MFA Visual Studies Graduate Program

Master of Fine Arts - Visual Studies

The Visual Studies MFA at Missouri State University allows students to focus on creative research that demonstrates a potential to advance the field of study with a curriculum individualized to address each student's vision.

The Visual Studies MFA is a three-year, 60-hour program that supports student engagement in single or interdisciplinary pursuits of art and/or design practices. The Department of Art & Design's twenty-seven full-time faculty are nationally and internationally recognized artists, designers, and scholars with active exhibition and publication records. This department is the largest publicly supported one in the state of Missouri. Our multi-disciplinary facilities are housed in an 88,000-square-foot building complex in the historical district of downtown Springfield. Students have access to shared labs and are provided studio space for their duration in the program.

Graduate Assistantships are available to MFA Visual Studies students and provide opportunities for significant financial support, as well as teaching and professional experience. Out-of-state fee waivers are also available to help offset the cost of an already affordable tuition.

Priority Application Deadline

February 1st for Fall 2024 semester; applications will be considered after that date on a space-available basis.

MFA in Visual Studies Program Mission

The MFA in Visual Studies, with an emphasis on the student’s original studio research, prepares students to be leaders in Visual Art and Design. Through creative endeavor, inquiry, and investigation, students in the MFA in Visual Studies program become skilled in producing effective visual statements. In addition to their studio and technical capabilities they become critical readers, writers, and thinkers. Through classroom experience and by professional example, they inform the next generation of visual communicators by leading explorations of and discussions about visual culture. In the MFA Visual Studies program students have the opportunity to explore interdisciplinary approaches to art and design, and are exposed to critical discourses relating to community, identity, public responsibility, and humanity. As ambassadors of the Public Affairs mission of the University, they graduate not just as educated citizens but as ethically-aware ones.