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Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Degree Program in Sculpture Overview

Majors Overview February 22, 2016

Students with an interest in becoming a professional artist should look into Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) degree programs with sculpture concentrations. They will be able to collaborate with critics, art curators, and peers. The program balances classroom learning and studio hours. Students will have exposure to worldwide sculptural designs, leading figures, and criticism models. They will develop their unique sculptural styles and embrace and explore artistic influences.

Information on Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Degree Program in Sculpture

Schools offer MFA in Sculpture programs mainly via on-campus formats. Select schools offer the program online; their students are usually required to create a portfolio of work on their own and may showcase it at the end of the program. Apart from hands-on sculpture work, coursework may include urban art, visual culture, art criticism and art management. Students must perform independent research in an area of sculpture, and write a thesis related to his or her body of work. Program graduates can seek careers as visual artists, sculptors, and instructors.

Various other sculpture-related MFA programs – also offered online – can help students develop similar artistic skills. These include:

•Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) Programs in Painting and Drawing
•Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) Programs in Metalsmithing and Jewelry
•Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) Programs in Ceramics
•Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) Programs in Furniture Design

Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) Programs in Sculpture

An MFA program is largely composed of studio hours, in which duration students are free to experiment with sculptural creation through the use of various materials. Students typically take three years to complete the program; they are allowed to blend other disciplines, such as drawing and painting, into the program coursework. As in several art programs, students may be allowed or required to showcase their work to the public through school-sponsored events, the department, or local galleries.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school, preferably in an art major. Alternatively, they should have a certain number of studio hours of prior work experience. In addition to a portfolio of artwork, they may also have to submit personal artistic statements.


Practical courses are devised to provide students with personal studio space; many facilities can be accessed by them, such as a wood shop or foundry. Various materials are usually available to work with, including metals, ceramics, resins, woods, glasses, plastics, neon lights, fabrics, and mixed media. Students can also incorporate visual components or digital audio into their sculpture projects. A variety of historical and global and historical genres of art are studied by students who are also taught to critique artwork. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Art theory and criticism
•Common materials and sculpting techniques
•Sculptural theory
•History of sculptural art
•Visual arts collaboration
•Critical issues in sculpture
•Dimensional Studies

Career Choices

Program graduates can expect to become proficient in the medium, be able to grasp artwork from numerous perspectives and hold qualifications in art criticism. They may choose from possible job positions such as:

•Art educator
•Urban and community artist

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