameters of work. They include work in Mexico City at SOMA (2014), São Paulo, Brazil (2016), and Taos, N.M. (2015) with Jennifer Monson, Amber Bemak, and Nadia Granados. SMU also offers the New York Colloquium, where students spend two weeks in early January visiting that city’s museums and galleries.
At the end of the two-year MFA program, exceptional graduates may apply for post-graduate fellowships during the summer following graduate study, such as an exchange program with ENSA (Dijon, France) that includes a studio, stipend, and dual, two-person exhibitions; and a fellowship with SOMA (Mexico City).
In addition to a core faculty actively engaged in exhibition and research at the highest levels, SMU's Division of Art hosts an ongoing series of lectures, panels, and studio visits by artists, critics, and curators. This series of events is a crucial part of the graduate and undergraduate curricula and provides a space for the graduate student and the Dallas community at large to engage with contemporary art.
Visitors have included: Glenn Adamson, Magali Arriola, Julie Ault, Ute Meta Bauer, Walead Beshty, Gregg Bordowitz, Tania Bruguera, Suzanna Coffee, David Diao, Nicole Eisenman, Ed Eberle, Theaster Gates, Renée Green, K8 Hardy, Ann Van Hoey, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Alfredo Jaar, Guillermo Kuitca, Melissa Miller, Ron Nagle, Thomas Nozkowski, Robyn O’Neil, Mariko Paterson, Paul Pfeiffer, R.H. Quaytman, Walid Raad, Michael Smith, Jenni Sorkin, A. L. Steiner, and Betty Woodman.
For more information contact:
Director of Graduate Admissions, Joe Hoselton