In Claremont Graduate University’s Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program, you make your own art, in your own dedicated studio, and build a career as a culturally effective professional artist.
At the heart of the MFA program is the freedom to create. CGU’s MFA program has no agendas regarding forms, styles, materials, or approaches. It is wholly studio-based, devoted to giving you time and space to develop as a thinking artist. During two years of intensive study, you’ll work one-on-one with faculty who are internationally recognized artists committed to strengthening student visions. You’ll collaborate with other students and learn from professional artists and critics in your studio, not in a classroom. You will draw inspiration from visiting lecturers, conferences, and pop-up shows and engage with the Los Angeles art community, the largest concentration of arts activity in the country. Access to the faculties and resources from the highly ranked institutions of The Claremont Colleges broaden your reach. In the end, the program will catalyze your thinking and research, maximize your time in the studio, and prepare you to exhibit your work in public with a clear and compelling vision.
The Joan & David Lincoln Fellowship provides generous financial support and infrastructure for graduate students pursuing ceramics, including the 5,000-square-foot Joan & David Lincoln Ceramics Center and a visiting professorship in ceramics—currently held by Nicole Seisler.
Each student in the MFA program receives a personal studio space. Studios are approximately 12x22 feet with track lighting. Each second floor studio is equipped with a skylight.
Your studio neighbors will be both first- and second-year artists, so you will be able to talk with experienced students from day one.
Gallery and exhibition locations throughout the art building are host to a variety of student and visiting artist exhibitions.
Students present their MFA solo graduate exhibitions in either the the Peggy Phelps or East Gallery, two large galleries in the art building.
Our MFA students have 24-hour access to a fully equipped wood shop, welding facility, plastics/casting booth, and critical maker tools.
Wood Shop & Sculpture Yard
A fully equipped wood shop and the building’s rear sculpture yard accommodate the fabrication needs of our student body.
Students are given the critical space and tools to bring their sculptures to life in the Art Department's Sculpture Workshop.
Minimum 24 units of studio art
Minimum 20 academic course units
8 units Survey of Contemporary Art (two 4-unit classes)
8 units Ideas in Contemporary Art (two 4-unit classes)
4 units Written Statement Seminar (two 2-unit classes; one in the second semester and one in the third)
24 units of studio coursework (may include 3 units of MFA)
MFA Project, which is taken in the fourth semester
16 units maximum of electives
Advancement Paper: In your third semester, you will write an advancement paper that clarifies what it is you do as artist. Your faculty committee will review it.
Advancement Meeting: Held in your studio for one hour with your committee members to help focus your ideas and the development of your work in preparation for your MFA exhibition.
MFA Exhibition: The culmination of your time in the studio, in which you give a public exhibition of your art work.
Visiting Artist Lecture Series
Our Visiting Artist Lecture Series exposes you to professionals and practitioners with deep experience and insight. Visiting artists help mentor students, foster innovative projects, and promote intercollegiate collaboration. The lectures are free and open to the public.