Studio Art (MFA)

Department of Art and Design

We are currently not accepting applications for the MFA in Studio program. 

Please check back for announcements regarding our highly anticipated new MFA in Creative Innovation and Technology . . . New Media Practices in Social Innovation (title TBD.) 

To get onto our mailing list, click here. (Please indicate interest in “New MFA in Creative Innovation” in the question box.)

The MFA Studio Art program at Montclair State brings the art world to you.

Our unique program will place you front and center in the contemporary art world and gives you the opportunity to work with professional artists who will nurture your creative talents.

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About the Program

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Located just 14 miles from New York City, our Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Studio Art program offers a distinctive experience for creative individuals. We assemble a diverse group of forward-thinking artists from across all media who share in the desire to explore, synthesize, innovate and create meaningful forms of artistic expression. We couple a distinguished resident faculty with a robust engagement with some of the most prominent visiting artists, curators and critics in the contemporary art world who will visit you and engage with your work in your own spacious private studio.

Our full-time, two-year in-residence program offers significant advantages, including:

  • Opportunity to work independently as well as collaborate with other artists in any single or combination of mediums. (Studio areas include ceramics, jewelry/metalwork, painting photography, printmaking and sculpture – each with traditional as well as contemporary digital equipment.

  • Interdisciplinary and innovative courses including Site Specific Work which allows you to explore concepts in various genres and in alternative ways.

  • Independent research plus seminars taught by a dedicated faculty, bolstered by the MFA Lecture Series, Art Forum Series and Critics-in-Residence program – each featuring engagement with prominent art world figures.

  • Monthly opportunities to exhibit at the independent, regional Montclair Art Museum (through its First Thursdays program) . . .  to work alongside contemporary performance artists through the famed programming of the Alexander Kasser Theater . . .  to participate in solo and group exhibitions in the MFA Gallery (one of four galleries on campus) . . .  and to mount your thesis exhibition in a Manhattan gallery (with a catalog), to which critics and gallery directors will be invited.

  •  Invaluable teaching experience for second-year students (teach your own 100-level undergraduate course through our Teaching Fellows program) plus a limited number of graduate and technical assistantships.


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What You Will Learn

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The MFA curriculum is comprised of 60 credits including seminars in theory, criticism and art history; independent study in research, studio and criticism; completion of a final paper; design and production of an exhibition catalog; mounting of a solo thesis exhibition; plus a sequence of lectures, presentations and critiques. In conjunction with the core curriculum, 12 credits are available for courses in studio and free electives.



Learn more about our curriculum, visiting professionals, and lecture series: 

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Our Students/Student Work

The MFA Program seeks to attract artists of diverse cultures, ethnic backgrounds, geographic origin, and stage of development. Such a mix helps foster a community that is enriched by divergent points of view and a stimulating atmosphere for critical discourse. Students produce works that incorporate a wide range of media and techniques that are then showcased in numerous solo, group, and Open-Studio exhibitions that ensure them desired exposure and feedback.

Visit the pages below to see examples of students’ work and reflections plus exhibitions news:


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Faculty and Facilities

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Our MFA Studio Art faculty are distinguished artists and educators who have exhibited and taught all over the world. Complementing their strengths, notable visiting artists are invited to teach courses and involve students in often groundbreaking projects. The Art Forum program further provides such interaction through presentations given bv artists, critics, and curators who come to campus weekly.

The MFA program offers exclusively-dedicated facilities including large private studios; a mediated seminar room; common lounge and work areas; and a student MFA Gallery, all clustered in Finley Hall South. Private studio spaces are augmented by access to a large communal, adjacent space fully equipped with power tools and work surfaces. The communal MFA workshop extends the students studio space into a larger area equipped with power tools and large surfaces. Students, in addition, have access to the Department of Art and Design's main facilities which include twelve discipline-specific fine arts and digitally-equipped studios in neighboring buildings.


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Jumpstart to a Career

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The MFA program provides many experiences designed to help you transition to a professional life as a working artist. Augmenting the resources of our faculty and special programs, the College of the Arts maintains a dedicated office for Career Services where MFA students can receive help with resume/cover letter writing and job search strategies. 

Related links:

A limited number of Graduate Assistantships (GAs) and Technical Assistantships (TAs) are available to MFA students, which provide a waiver of tuition and fees and/or a monetary stipend.  Recipients are assigned to particular studio areas (e.g. ceramics, sculpture) depending upon their areas of interest and needs of the Department. GA's and TA's typically work 15 hours per week as Studio Managers and Lab Assistants under the supervision of a studio area head and the MFA director.

Whether or not attaining a GA or TA assignment, students in their second year of the program have opportunity to teach a 100-level undergraduate course, thus adding to their resumes of marketable expertise. Recognitions from major funders such as the Joan Mitchell Foundation and critical reviews by major press have further embellished students’ credentials. Successful alumni are recognized through group and solo shows and go on to thrive in local and international arts communities.


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Apply Now 

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We are no longer accepting applications for this program.

Click here to request more info or ask a question.


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Montclair State University’s Art and Design programs are among the region’s most competitive, and meet the rigorous standards of the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD).

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