The primary vehicle for research in the MFA is Painting Studio or Drawing Studio, a nine-credit course taken each semester that consists of individual research in the studio with regular critical feedback through twice-monthly critiques with a faculty Mentor. Progress is documented in notes kept by the student. A midterm and final grade is assigned by the Mentor with the advice of a faculty advisor. The first semester of Studio is conceived as a period of exploration: Ideas are investigated through reading, writing and painted or drawn studies; reference materials for developing more sustained works is also gathered during this phase. During the next three semesters of the course, ideas are investigated in depth, resulting in a body of work that coheres around a theme and culminates in a thesis exhibition in the last semester.
During their course of study, MFA candidates take studio elective and art history classes to supplement and inform their research. In addition to these courses, the MFA candidate is expected to write a thesis statement on the themes and historical precedents in the body of work. This document of roughly 4000 words is shaped through study in three, one-credit Thesis Preparation classes beginning in the second semester. The thesis will draw on concepts from art history and theory classes to illuminate themes in the body of work. In addition to Mentor critiques, the MFA candidate will have an advancement review at the midpoint of their study (after acquiring roughly 30 credits) and a final review prior to graduation to approve the thesis exhibition. These reviews are attended by the Chair of the MFA program, the faculty Mentor, the faculty advisor and selected other faculty. The advancement review is meant to ensure that the student is on track to have a thesis exhibition in the last semester and will identify problem areas for the student to address. The final review is a summative assessment of the achievements of each student.
Laguna College of Art & Design is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Desig
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Specialized Institution—School of art, music, or design