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Master of Arts in Art - Master of Fine Arts in Art

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School Review Process

Admission to a degree program at CSULB is a two-part process that requires application to and acceptance by both the University and the School of Art into a specific degree program. (See the detailed information on CSULB graduate application and admission requirements earlier in this catalog.)

For graduate programs, the School of Art accepts applications for Fall admission only, with applications being accepted December 1 through January 15. Application forms are available on the web (www.art.csulb.edu).

School of Art application materials must be sent to the School of Art Advising Center, FA4 - 102.
The application for Graduate Admission to the University is available online through CSUMentor (www.csumentor.edu). One complete set of official transcripts must be submitted with the university application. This set of transcripts will be used to determine grade point average eligibility. Failure to submit transcripts in a timely manner will result in a delayed review of the application.

There is a $55.00 fee for the University application process. (Do not send the School of Art this fee.)

Some art programs may conduct applicant interviews, in which case program faculty will contact the applicant directly. Acceptance decisions are normally sent out by April 8th.

Acceptance to Degree Program in Art

Graduate applications are reviewed within the School of Art by appropriate faculty. The admissions process for all graduate programs is highly competitive, and only those applicants who are recommended by the reviewing faculty may be admitted. Applicants are admitted as either Classified or Conditionally Classified. A Classified Graduate Student has been recommended for admission, and has satisfied all prerequisites. A Conditionally Classified Graduate Student has been recommended for admission, but has outstanding prerequisites to complete.

Acceptance is not complete until the applicant has received both notification of acceptance from the School of Art and official notification from the CSULB Office of Enrollment Services.

All applicants must be accepted by the School of Art in order to be officially accepted by the University. There is no fee for the school's application process.

International Students must be accepted by the School of Art and pass the TOEFL examination (minimum score of 550) before they can be admitted to the University. International students must apply to CSULB through the Center for International Education at (562) 985-5476.

CSU general requirements include: a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution; a grade point average of at least 2.5 in the last 60 semester units taken; and good standing at the last college attended.

MA and MFA Prerequisites

An applicant may be accepted if, in addition to having satisfied specific prerequisites set by the School of Art for each degree concentration, the applicant has satisfied the minimum university standards found in the Admission section of this catalog.

The School of Art requires a minimum GPA of 3.0 in upper-division (junior and senior level) art prerequisite units.

Special Action: In rare and compelling circumstances, an applicant who does not qualify for admission under the previous provisions may be admitted by special action if on recommendation of the appropriate faculty of the school/college concerned and in the judgment of the Associate Vice President for Graduate and Undergraduate Programs or his/her designee there exists acceptable evidence that the applicant possesses sufficient academic, professional, and other potential pertinent to her/his educational objectives to merit such action, as shown through aptitude scores, recent academic performance, and experiential background.

Concentrations Prerequisites

An applicant who has deficiencies in prerequisites for a concentration, but who in the judgment of the School of Art can meet these prerequisites with additional preparation specified at time of admission, may be admitted with conditionally classified graduate standing. Students who have deficiencies in prerequisites for a concentration, but who are willing to engage in additional preparation to meet prerequisites, may apply.

NOTE: Courses taken as prerequisites for a graduate degree may not be counted toward the graduate degree program of study.

Art Education Prerequisites

Applicants must complete 36 units of coursework approved by the Art Education faculty and must have a minimum 3.0 GPA in prerequisite courses.

Take 15 units upper-division units approved by the Art Education faculty

Take 9 upper-division units of Art or Education electives

Take 12 units AH (6 may be lower division, 6 must be upper division)

Art History Prerequisites

Applicants must complete the following prerequisite coursework. Equivalents to listed prerequisites must be approved by the Art History faculty.

Take 3 units from the following courses: AH 447 or AH 547 or the equivalent

Take 3 units from the following courses: AH 448, AH 449, AH 450, AH 548, AH 549 or AH 550 (theory/criticism) or the equivalent

Take 9 units additional upper-division Art History

Take 9 units upper-division Art or Art History

Take four sequential semesters (or the equivalent) of college-level French, German, or a language appropriate to the applicant's intended area of research with a 3.0 grade point average or better in the language courses.

MA Art History applicants should have completed prerequisite coursework prior to beginning coursework in the MA program. Applicants must have maintained a 3.0 GPA or better in all prerequisite coursework. Prerequisite coursework with grades lower than a C or grades of "pass" or "credit" will not be considered as having satisfied stated prerequisites.

The core Art History faculty functions as a committee of the whole in reviewing all materials and information in the application file. Applicants who have been recommended for admission by the Art History faculty, and who have met all university entrance requirements and have fulfilled all MA Art History prerequisites, shall be admitted with classified status.

