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Department of Art and Art History


Master of Fine Arts Degree in Art

The Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) degree in Art is the terminal degree in the field of studio art. UTSA is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. The emphasis of the M.F.A. program is on conceptual development and its harmony with formal aesthetic and art historical considerations. The objective of the degree is to provide advanced study in the field of art in preparation for a career as a practicing artist, in higher education, or as a professional in other art enterprises. Students in pursuit of the M.F.A. in Art have the opportunity to study in a wide range of disciplines including: ceramics, painting/drawing, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and video/digital media.

Program Admission Requirements. In addition to satisfying the University-wide graduate admission requirements, applicants are expected to have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree or the equivalent. Equivalency is defined as completion of a minimum of 45 semester credit hours in studio art and 15 semester credit hours in art history as part of, or in addition to, a bachelor’s degree.

Application. The Graduate School application for the M.F.A. is available online at http://graduateschool.utsa.edu/. A complete application includes the application form, personal contact information, educational background, transcripts, a statement of intent concerning graduate school, an artist’s statement about the applicant’s work, and three letters of recommendation (forms printable from the online application). The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required as part of the application for the M.F.A.

Portfolio. The portfolio is the most important part of the application for admission. Applicants should submit 20 images that best exemplify their most recent creative work. Do not send original works of art. Portfolios may be submitted as twenty 35mm slides or as a PowerPoint presentation on CD or USB flash drive. The portfolio (slide or digital) must have an attached sheet listing titles, dates, dimensions, and media of each work. Video should be submitted on DVD labeled with titles, dates, and total running time. No more than fifteen minutes will be reviewed. Please do not use adhesive labels on CD/DVD discs—label with permanent marker directly on the label side of the disc.

The portfolio must be submitted directly to: Graduate Advisor of Record, The Department of Art and Art History, One UTSA Circle, San Antonio, TX 78249.

Deadlines for receipt of portfolios are:

Application for the Fall Semester: February 1
Application for the Spring Semester: October 1

Note: Due to the format of studio laboratory art courses, auditing is not permitted.

Departmental Requirements. All M.F.A. program graduate students are required to accrue a minimum of 60 clock hours of service to the “student-run” UTSA Satellite Space in the form of preparatory duties, Gallery sitting and maintenance on the exhibition space.

Degree Requirements. A minimum of 60 semester credit hours is required for the Master of Fine Arts degree, exclusive of coursework or other study required to remove admission deficiencies. Full-time enrollment of 9 or more semester credit hours during regular semesters is expected of degree-seeking students. In addition to satisfying all University-wide requirements, M.F.A. students must pass a First Semester Review, Semester End Progress Reviews, Advancement Review (available after completion of 24 semester credit hours of the program of study), a Candidacy Review (available in the fourth semester after completion of 36 to 42 semester credit hours of the program of study), and a final M.F.A. Oral Examination. Courses in which a grade of “C” or lower is earned will not count toward the minimum 60 hours required for the M.F.A. degree.

Degree candidates must complete the following requirements:

A focused program of study in studio art (ART) including ART 6023 Graduate Studio Seminar 30 hours
Art electives outside the student’s specialized area of study 12 hours
Free Elective 3 hours
Art history and criticism (AHC) including AHC 5123 Seminar in Research Methods and Writing 12 hours
ART 6843 Master of Fine Arts Exhibition 3 hours

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Master of Arts Degree in Art History

The Master of Arts degree in Art History offers the opportunity for advanced study in art history, with an emphasis on Spanish, pre-Columbian, Latin American Colonial to Modern, and contemporary Hispanic art in the United States; contemporary United States art and criticism; and the cultural and artistic traditions of San Antonio’s immediate region. The degree is designed to prepare the student for a career as a teacher of art history at the junior-college level and other arts-related professions or to serve as a basis for entering doctoral studies elsewhere.

Program Admission Requirements. In addition to the University-wide graduate admission requirements, applicants are expected to have completed an undergraduate major (24 semester credit hours) in art history or the equivalent in related fields that combine substantial studies in the humanities and visual arts. Students with no studio background will be required to take one undergraduate studio art course (3 semester credit hours). Students determined as having no studio background and completing a 5000 or 6000 level UTSA Art (ART) studio course offered by a graduate faculty member will fulfill this requirement and this coursework can be utilized to fulfill 3 semester credit hours of free electives under part C of the Master of Arts program of study. Students needing to fulfill this requirement should consult with the Graduate Advisor of Record (GAR) for Art History for advice concerning appropriate courses and instructors.

Application Materials. Application to the program is submitted online through the Graduate School’s Web site at http://graduateschool.utsa.edu/. Students can obtain information, detailed instructions of what additional material they must submit (three letters of recommendation, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, official transcripts, a writing sample, and statement of intent), as well as forms, from the Graduate School's Web site. Deadlines for all materials for each term can be found on the same Web site.

Degree Requirements. The minimum number of semester credit hours required for this degree, exclusive of coursework or other study required to remove admission deficiencies, is 36. Students are required to pass a language examination demonstrating a reading knowledge of a foreign language; in most cases, this will be Spanish. The suitability of another language will be determined by the student’s advisor. This test must be completed before the student earns 18 semester credit hours of graduate work in this program. Courses in which a grade of “C” or lower is earned will not count toward the minimum 36 semester credit hours required for the Master of Arts degree in Art History. Students accepted into the Master of Arts degree program in Art History are required to maintain a minimum of 3 semester credit hours of enrollment for all Fall and Spring semesters while and until the degree is completed. Failure to enroll will result in forfeiture of the student’s status as an accepted candidate in the program. Exceptions to this requirement are granted only due to extraordinary circumstances as determined by the review and approval of the Graduate Advisor of Record and the Department Chairperson.

Degree candidates must complete the following requirements:

  1. 3 semester credit hours required:

    AHC 5123   Seminar in Research Methods and Writing (must be taken in student’s first year)


  2. 21 semester credit hours of art history electives approved by the student’s advisor, selected from the following and distributed across the disciplines offered by the program:

    AHC 5813   Topics in Art History
    AHC 5823   Topics in Mesoamerican Pre-Columbian Art
    AHC 5833   Topics in Spanish Art
    AHC 5843   Topics in Latin American Colonial Art
    AHC 5853   Topics in Contemporary Latin American Art
    AHC 5863   Topics in Contemporary U.S. Art
    AHC 6813   Practicum in Art History and Criticism
    AHC 6833   Art Gallery and Museum Practices
    AHC 6843   Project in Art History
    AHC 6913   Seminar in Art History


  3. 6 semester credit hours of free electives. These are courses outside the discipline of art history in any of the supporting fields comprising the College of Liberal and Fine Arts, including art studio, with the selection approved by the Graduate Advisor of Record (GAR) for Art History.


  4. 6 semester credit hours of AHC 6983 Master’s Thesis.

In addition to the semester credit hour requirements set forth above, all candidates for the degree are required to pass the Comprehensive Examination, a slide and essay examination designed to test students’ knowledge of the history of European art, art of the Americas, and areas of concentration. The Comprehensive Examination must be taken during or immediately after the semester in which students complete their coursework and before completion of the thesis.

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