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Studio Art | MFA Program

Installation by Victoria Greising '11

Studio Art MFA Program

MFA in Studio Art

American University’s studio art master of fine arts degree program prepares students for lives as independent creative artists. The primary goal of the two-year program is to facilitate the transition from student to contributing, exhibiting artist, and instructor.

Studio art graduate students can specialize in painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, multimedia, or installation. The program gives students an opportunity to hone their craft and prepare for exhibiting work. All graduate students exhibit work in the Katzen Arts Center and many graduates begin formally exhibiting outside the university while completing the MFA program. Numerous students’ exhibit works at prestigious venues within two years of graduation, including the Hirshhorn Museum.


The Katzen Arts Center houses the Department of Art and each MFA student is provided with their own private studio with 24 hour year-round access. The 130,000 square foot center includes the American University Museum, the sculpture garden, multimedia studio labs, frame building and printmaking workshops, a ceramics studio, and a sculpture suite.


Visiting Artists

In addition to a full-time faculty of exhibiting artists, every year the program hosts nationally and internationally visiting artists. The artist-in-residence program is an extraordinarily focused program that brings eight visiting faculty over a graduate students two years of study. The renowned visiting artists teach classes, speak at events, and provide one-on-one studio visits with each student.



Admission is based on academic record, two letters of recommendation, a resume and portfolio of twenty images.

  • The first portion of your application must be completed through the American University online application
  • The second portion of the application, which includes your portfolio of images, must be completed through Slideroom: Instructions for the formatting of materials are provided at the Slideroom website.

Program Video

Get a look inside the studio art MFA program. Faculty and students discuss what sets this program apart from others.

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DC Resources

Local world class museums and galleries form a vibrant backdrop for study at American University.

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