The MFA program at GW comprises a two-year commitment for emerging artists who wish to expand the material and intellectual dimensions of their work. The interdisciplinary nature of the program creates an environment where cross-pollination among fields flourishes. Simultaneously, graduate students enter into vibrant communities of peers, faculty, and visiting artists: intensive studio visits and critiques facilitate re-imagining the boundaries of art practice. All students receive their own studio space in which to experiment and further develop their skills and body of work.
Contemporary art seminars with art history faculty and contact with visiting scholars, curators, and critics from local arts institutions broaden students’ conceptual foundations and historical and imaginative horizons. At GW, the resources of both an internationally renowned urban research institution and an international arts hub are at students’ fingertips.
All media facilities including digital labs, photography and video facilities, and sculpture shops are available for realizing projects. Special arrangements can often be made to access facilities and resources in other departments within the University.
Sixty credit hours of coursework in Fine Arts, per the standard, recommended for a terminal degree by the College Art Association. A thesis consisting of the execution of creative work along with a critical statement about this work must be completed under the supervision of a thesis committee consisting of two full-time departmental faculty members.
The approximately 600-square-foot Gallery 102 provides a venue for ambitious and experimental curatorial and creative projects. A committee of Fine Arts and Art History students is responsible for its programming. Throughout their course of study, both MFA and MA students have the opportunity to undertake individual and collaborative projects with associated full-color exhibition catalogs of critical writing and images. MFA students may also produce their culminating solo thesis exhibition for this space.
Students wishing to take limited classes beyond GW have the benefit of registering for courses at the other institutions belonging to the Washington Consortium of Universities. Any graduate student interested in these programs must consult with his/her departmental advisor prior to participation.