Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Programs in Ohio

Oct 15, 2019

The following article provides information about a selection of MFA programs available at universities across Ohio, as well as some application requirements common to those programs.

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Pursuing a Master in Fine Arts (MFA) degree is an exciting way for aspiring artists to deepen the skills and knowledge related to their craft. The state of Ohio is home to a number of public universities offering MFA programs that cover a variety of media and are structured to accommodate a wide range of student needs. Below you will find descriptions of MFA programs at six of those Ohio schools, as well as helpful information regarding admissions requirements.

Ohio Universities Offering MFA Degrees

The Ohio State University

Located in the city of Columbus, the Ohio State University features an MFA in Creative Writing. This program is designed to be completed in three years, and is fully funded for all students. Teaching appointments and fellowships that come with stipends are also available for MFA students. In the OSU MFA program, students will declare a major genre (poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction), but will also have the chance to take courses outside of their chosen genre.

Ohio University

Ohio University, which is situated in the city of Athens, offers a unique MFA in Communication Media Arts. This three-year program is designed for students who already have some professional experience in communications and at least one 'production skill' such as animation, audio or music production, web design, photojournalism, or publication design. While working toward their MFA, students will hone their existing skills, add new ones, and work collaboratively. The program culminates with a production thesis.

Kent State University

Kent State University, in Kent, Ohio, offers an MFA in Studio Art. Concentrations available within this program include ceramics, drawing, glass, painting, print media & photography, and textiles. Students are welcome to take classes outside of their chosen concentration, and will produce an MFA thesis at the end of the program. In addition to the MFA in Studio Art, Kent State also offers an MFA in Theatre Studies, with concentrations such as acting, costume design, or technical direction. The Theatre Studies degree curriculum also includes a professional internship and a practicum.

Bowling Green State University

Bowling Green State is another university featuring an MFA in Creative Writing. The concentrations available in this program are poetry and fiction, and the curriculum largely centers around writing workshops. Students are also welcome to use their electives to take courses outside of the field of writing or literature provided they are able to communicate the connection between their elective study and their writing goals. Those pursuing the MFA in Creative Writing will also have the chance to work as assistant editors for Bowling Green's literary magazine, 'Mid-American Review.'

Miami University

Situated in Oxford, Ohio, Miami University offers multiple MFA programs. The Department of English features both residential and low-residency MFAs in Creative Writing. The residential program takes place on the university campus over two years and culminates in the creation of a full-length publication. The low-residency program is also designed to be completed in two years through a combination of week-long on-campus residencies and independent, online work. Miami University also offers an MFA in Experience Design, which is a hybrid online/in-person program that offers students a chance to bring together studies in both design and human experience. Finally, the Department of Art at Miami University offers an MFA in Studio Art with concentrations in ceramics, metals, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. A number of graduate assistantships are available for students in this program.

Youngstown State University

Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio features a unique MFA degree in Interdisciplinary Visual Arts. It's a two-year program with a curriculum that requires students to study two or more visual art disciplines in conjunction with classes from outside the art field. Before finishing the program with a thesis project, students will take studio classes in media such as sculpture, painting, photography, and digital media. The goal of the program is to produce students who are well-versed in both practice and theory that take into account varying perspectives and methodologies.

Common MFA Application Requirements

While each MFA program has its own set of admissions requirements that any prospective student should review carefully, there are a number of commonalities across programs when it comes to what is needed to apply. Typically, to apply for an MFA program, one needs to have completed an undergraduate degree (sometimes with a particular GPA) and have a portfolio of creative work to submit to the admissions office. In addition, most MFA programs require letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a resume or CV. It is less common for an MFA program to require prospective students to take a standardized test, but Bowling Green State University does require scores from the General Aptitude section of the GRE.

Whatever your specialty, Ohio is brimming with opportunities for those who wish to pursue an MFA degree. There are a plethora of public universities offering graduate studies in areas like creative writing, studio arts, theatre, or even experience design.

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