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Department of Art College of Arts & Letters

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MFA in Studio Art

Current MFA Application Deadline:

February 1, 2024 on Cal State Apply

February 1, 2024 on SlideRoom

The Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art degree is a two-year, 60-unit, multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary program in studio art with an emphasis on the individual artist, holistically preparing for a professional career in the arts.


The Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art offers rigorous study in the discipline, fostering an environment for experimentation, discovery and mastery. The multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary nature of the program allows artists to work and think across media. The Department of Art has facilities for ceramics, drawing, new media art, painting, printmaking, sculpture, and social practice. MFA students have access to all facilities, studios and shops and each graduate student has a private studio space.

Sacramento is a vibrant city with an active art community and many opportunities for community engagement. Our on-campus galleries hot exhibitions and visiting artists.

The members of the studio faculty are distinguished and active professionals with regional, national and international reputations. Students are guided by the studio faculty, with a studio advisor and the graduate coordinator to mentio them through the program. It is our mission to provide a positive and supportive graduate experience at Sacramento State.

The MFA curriculum includes studio courses, seminars, and courses in art history and in art theory and criticism, with elective opportunities to explore other academic interests. The central focus of the program is the development of bodies of works and the research that supports them. Between five and eight Graduate Students are accepted to the program each Fall. Each incoming cohort is distributed evenly across media. First and second year cohorts meet in seminar and studio courses to discuss their work from diverse perspectives.

For additional information about the MFA in Studio Art, please see the catalogue, course descriptions, Faculty Info, and Admission and Application Procedure in the links below.

installation artwork created by Ngan Nguyen
Ngan Nguyen MFA 2024, Untitled, mixed media installation, 2023, graduate reviews

Admission Requirements and Procedures

Applying to graduate school at Sacramento State entails a simultaneous two part process, and all steps must be completed by the application deadlines. Follow this link to read more about the admission process for our Studio Art MFA.

Media Offering & Facilities

The Department of Art facilities at Sacramento State are designed to support students’ needs in pursuing various disciplines in studio art. Graduate students have access to all Art Department facilities in consultation with faculty and staff. The facilities are located in:

  • Kadema Hall: Ceramics, printmaking, painting and drawing, new media art, and social practice spaces.
  • Mariposa Hall: New media art’s main computer media lab.
  • Art Sculpture Lab: Painting and drawing, sculpture, social practice, and graduate program studio spaces.
  • Coming Soon, New Art Sculpture Lab Facility: including new graduate wing.

digital rendering of new Art Dept sculpture lab

The Department of Art has several gallery spaces on campus. Robert Else and R.W. and Joyce Witt Gallery are located at Kadema Hall for student and professional exhibitions. Located in the main library is the University Library Gallery where national and international professional exhibits rotate throughout the year.

Studio Space

All MFA students will have full access to the graduate studios and be assigned a private studio space depending on media discipline. Proximity to labs, shops and equipment is considered when assigning studio spaces. A communal graduate space is located in the Art Sculpture Lab where the majority of graduates’ have their spaces.

Written English Proficiency Requirement

All graduate students in the MFA program at Sacramento State must demonstrate graduate level proficiency in writing in accordance with University Graduate Studies standards. This writing proficiency is assessed through ART 206 Art Theory and Criticism, Graduate Writing Intensive (GWI) Course.

MFA Degree Completion

Degree completion occurs when the student has fulfilled all University and Departmental requirements of the MFA in Studio Art Degree. This is detailed in the Graduate Handbook that is the graduate students’ guide through the program from admissions to graduation.

The MFA program requires successful completion of all core and elective course work, successful completion of all semester reviews and Advancement to Candidacy solo exhibition review.

In the last term of the degree students will enroll in ART 500A and ART 500B Culminating Experience Exhibition and Thesis in which the final exhibition review and submission of written abstract (thesis) will be assessed by the Faculty.

Graduate Work & Exhibition

Financial Aid, Employment, Scholarships

Sacramento State has financial aid packages available and are recommended to apply for financial aid by priority date of March 2nd for Fall admissions, although applicants may apply at any time after priority date. The two-year MFA program is $4,518 per semester. On average, students can anticipate approximately $18,000 in total tuition costs. Out-of-State applicants can anticipate an additional $396 per unit for the first year or until residency is established. Tuition and fees are subject to annual precentage increases.

Graduate Employment Opportunities

The MFA program also offers opportunities in teaching, art technician work and gallery operations in various forms including Federal Work Study.

Pay rates are per semester
Federal work study $1,000-1,500
Instructional Student Assistant (ISA) $2,000-4,800
Graduate Assistant (GA) $2,000-3,300
Teaching Associate (TA) $3,200-4,500

Graduate Scholarships
Annual student scholarships and awards range from $800 to $5,000; each has its own unique requirements.Art Department scholarships include the Jennette B. Yuppa Scholarship, Ruth Rippon Ceramics Scholarship, and the ACE Scholarship.

For a more information please visit the links below.

Current Sac State Tuition Info