studio art class

Master of Fine Arts

Studio Art

Program of Study

Improve your understanding and interpretation of contemporary art through challenging, stimulating coursework. Studio courses allow you to improve your skills in a variety of mediums. Our well-equipped art studios are open 24 hours a day, offering multiple settings to produce your best work, from private and semi-private studios to spacious common work areas.

The Studio Art faculty will work closely with you to develop and improve your graduate portfolio. Showcase your thesis work in a public setting at the University Art Museum, with a reception and printed brochure, as the culminating component of the program sequence.

You have the opportunity to complete this highly competitive 60-credit MFA program in two years. Upon acceptance, you will be offered Teaching or Graduate Assistantship funding and a 50 percent tuition waiver.

Studio Art

  • Area of specialization (28 credits): painting, sculpture, drawing, digital imaging, printmaking or combined media which combines two areas.
  • Art 700 Departmental Seminar (4 credits)
  • Art 745 Exhibition Thesis Project (4 credits)
  • Studio art (4 credits) in any area other than the area of specialization
  • Studio electives (8 credits)

Art History

  • Arh 600 Seminar in Contemporary Art (4 credits)
  • Three (3) credits of any Art History course of 500 or above

General electives

5 credits

Satisfactory participation in a one-person exhibition in the University Museum is required as a part of the Exhibition Thesis Project.

See the Graduate Bulletin for details.
For more information contact JoAnne Carson at [email protected].


Applied Learning

Exhibit your work in a variety of renowned regional venues, including the Arts Center of the Capital Region, the Albany Center Gallery, Collarworks Gallery and the Albany International Airport Gallery.

We make frequent departmental visits to several famous New York City galleries and museums. Take part in guided trips to attend regional presenters at locations all around the Northeast.


Gain practical experience through funded assistantships, serving as Instructor of Record of an undergraduate foundation course under the supervision of a full-time faculty member. Positions held by previous UAlbany MFA students include:

  • Curatorial Assistant in the University Art Museum
  • Digital Lab Technical Supervisor
  • Wood Shop Manager
  • Metal Shop Manager
  • Visiting Artist Liaison


Career Outcomes

Our talented alumni have exhibited their works in some of the most prestigious museums and galleries in the world. Among our alumni are recipients of numerous grants and awards, including Guggenheim and New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships. Some popular careers that MFA graduates have pursued include:

  • Artist
  • Professional photographer
  • Designer
  • Commercial art director
  • Gallery director
  • Critic
  • Curator
  • Museum professional
  • College and university faculty
  • K-12 educator



"I applied for the MFA program at UAlbany hoping that at the very least it would help me become a better artist. My experience after only three semesters has exceeded my expectations. With challenging and insightful input from both the faculty and fellow students, my art has evolved dramatically."

- Björn Bauer, Class of 2019


Admissions Requirements

Departmental Assistantship Consideration

  • Fall: February 15 
  • Spring: Not Available 
  • Summer: Not Available

No Departmental Assistantship Consideration

  • Fall: May 15
  • Spring: Not Available 
  • Summer: Not Available
Required Application Materials

Available information for International Applicants.

Student Learning Objectives

Learning objectives that UAlbany students are expected to attain through their course of study within their academic program.

Master of Fine Arts
  • Creating:
    • Students will have working knowledge of a variety of media, with an emphasis on drawing, that will help them succeed as elementary or secondary school teachers.
    • Students will produce a small body of work that begins to exhibit some overlapping thematic and conceptual concerns.
    • Students will demonstrate their proficiency with specific materials and techniques within a defined medium.
  • Interpreting:
    • Students will become familiar with the terms and goals of oral critique.
    • Students will have an introductory level ability to analyze their work and the work of others.
    • Students will demonstrate that they are able to utilize critical thinking skills in critique, to comprehend and apply basic visual and conceptual principles and to articulate a clear verbal presentation of aesthetic ideas.
  • Evaluating:
    • Students will possess an introductory level knowledge of contemporary art and a firm foundation of familiarity with art from the past.
    • Students will demonstrate their ability to judge relative merits and quality of artwork particularly within the context of historical art.
  • Presenting:
    • Students will demonstrate skills in preparing and installing works of art of the purposes of presenting in group critique.
    • Students will understand how to show their work to best advantage in a group exhibition.