Art Department

Chairperson: Christine Medley, M.F.A.

Philosophy Statement of the Degree and the Department

In conjunction with the mission of the College of Arts and Sciences, Marywood’s Art Department offers the Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees.

The Master of Arts program in Studio Art is intended for graduates of schools and departments of art who want to develop their talents as studio artists. Study with outstanding practitioners in these fields acts as springboard for further professional growth and education.

There are two areas of concentration within the M.A. Studio Art program. In the 2-D area, students may work in the following media: painting, photography, or printmaking. In the 3-D area, students may work in: sculpture or ceramics.

The Master of Arts program in Art Therapy is designed to help meet the need for trained professionals in the mental health field and in education, to assist in the development of persons through self-discovery, self-awareness, and personal growth, using art as a catalyst for healing and self-actualization. The personal development of the graduate student as therapist is essential to this program. Students use art therapy in collaboration with the approaches described by psychologists. Through a course of study combining theory and practice, the program follows guidelines for art therapy training recommended by the American Art Therapy Association.

The Master of Fine Arts Program in Visual Arts is designed to provide professional emphasis for persons with an intense commitment to their art who intend to become serious professional artists. There are four areas of concentration: 2-D, 3-D, Graphic Design, and Illustration. In the 2-D area, students may work in the following media: painting, photography, or printmaking. In the 3-D area, students may concentrate in ceramics or sculpture, working with a variety of media.

Each program is supported by accomplished, professional faculty, visiting artists of acclaim, impressive exhibit offerings, and excellent academic and technical resources. In certain programs, there are both requirements and opportunities for internships/practica, museum research, and study tours—all designed to provide experiences of breadth and depth for matriculating graduate students.

Students may apply to study at Studio Art Centers International in Florence, Italy through the Marywood/SACI program for a semester or summer session and may choose from a full curriculum of offerings. This program also includes organized field trips to many important locations throughout Italy. All courses are taught in English, and the program is geared toward an assimilation of Italian culture.

Application Requirements

Applicants to the M.A. and M.F.A. degree programs must meet the general requirements for admission to the College of Arts and Sciences. In addition, applicants must satisfy the following:

Studio Art, Master of Arts Requirements

  1. A baccalaureate degree in art or art education or an equivalent credit background in art that would support master’s degree work. Any student who, in the judgment of the department, lacks adequate undergraduate preparation must arrange to make up the deficiency.
  2. A portfolio of eighteen to twenty examples of artwork (slides, jpeg, or PDF file format on Google Drive, Dropbox, CD, or original work). The portfolio will be judged on its demonstration of both conceptual ability and technical competency.

A maximum of twelve graduate credits may be accepted for transfer.

A student must file an application for candidacy when twelve credit hours of studio work have been completed. Acceptance as a candidate will be decided after the following:

  1. Maintenance of a “B” or 3.00 quality point average or better in twelve studio credits taken at Marywood.
  2. Submission of a portfolio of work from the studio courses taken at Marywood.
  3. Approval of the student’s potential as a graduate student by a committee from the departmental faculty.

Upon completion of 36 credits, a student must register the intention to bring the program to completion with the execution of a Professional Contribution.

Art Therapy, Master of Arts Prerequisites

  1. A baccalaureate degree with a major in art education or studio art, OR a baccalaureate degree in a related field (e.g. psychology, social work, counseling, special education). Students entering the Art Therapy program with either degree must have at least eighteen credits in studio art (drawing, painting, figure- drawing/modeling, and 3-D media) and twelve credits in psychology (general psychology, abnormal psychology, development psychology).
  2. Presentation of a portfolio of art, including significant examples of work in the media noted above.
  3. A brief essay on the topic of why you have chosen to pursue art therapy education.
  4. Evaluation of each candidate’s individual competencies by an art therapy admissions committee. In addition, a personal interview may be required.

A student must file an application for candidacy when eighteen credit hours have been completed. Acceptance as a candidate will be decided after the following:

  1. Successful completion of the Graduate Record Examination or the Miller Analogies Test.
  2. Maintenance of a “B” average or better in eighteen credits taken at Marywood University.
  3. Successful completion of 400 hours of practicum experience.

Visual Arts, Master of Fine Arts Prerequisites

  1. A Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
  2. Completion of at least eighteen undergraduate credits of upper division work in the area of concentration chosen and a “B” or 3.00 quality point average in that area. Students who possess outstanding or unusual qualifications that promise a significant contribution to the Master of Fine Arts program, but do not meet the 3.00 or credit requirements, may petition for a special review by the Art Faculty.
  3. A portfolio of studio work indicative of above-average or exceptional ability. Submit twenty images of current work (slides, jpeg, or PDF file format on Google Drive, Dropbox, CD or original work). The majority of these should be in the area of the applicant’s interest, but the portfolio also should include a lesser emphasis in related areas. All slides and digital images must be labeled with the applicant’s name, date of execution, size and medium.
  4. A statement of purpose, 150-200 words in length.

In addition, a personal campus visit to talk to a chairperson or instructors in your field and view the facilities is highly recommended.

If a student in Marywood’s M.A. Studio Art program is considering application to the M.F.A. Visual Arts program, he/she should make an application no later than after his/her successful completion of nine credit hours. Transfer of graduate credits from the M.A. to the M.F.A. program may be limited to nine credit hours. All credit transfers are subject to review by the art faculty admissions committee. Students must reapply following the general requirements for admission to the College of Arts and Sciences. The M.F.A. Visual Arts programs (Ceramics, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture) require full-time study to be completed within 2-3 years.

Students within these programs are advised to take a minimum of 12 credits per semester. Within the M.F.A. program, there are four reviews of work-in-progress and student development. These reviews are held after completion of 12, 24, 36, and 48 semester hours of coursework and are designated as follows: (a) Initial Review; (b) Candidacy Review; (c) Progress Review; (d) Exit Review.

An Exit Review will take place after the final draft of the thesis project (Artist’s Statement) and during the exhibit.

Failure to satisfy two consecutive reviews will result in dismissal from the program.

Upon completion of 60 credits, a student must register his or her intention to bring the program to completion. Thesis statement and exhibit are required.