Master of Fine Arts in Art

About the Art, MFA

The MFA Art Program fosters a vibrant community of passionate artists who push the boundaries of traditional art forms. This terminal degree will provide you with the skills and experiences necessary to flourish in various creative endeavors. Areas of concentration include ceramics, drawing, jewelry and metalsmithing, painting, photography, sculpture, and wood design. Through intensive studio work, you will refine your craft, explore new mediums, and develop a compelling body of work that reflects your artistic vision.

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Why Study Art at CWU?

In the MFA program, we offer you opportunities to elevate your artistic practice.

This terminal degree is designed for artists who are passionate about their craft and want to teach art at a higher education institution. Led by renowned faculty with diverse expertise, our program blends contemporary and historical art practices, while encouraging experimentation and innovation. Join us and create art that captivates, inspires, and resonates with the world. 

Where is this program offered?  

How much does this program cost?

Explore information on Cost, Aid, and Value to make an informed decision about investing in your education at CWU.   

Where can I find more information?

Please visit the CWU Academic Catalog for current information about admission requirements, course descriptions, learner outcomes, and credit information. 

Visit the School of Graduate Studies and Research for additional program eligibility information.  

Careers and Opportunities 

Whether you aspire to be a practicing artist, an art educator, an arts administrator, a curator, or an entrepreneur, our program equips you with the skills, knowledge, and networks to thrive in your chosen field and create a fulfilling and successful artistic career. 

  • Art Professor: This degree prepares you for a career as a professor in higher education. You will guide students in the exploration of visual arts and mentor the next generation of artists. The average annual salary for an Art Professors is $93,440 but varies depending on experience.  
  • Fine Art Practice: As a professional artist, you can create and exhibit your own artwork in galleries, museums, and other art venues. Our program equips you with the skills, knowledge, and creative vision to develop your unique artistic style and establish yourself as a successful practicing artist. 
  • Museum and Gallery Work: You can work in renowned museums, galleries, and cultural institutions, contributing to the preservation, promotion, and interpretation of art. 


MFA Exhibitions 

Megan Hansen’s Wild West Show was exhibited in 2022 as her MFA Thesis. The show displayed a photographic body of work that uses appropriation, collage, and tableaux to speak to a collective relationship and understanding of the American West. “Wild West Show is work that is personal to me, as someone that has grown up and resided in the Western United States in both rural and urban areas. But it is also work that I hope will allow anyone to reflect upon their own perceptions and identities.”  

2021 MFA Graduate, Jerry Slough, created a showcase about targeted social media ads. He transformed them, reclaiming the data and creating his own new images through chemical photographic processes. 

“My work asks the viewer to examine how they are being targeted by technology companies and how their personal life and data has become a resource, shaping their lives and actions.” Jerry Slough

See more MFA Exhibitions.

Additional Program Information

  • Assistantships

    Competitive Graduate Assistantships are awarded each year. For full consideration, the priority deadline for assistantship applications is February 15. Applications will be accepted after this date but priority for GA positions will be given to applicants who meet the deadline. When possible, students are strongly urged to visit the campus and arrange a personal interview with faculty members in their major area of concentration. 

    Find more opportunities to fund your degree through the School of Graduate Studies and Research

  • Program Details

    This is a 3-year in-residence program; we do not currently offer online, low residency, or expedited options. The degree requires that candidates complete three years of coursework in art concepts and criticism, art history, a studio area of concentration, electives, and a creative thesis project. 

    Acceptance is primarily based on the student’s potential as evidenced by a portfolio, previous coursework in art, goals consistent with departmental resources, and other experiences relevant to art making. Applicants may be asked to have a telephone interview with a faculty member in their area of studio concentration before being admitted to a program. 

    MFA graduate students are expected to participate in a minimum of three exhibitions on campus, with other exhibition opportunities within the community. Students work in one of two graduate studios, which are semi-private spaces that provide an atmosphere of community. CWU offers a robust visiting artist, exhibition, and speaker series, which MFA students are expected to attend. When possible, visiting artists provide one-on-one studio visit critiques with our MFA students. 

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Questions? Contact Us.

Department of Art + Design

Randall Hall 100