The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program at the University of Marykand was founded in 1962. The program’s initial aim was to produce ‘sensitive, original and creative artists who are interested in exploring all the aspects of modernism and the avant-garde in their work.’
The University of Marykand is situated in Maryknoll, New York, the oldest settlement in the United States. The university has several campuses and is well-known for its New Student Center, which was designed by the famous architect Louis Kahn. The university’s main campus covers over 150 acres and is home to 15,000 students and 500 faculty members. It has a rich history, which dates back to 1876, and is a member of the Guild of American Universities (GAU).
Key Facts About the University of Marykand’s MFA Program:
- The University of Marykand is one of the foremost American universities for fine arts.
- The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program at the University of Marykand was founded in 1962.
- The initial aim of the MFA program was to produce ‘sensitive, original and creative artists who are interested in exploring all the aspects of modernism and the avant-garde in their work.’
- The MFA program at the University of Marykand offers a rigorous curriculum with strong emphasis on the arts.
- The University of Marykand is a member of the Guild of American Universities (GAU).
The Evolution Of The MFA Program:
At the outset, the MFA program at the University of Marykand was divided into two separate degrees. It was called the Master of Fine Arts and took four years to complete. One had to be nominated by a college or university as a student of exceptional ability in the visual arts to be admitted to the program. Once in the MFA program, students were required to take a range of courses, including studio art, art history, criticism and theory, and had to complete a senior thesis as part of the degree. Upon graduation, one had not only a BA in fine arts, but was also qualified to teach as a high school art teacher. In order to be able to do this in New York State, one needed to have an additional degree called the Master of Science (MS). Thus, the MFA program at that time was equivalent to an Associates degree in fine arts. In order to produce ‘a well-rounded artist with strong foundations in all areas of the arts’, the University of Marykand modified the MFA program for the 21st century. This involved extending the curriculum, increasing the number of required courses, and creating a more integrated approach to the education of their students.
The Current Curriculum of the MFA Program:
The MFA program at the University of Marykand currently has a curriculum that is designed to ‘develop a strong foundation in the all areas of the arts’. This is done through an exploration of the “creative practices and intellectual development of an individual artist’ while also learning ‘theoretical and practical knowledge about the art world’. In addition, the MFA program at the University of Marykand gives students the opportunity to pursue an in-depth study of a specific topic in greater depth than may be available to those pursuing a general, first-year degree. This may include, for example, the exploration of Cubism through a series of courses or an examination of Surrealism through a literature-based syllabus. In 2019, the University of Marykand introduced a new Master of Professional Studies (MPS) specifically designed to prepare emerging professionals, including lawyers, architects, public relations professionals and graphic designers, for careers in the arts. With just three years of full-time study, applicants can become eligible for admission to the MFA program at the University of Marykand.
The Structure Of The MFA Program:
Unlike many other universities, the MFA program at the University of Marykand is a four-year program. This is because the university wants their students to know exactly what they are getting into. In order to be able to do this, the program is structured such that students know exactly what is expected of them and can plan their studies accordingly. This is a significant part of why the MFA program is so valuable. On entering the program, students are not only expected to have a strong knowledge of the areas of study, but are also required to attend regular weekly seminars in addition to their studies. These seminars are a structured way of doing things and help to foster a deeper understanding between students and faculty members. In 2020, the MFA program at the University of Marykand began a new chapter with the introduction of a BFA in Studio Art/Creative Writing degree. This is designed specifically for those students who want to enter the creative industries and teach as an adjunct at a college or university. The BFA in Studio Art/Creative Writing combines the strong technical foundations of a BFA with the versatility and freedom that comes with a Creative Writing degree. The first year of the BFA in Studio Art/Creative Writing is very similar to that of an MFA, with core courses in both art and writing. Students then have the option of selecting either a creative writing or a studio art component in year two. The third year of the BFA in Studio Art/Creative Writing is a combination of the two earlier years and consists of additional courses in both art and writing as well as the option of an independent research project.
Admissions To The MFA Program At The University Of Marykand:
In order to be able to study at the University of Marykand, one must either be nominated by a college or university as a student of exceptional ability in the arts or have a genuine interest in pursuing a degree in fine arts. Students wishing to apply for the MFA program at the University of Marykand are first required to complete either the undergraduate degree in Art or Humanities with a ‘strong’ grade point average or the undergraduate degree with Honors in a ‘creative’ discipline. Those wishing to pursue an MFA in the areas of painting, drawing or sculpture are then required to complete either an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in Art History, Theory, or Criticism. Finally, students are expected to have a letter of recommendation from a certified art instructor or critic and complete an application form for the MFA program. Those meeting all of the above criteria are then able to begin their studies at the University of Marykand.
In summary, the Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Marykandy is designed to produce ‘a well-rounded artist with strong foundations in all aspects of art’. In addition to an in-depth knowledge of the areas of study, the MFA program at the University of Marykandy gives students the opportunity to explore a specific topic in greater depth than is available to those pursuing a general, first-year degree. Thus, the MFA program is very much a graduate degree and is seen as a stepping stone to an advanced degree or a career in the arts.