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Studio Art concentration

Push your creativity and originality to new heights in our M.F.A. concentration in Studio Art. Graduate students receive individualized instruction from accomplished artists and art historians. Group critiques, studio visits, and workshops with visiting artists are regular features of the concentration. 

women in paint studio painting on canvas
Students take advanced, graduate-level studio courses in one or more media, depending on their interests. The department offers studio courses in drawing, painting, watercolor, ceramics, sculpture, photography, animation, video, illustration, and graphic design. Students also complete two required international art history courses with opportunities to expand their studies through special seminars in art history. To develop professional practices, student also complete required courses in studio management, professional writing, and instructional design. The M.F.A. degree culminates with a thesis exhibition at the Radford University Art Museum, accompanied by a thesis paper. Alumni are active as independent artists, college-level instructors, museum professionals, graphic designers, and in other creative careers.

Admissions Requirements

  • A cover letter indicating professional goals and an artist’s statement.
  • Electronic portfolio with 10 – 20 recent works in a single PDF document, not to exceed 50MB. At least 50% of image should be of work in your preferred medium.
  • B.F.A. degree preferred. B.A. or B.S. degrees in art or a related discipline will be considered. Applicants must have at least 12 credit hours in upper-level studios and 6 credit hours in art history. A strong portfolio showing evidence of quality work will be considered.
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75 overall
  • Two letters of reference


Applications may be submitted year round; however, it is advised that applicants meet the following deadlines to be considered for graduate assistantships:

  • November 1 for spring semester admission
  • April 1 for fall semester admission

Portfolio Reviews

First- and second-year reviews are required of all students in the M.F.A. concentration in Studio Art. Reviews are schedule by the graduate program coordinator and results will be reported to the Graduate College. Students are permitted up to two attempts at each review.

The first review must be attempted during the term in which the student is enrolled in the 18th credit hour in the concentration. Students must present recently completed works and/or current works-in-progress; competently discuss their artistic qualities; and set intentions and goals for future studies. Art faculty evaluate students on their technical and conceptual development; articulation of their ideas; and oral presentation. Students must pass the first-year review before they are eligible to take the second-year review.

The second-year review must be attempted during the term in which the student is enrolled in the 36th credit hour in the program. It is similar in format to the first-year review; however, the expectations for professional, polished art and ideas are higher.

Students must successfully complete both reviews in order to be eligible for graduation. If a student fails a review, a second attempt is required the following semester. Students who cannot pass reviews may be dismissed from the program after the second attempt.

Thesis and Defense

Graduate students must create a cohesive body of work for their thesis exhibition, accompanied by a thesis paper. The paper and exhibition should be developed with input from one’s thesis advisory committee. The advisory committee is comprised of 3-4 graduate faculty, selected by the graduate student. One member of the committee may be a professional from outside the university faculty. When the written thesis and work for the thesis exhibition are ready, an oral defense is scheduled by the student for a formal review.

“I chose the M.F.A. concentration in studio art with a focus in photography at Radford University because I wanted to further explore and enhance my artistic skills–and I wanted to teach at the university level."

Langley Anderson '18

We want to get to know you better and we are excited that you are ready to take your next step and learn more about us. We are here to help you and look forward to working with you during your college search process.