A Master of Fine Arts (MFA) is a practice-based graduate degree that focuses on a particular art form, whether that be creative writing, art, photography, or film. MFA programs typically feature a mix of workshops or studio time and critical theory-based coursework as well as a final thesis, project, or exhibition. In this article, we will cover several MFA programs that are located in Miami, Florida, discussing degree, coursework, thesis, and entrance requirements.
MFA Programs Located in Miami, Florida
The University of Miami
The University of Miami offers a 36-42-credit MFA in Creative Writing program that can be completed in 2 years; however, you could choose to attend for an optional third year where you have opportunities to teach composition and creative writing. Coursework includes writing workshops in your chosen specialty, either fiction or poetry, and courses on literature, theory, craft, and other subjects, and you are also required to complete a book-length thesis of fiction or poetry.
Also offered by the University of Miami is the MFA in Motion Pictures, which is a 66-credit-hour program that features several specializations, including screenwriting, directing, producing, sound, cinematography, documentary, and interactive media. Over the span of the program, you create at least two projects and take a range of classes. Toward the end of the program, you are required to pass a film and television literacy test and create a thesis portfolio that showcases your work and your developmental process.
The MFA in Interactive Media is a 45-credit-hour program in the field of interaction design, game design, and data visualization. In this program, you take classes on human computer interaction, prototyping, and character design. A final capstone project is also required. Lastly, the MFA in Studio Art is a 60-credit-hour program that allows you to choose a concentration in painting, ceramics, printmaking, sculpture, or photography. In this program, you are required to complete a public thesis exhibition of your original work and orally defend it.
Florida International University
At Florida International University, you could earn a 60-credit-hour MFA in Visual Arts with a focus of your choice. This program's coursework entails classes on contemporary art, art history, critical studies of visual art, and art pedagogy as well as studio practice. At the end of this program, you must present an art exhibit at FIU's Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum or another space. You must also undergo another oral examination that covers your displayed work and your artistic progress within the program.
This university also offers a 48-credit MFA in Creative Writing that features workshops and literary theory classes and allows you to choose a fiction, poetry, or non-fiction concentration. In this program, you will need to complete a thesis in the form of a novel, poetry collection, or short story collection. You could also acquire editorial experience with the program's publications, Gulf Stream Magazine or The Florida Book Review.
Barry University offers an MFA in Photography that aims to improve your skills as a photographer and to prepare you to teach photography at the college level. This is a 66-credit-hour program that can be completed in only six semesters. The coursework includes art history classes, communication classes, and photography independent study classes. To complete this program, you are required to create an exhibition of your original photography and create a written thesis that critically examines your photography work in the context of your influences and intentions and also includes reproductions of your work.
Entrance Requirements for MFA Programs
MFA programs have a common set of application requirements that include an application, a fee, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement that address why you want to study your specific art form at the graduate level and how the specific program you are applying to could help you achieve your art and career goals. You may also need to submit GRE scores for admittance to some programs. Lastly, MFA programs require that you submit an example of your creative work. For art MFA programs, a portfolio is required, while creative writing programs require a writing sample in your chosen genre. The motion picture MFA requires a video, photography, or screenplay submission.
MFA programs usually include critical coursework and workshops, studio practice, or independent study. Also, in all of the programs discussed above, to earn your MFA degree you need to complete a final project, thesis, or exhibition that showcases your artistic skill and the progress you have made during your program.