Master of Fine Arts in Creative Technologies and Practice (M.F.A.) Program
The Master of Fine Arts program in Creative Technologies and Practice at the University of South Alabama is a cross-disciplinary program appealing to creatives who are interested in a variety of media technologies. The program emphasizes interdisciplinary practice that spans multiple concentrations within the visual arts with technology serving to inform or facilitate the creative process.
The MFA in Creative Technologies and Practice will equip individuals to enter the workforce in a variety of creative technology areas, particularly to manage creative teams, to pursue careers as visual artists, to advance knowledge in the field through research or creative output, and to teach at the university level.
The MFA in Creative Technologies and Practice will equip individuals to enter the workforce in various creative technology areas, particularly to manage creative teams, pursue careers as visual artists, advance knowledge in the field through research or creative output, and teach at the university level.
The requirements and procedures that follow are specifically for the Department of Visual Arts. However, the general rules and policies of the Graduate School also apply.
Minimum Requirements for Regular Admission
Students may be admitted for Fall or Spring enrollment. Although applications for admission and assistantships are accepted throughout the year, applicants who want to be considered for the assistantships need to have their application submitted by February 15.
Fall admission applications are reviewed from February 15 through July 15. The graduate admissions committee will make initial recommendations about applicants for Fall enrollment, with formal letters sent to applicants by the end of April. Applicants seeking enrollment in the Spring must have their application submitted by November 20 of the preceding Fall semester. Depending on the availability of space and funding, applications may be approved and students admitted throughout the year. In addition to the general admissions requirements of the Graduate School, requirements for admission to the M.F.A. Creative Technologies program are:
- Applicants to graduate programs in Arts and Sciences typically have a minimum GPA of at least a 3.0 on all undergraduate work. In exceptional cases, applicants may be considered with at least a 2.5 GPA on all undergraduate work, or at least a 2.75 GPA on the last 60 hours of undergraduate work.
- Official Transcript(s) from other institutions and sessions/programs/workshops the student has attended.
- Artist’s statement of no more than 500 words.
- Letter of intent of no more than 500 words.
- Resumé or Curriculum Vitae
- Three letters of recommendation.
- A portfolio of 20 pieces that shows proficiency of media in which the student wishes to dedicate further study. If the student is focusing on video, film, or animation we require portfolio equivalents of five pieces that are three to five minutes in length.
To apply please go to this link and upload all materials through the online system. If you have any questions please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For applicants for whom English is a second language, the students must have a working proficiency of the English language and submit:
- Minimum TOEFL IBT score of at least 71 or
- Minimum IELTS score of at least 6 (Paper-based score of 525, computer-based score of 197) or
- Minimum iTEP score of 3.7 or
- Minimum PTE Academic score of 48
Note: ESL applicants must apply through the International Admissions Office at USA. Some programs may require higher scores to prove English proficiency. Applicants who hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited U.S. institution are not required to submit TOEFL results.
Applicants to graduate programs in Arts and Sciences typically have a minimum GPA of at least a 3.0 on all undergraduate work. In exceptional cases, applicants may be considered with at least a 2.5 GPA on all undergraduate work, or at least a 2.75 GPA on the last 60 hours of undergraduate work.
The Department of Visual Arts offers assistantships to M.F.A. students annually on a competitive basis. Assistantships include a stipend, a tuition fellowship, and waiver of out-of-state fees. The deadline for Graduate Assistantships is February 15. Applications for admissions are taken continuously. See Graduate Coordinator for information and application. (See also Bulletin section on Graduate School, "Assistantships and Fellowships.") Students awarded assistantships must complete all semesters of study in residence at the University of South Alabama. More information about assistantships is available from the:
Office of the Dean of the Graduate School
Mobile Townhouse 222
University of South Alabama
Mobile, AL 36688-0002
The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Technologies and Practice degree is awarded in recognition of the student's demonstrated ability to create original, creative research at the highest levels without extensive supervision. The degree is not granted solely upon completion of a stated amount of course work, but rather after the student demonstrates and defends a body of work or presentation of a major project in a public exhibition.
General Required Credit
A minimum of 60 semester hours of approved graduate credit is required. Details about the curriculum are given below.
Graduate courses taken at another accredited university, such as for students with MA degrees in the same (or a closely related) subject as that of the M.F.A. program, may be considered in the M.F.A. plan of study up to a maximum of 12 semester hours. Only grades of "A" or "B" may be accepted as transfer credit. The graduate coordinator, in consultation with the Chair, and if necessary, the advisory committee, will evaluate transfer credit; the transfer credit is approved by the Dean of the Graduate School only after completion of a minimum of nine semester hours of graduate course work in the masters program at USA.
A minimum of four semesters of study in residence is required. The residency requirement must be met at USA.
The final two semesters of study may be completed as low residency. The low residency requirement obligates each student to visit the USA main campus two to three times during each semester of low residency.
If a student plans on completing his/her final two semesters in residency elsewhere the student must meet the following by February 1 of his/her second year:
No one with an assistantship will be able to apply for the final year to be held in low residency.
- The student must have internet access and a computer or phone on which to video chat weekly with primary thesis advisor, having virtual studio tours.
- The student must provide proof of access to a facility where they can create and obtain suitable studio space in which to work.
- The student must have the ability to transport the work to the University of South Alabama main campus.
- The student’s thesis show must be on the University of South Alabama main campus.
- The student must have the ability to travel during the weeks specified for both semesters.
- The student must be on campus for a thesis review during the first full week of classes during the Fall Semester and once again during the last week of October or the first full week of November. In the Spring Semester the student must be on campus three times: once during the first full week of class, the second time will be the week before spring break, and the third time will be at the end of the semester to hang and present his/her thesis show.
- The student must be available per the faculty’s schedule.
Failure to complete the work within the periods specified shall necessitate reevaluation of the student's program and may result in a recommendation for dismissal by the Director of Graduate Studies to the Graduate Dean.
All requirements for the M.F.A. degree must be completed within seven years from the date of matriculation. A student who has not satisfactorily completed a thesis in a seven-year period must apply for a defined extension to complete the degree based on a personal hardship. This request must be recommended by the major professor, the Chair of the Department, the Director of Graduate Studies, and approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. If the extension is not approved, the student will be dismissed.
If the student does not complete the degree requirements in any defined extension period, the Director of the Graduate Program may recommend and the Dean of the Graduate School may take whatever action is necessary up to and including dismissal.
All students must have fifteen credits of art history including Contemporary Art History at time of graduation, but students may exempt the requirement using undergraduate courses.
Each student must have at least 18 semester hours of Graduate Seminar (ARS 591), 36 hours in directed research, (ARS 500-ARS 590, ARH 590, or approved Graduate Coursework outside of the Department), and at least 6 hours in thesis development (ARS 592).
Schematic of Typical Program
|MFA Creative Technologies Seminar|
|ARS 591||Graduate Seminar (six enrollments)||18|
|Directed Research see footnote table below 1|
|Graduate level coursework in Art History or Studio Art, or approved Graduate Coursework outside of the Department of Visual Arts||36|
|ARS 592||Graduate Thesis (1 per semester)||6|
ARS 500-590 or ARH 590
Defense of Thesis
The final oral defense of the thesis is scheduled after the public exhibition and submission of written component is completed except for such revisions as may be necessary as a result of the defense.