Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Programs in Wisconsin

Nov 01, 2019

This article covers three universities in Wisconsin that have master of fine arts (MFA) programs in a variety of fields. Continue reading to learn more about what each school offers and what the general admission requirements are.

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Several schools in Wisconsin offer master's degrees in fine arts, covering interest areas such as studio art, creative writing, and digital design. Below are descriptions of MFA programs available at three Wisconsin schools and a brief description of typical program admittance requirements.

Wisconsin Schools Offering MFA Programs

University of Wisconsin-Madison

The University of Wisconsin-Madison offers an MFA in Studio Art where students can choose a faculty advisor who aligns with their specialty or create their own area of study. All students in this program are required to take forty-one credits in studio research, nine credits in art seminars, six credits of art history, three elective credits, and an art colloquium. The program takes six semesters and culminates in a final MFA exhibition where students present their final artwork and research. Additionally, this university offers an MFA in Creative Writing that requires nine credits of writing workshops, three credits of pedagogy, fifteen elective credits, and a thesis of fiction or poetry work.

University of Wisconsin-Stout

The University of Wisconsin-Stout has a hybrid MFA in Design program that allows students to design a custom curriculum plan with their faculty advisors. Focus areas include graphic design, animation, interior design, game design, interactive media, and more. Sixty credits are required to graduate, and a three-year plan is typical for most students. A creative thesis project is required prior to graduation, which students normally work on during their third year.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

The Peck School of the Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee provides students with MFA programs in studio art, dance, and film.

Students can choose from several studio art areas for their MFA degrees. To complete the degree, students must take sixty credits made up of studio art courses, art history, and a seminar. Additional credits to help meet the sixty required credits can be filled with electives and courses related to the student's research focus. To graduate, students must hold a solo exhibit of work created during their program as well as pass a comprehensive written and oral exam.

The MFA in Dance program requires sixty credits and a final thesis project. Students focus on contemporary choreography and performance techniques, and they perform research within their own fields of interest.

To obtain an MFA in Film, students need at least forty-eight credits that include film research courses, studio courses, electives, and workshops. A final thesis project is also required.

General Program Admittance Requirements

To gain admission into an MFA program, students must hold at least a bachelor's degree. Most universities require an online application form that includes transcripts, personal statements, portfolios, and letters of recommendation. Exact requirements vary by school and subject area, but all students should prepare a professional portfolio of their art, writing, performance, or digital creations. Design or art programs may ask for 10-20 samples in the portfolio, and writing programs may require 30-40 pages of fiction, such as short stories or an excerpt from a novel.

Three of Wisconsin's main state universities offer MFA programs in writing, studio art, dance, film, and digital design. Students should be prepared for roughly sixty hours of coursework as well as a substantive final thesis or exhibition project prior to graduation.

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