MFA curriculum

The MFA program is intended to be a full-time, four-semester program of study. To complete the program in two years, students need 15 units each semester.

As a part of the curriculum, all MFA students must attend the Graduate Lecture Series, which brings noted artists and critics to campus for lectures, discussions, and critiques.

Curriculum Requirements
Graduate Tutorial 12
Graduate Critique Seminar 12
Studio Electives 9
Electives (3 unites in emphasis with emphasis option) 6
Topics Seminar (in emphasis with emphasis option) 6
Art History Seminar Electives 9
Critical Studies Seminar Electives 6
Intermediate Review 0
Final Review 0
MFA Graduate Exhibition 0
Graduate Lecture Series 0
Total 60
Semester 1
Graduate Critique Seminar 3
Graduate Tutorial 3
Art History Seminar Elective 3
Critical Studies Seminar Elective 3
Elective 3
Graduate Lecture Series 0
 
Semester 2
Graduate Critique Seminar 3
Graduate Tutorial 3
Art History Seminar Elective 3
Critical Studies Seminar Elective 3
Topics Seminar 3
Studio/Intermediate Review 0
Graduate Lecture Series 0
Semester 3
Graduate Critique Seminar 3
Graduate Tutorial 3
Art History Seminar Elective 3
Studio Electives 6
Graduate Lecture Series 0
 
Semester 4
Graduate Critique Seminar 3
Graduate Tutorial 3
Topics Seminar 9
Electives 3
Final Review 0
MFA Exhibition 0
Graduate Lecture Series 0
Total 60

Policies

  • MFA students have a maximum of three years to complete the degree. This includes time off for a leave of absence.
  • Full-time status is achieved by enrolling in 12 units during the fall and spring semesters. Part-time MFA students should discuss their academic plan with the Dean of Academic Affairs. To complete the program in two years, students need 15 units each semester.
  • MFA students must enroll in at least one Graduate Tutorial (three units) and one Graduate Critique Seminar (three units) per semester.
  • No more than two Graduate Tutorials may be scheduled for each semester. Exceptions to this require permission from the Dean of Academic Affairs.
  • No more than two Graduate Critique Seminars may be scheduled for each semester. Exceptions to this require permission from the Dean of Academic Affairs.
  • The Graduate Lecture Series (GLS) is required for all MFA, MA, Dual Degree and Post-Baccalaureate students.
  • MFA students must complete all outstanding coursework by the end of the summer session following participation in the MFA Exhibition.

Prerequisites

All students must enter the MFA Program with six units of art history: three units of modern or contemporary history/theory and three additional art history units. If necessary, students may be required to fulfill these prerequisites within their first year of MFA study at SFAI. These prerequisite art history credits will count towards a student’s elective credit.

Teaching Assistant Stipends

Graduate students who wish to be teaching assistants in the third or fourth semester of their graduate programs may apply prior to priority registration for the term in which they wish to TA. All teaching assistantships are limited to regularly scheduled on-campus courses and carry no academic credit. All selected students will be eligible for TA stipends.

MFA Exhibition

Graduate students must register for the MFA Graduate Exhibition in their final semester and pay a MFA Graduate Exhibition and Catalogue fee of $300. No credits are awarded, but participation is required for the degree.