Artists who truly want to become experts in their field should consider a Master of Fine Arts degree, which is commonly referred to as an MFA. An MFA degree shows that the artist has gone through a long list of rigorous courses in their particular art form and is adept at their craft.
Master of Fine Arts degrees can be related to any artistic medium. This includes more tech-based careers, such as graphic design or film editing, or more traditional forms of art, such as painting or sculpting. An MFA is a graduate-level program, meaning you must already have a typical liberal arts college degree prior to being admitted.
The length of time it takes to complete an MFA program varies depending on several factors. Some programs can last only a year, but there are others that may take as long as it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree. In most circumstances, an MFA program lasts anywhere from two to three year; experts argue that receiving an MFA through accelerated means can sometimes limit its utility.
Best MFA Degree Schools in 2020
The MFA for studio art at the University of Wisconsin is one of the most competitive and popular fine arts program offerings at the school. There is also an MFA in creative writing, which includes various courses on poetry, fiction, nonfiction and playwriting. Since 1972, Wisconsin’s MFA program has become one of the best programs in the nation.
There are a variety of assistance programs for the school as well; the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing’s post-graduate fellowship gives writers a chance to complete their first book, for example.
Savannah College of Art and Design, more commonly referred to as SCAD, has several MFA programs. The school has multiple degrees for writing, interior design, painting, photography, film and television, graphic design and more. Many SCAD MFA degrees can even be earned online through their eLearning program.
The School of Visual Arts is located in New York City and offers an MFA degree in Fine Arts. The program has classes taught by professional artists known internationally. The curriculum is also a combination of seminars focused on history, art theory, workshops dedicated to professional development and fieldwork; guest lectures are also offered by various curators and professional artists. Students also have 24-hour access to private artist studios to complete their MFA thesis.
The San Francisco Art Institute is one of the oldest art schools in America west of the Mississippi. The school has participated in several art movements since its inception in 1871. SFAI has attracted several graduate students ranging from Andy Garcia to Paul McCartney and even award-winning cinematographers.
Within its MFA degree program, students create their own curriculum based on the skills they need to succeed in their profession. Students work on their projects independently either in the studio or in the field and receive one-on-one guidance with faculty. SFAI awards more than $8.5 million to students through grants, scholarships, and fellowships each year.
The California College of the Arts is among some of the most well-known cultural institutions, companies and underground movements. The CCA offers various MFA degrees in design, fine arts, film, writing and even comics. Each program has a partnership with local organizations and businesses, which include Intel, Google and the Sundance Film Festival.
CCA has writer forums and mentored study courses, and also provides students with the opportunity to work with local cultural institutions. Students can pursue a large amount of rewarding and valuable internships, such as editing at Eleven Eleven Literary Journal.
MFA Degree Career Prospects
A Master of Fine Arts degree opens up a number of opportunities to you in various creative spaces. Below are some of the career opportunities available to you after earning an MFA degree from a prestigious institution.
MFA in Art Career Prospects
An MFA in art offers several possibilities to you. You can pursue a career in design doing work for various ad agencies, marketing departments or non-profit organizations. You could even start your own design business. Working in local art galleries and teaching are options available to you as well.
MFA in Writing Career Prospects
With an MFA in writing, you can start a career in advertising and marketing. You also have the skills to work for newspapers, magazines or as a freelance writer. Technical writing jobs are also available to you and allow you to be creative while receiving lucrative pay.
You could also work with literary agencies and publishers. It’s also possible to work as a teacher and become an educator at any level from elementary to university, depending on the requirements of your state.
When pursuing higher education, many individuals often wonder if they should pursue a master’s degree in art or if a bachelor’s will suffice for their goals. Choosing to earn an MFA is a significant investment of time and money. It can be rewarding, but it is not ideal for everyone.
An MFA should not be pursued by someone who is simply seeking to advance their career. A Master of Fine Arts degree is more for people who would like to hone their craft and who are passionate about both the history of their craft and how to improve the overall medium.
So if you want to pursue a career as an artist, earning an MFA may be a worthwhile investment. Not only will new career opportunities be available to you, but you will also expand your knowledge and develop your skillset in a much more significant manner.
While many of these graduate degree programs are in-person, there are several online MFA degree opportunities from prestigious institutions, which means you can earn one remotely.
Earning an MFA could be your first step toward establishing a lifelong career in any number of artistic and creative fields.