Graduate Studies

Headed by a faculty of internationally recognized artists and complemented by a roster of distinguished visiting lecturers, the Department of Art at UCLA is committed to professional art training within the context of a great liberal arts university. Within each area of specialization, encouragement is given to explore a wide range of media. Students choose from a diverse group of electives and can take classes in other departments within and outside the School of the Arts and Architecture. Regular interaction between the studio and the classroom creates a close-knit intellectual community that furthers critical thinking and creative growth.

All of the department's courses aim to instill an understanding of and appreciation for the visual arts and their contributions to the history of cultural development and change. Current critical and theoretical thought is the focus of the Seminar in Art (Art C280), and a wide range of contemporary issues is addressed in the Visiting Artists Lecture Series. The low faculty-student ratio facilitates regular one-on-one instruction. In addition, group critique and peer review are integral components of the program.

The department attracts gifted and motivated students who thrive in an environment that encourages autonomy. They are drawn not only to the outstanding creative faculty, the University's resources, and its location in one of the world's leading art centers, but also to a program that encourages them to develop as artists in ways that are meaningful in the social context in which they live and work. The result is a distinguished alumni roster including artists who have made significant contributions in their fields.

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

The MFA program offers six areas of specialization: Ceramics, Interdisciplinary Studio, New Genres, Painting and Drawing, Photography, and Sculpture. These studio areas are supplemented by seminars and lectures in contemporary critical theory. The program emphasizes the development of a sustained artistic practice through exploration, experimentation, and intensive studio work and study. Opportunities to investigate areas beyond one's concentration are made available.

Maximum time is allowed for independent studio work, enabling students to work with up to three faculty members each quarter on an individual basis. Reviews of graduate work in the winter and spring quarters serve as a forum for critique and discussion with the entire faculty. The MFA degree normally requires two to three years of residency and culminates in a graduate exhibition.

MFA Course Overview

The MFA degree requires a minimum of 72 quarter units of coursework, which typically takes six to nine quarters to complete. Students complete a minimum of 24 of the 72 required units in their field of specialization. Required courses include graduate level studio courses, Graduate Group Critique (276), and the Seminar in Art (C280). A minimum of 12 quarter units of art history and an additional 28 quarter units of art history, or history, theory and criticism coursework offered by related departments in undergraduate and/or graduate studies are also required (including Art C280). Art history, theory or criticism courses completed at the undergraduate level may be applied toward the "art history" requirement, but may not be applied toward the 72 units required for the graduate degree. Students with few or no art history courses in undergraduate study may take upper division or graduate coursework at UCLA as electives to be counted toward the 40-unit "art history" requirement and toward the total units required for the degree. Subjects related to the special interests of the student may be substituted by petition.

In addition to the completion of required coursework, each degree is awarded on the basis of the quality of the student's work as demonstrated in the exhibition which is part of the comprehensive examination. The examination, administered by a faculty committee, includes a review of work completed for the formal exhibition, a document of vita, photo records of works, and a statement of the artist. The document is retained as property of the University.

For course information, please consult the UCLA General Catalog. For a complete outline of degree requirements, see Program Requirements for UCLA Graduate Degrees on the Graduate Division Web site at

Further Information on:

For additional information, please contact:

Caron Cronin, Student Advisor
UCLA Department of Art
2275 Broad Art Center
Los Angeles, CA 90095
(310) 206-7363 or