In some instances, applicants who have not met all prerequisites may, upon the recommendation of the Art History faculty, be admitted to the MA program on a conditional basis, but must complete all prerequisites by the end of the second semester in the MA program. Students may complete the foreign language prerequisite by completing the required coursework, or by passing a departmentally administered foreign language exam in French, German, or other pre-approved language. Completion of all prerequisites by the end of the second semester is a requirement for the student to advance to candidacy and continue study in the MA program.

Studio Art Prerequisites

The School of Art prefers, but does not require, that Studio Art applicants have undergraduate degrees in art. Application to our graduate programs is competitive and most applicants to the studio programs will have an undergraduate degree in art, many with a BFA in their chosen media. For Studio Art admissions, all required application materials are mandatory in order for the applicant to be considered, but the part of the application that is given the most weight is the portfolio of work. The School of Art invites all applicants who feel they have strong portfolios to apply. If faculty feel the application is strong, but the applicant needs additional preparatory work, the School of Art may admit the applicant with conditionally classified graduate standing, with specific prerequisites stated on a case-by-case basis at the time of admission.

The School's Application Requirements

December 1 through January 15 prior to the fall term for which the applicant seeks admission, applicant must submit the school's application materials as follows:

  • Art Education: School of Art application, statement of purpose, writing sample, portfolio of studio work, transcripts, and two letters of recommendation
  • Art History: School of Art application, statement of purpose, writing sample, transcripts, and two letters of recommendation
  • Studio Art: School of Art application, statement of purpose, portfolio of studio work, transcripts, and two letters of recommendation

Applicants may contact the School of Art Graduate Advisor for additional information about applying. Additionally, faculty contacts for each of the programs can be found on the school website.

Transcripts

When you formally apply to the University, one official (sealed) set is required; send to Enrollment Services.

Transfer Units

Transfer units are allowed on a case-by-case basis. With faculty approval, up to 12 post-baccalaureate units from another university may be accepted into the MA degree program and up to 24 units (for example, from a previous MA degree) into the MFA degree program. In the case of an existing MA degree from CSULB with a concentration in Studio Art, up to 30 units may be accepted into the MFA degree.

MA and MFA Degree Requirements

1. A minimum overall GPA of 3.0, with no grade below a "C".

2. Successful fulfillment of the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) by passing the Writing Proficiency Examination (WPE), usually completed in the first semester in residence at CSULB and required to be fulfilled prior to Advancement to Candidacy. Students unable to pass the WPE may be able to fulfill the requirement by completing a special GWAR course.

3. Successful completion of an Advancement to Candidacy review. Reviews generally occur when a student has completed between one third and one half of the units required for the degree, and require the submission of a complete list of coursework for the degree. Additional advancement requirements:

  • Art Education majors satisfy assigned written topics and prepare an oral defense of their research.
  • Art History majors present a qualifying paper and satisfy the language requirement in either French or German (or an approved substitution).
  • Studio Art majors participate in a group exhibition in the School of Art galleries and present an oral defense of their work.

If all scheduled units for the MA or MFA degree have been completed but the final written component has not been approved and submitted, registration in GS-700 (0 unit, no credit) through CCPE is required in order to maintain enrollment until the semester of graduation. Care should be taken not to exceed the University limit of seven years for all masters' degrees.

Additional information may be found in the "School of Art Graduate Guidelines," given to each student accepted into a master's program.

Art Education Concentration for the MA

32 approved units to include:

Take one of the following:

  • ART 509A Research in Art Education (2)
    Prerequisites: Graduate student in Art or consent of instructor.
  • ART 509B Research in Art Education (2)
    Prerequisites: Graduate student in Art or consent of instructor.

Take both of the following:

  • ART 601A Seminar in Art Education (3)
    Prerequisite: Graduate student in Art Education or consent of instructor.
  • ART 601B Seminar in Art Education (3)
    Prerequisite: Graduate student in Art Education or consent of instructor.

Take one of the following:

  • ART 695 Graduate Studies: Field Problems (6)
    Prerequisites: None
  • ART 697 Graduate Studies: Directed (6)
    Prerequisites: None

Take 3 units of graduate level Art History

Take 3 units of approved graduate or upper-division coursework

Take 6 units elective Art, Art Education, or Art History

Take the following:

  • Take 6 units ART 698A Thesis or Project, with student completing a Thesis, or combination of Project with Project Report or Comprehensive Exam, as culminating experience within degree program.

Transferred units are allowed on a case-by-case basis. A minimum of 70% of units applied to degree must be 500/600 level courses taken at CSULB.

Undergraduate coursework applied to degree must be upper-division (300 or 400 level). Undergraduate courses may not be used as substitutes for any course specifically required by course number for degree. All double-numbered (400-level/500-level) courses applied to degree must be taken at the 500 level. All coursework applied to degree must be approved.

Art History Concentration for the MA

36 approved units to include:

Take both of the following courses:

  • AH 546 Art History Methodologies and Writing (3)
    Prerequisites: Graduate standing in Art History or consent of instructor.
  • AH 547 Historiography of Art History (3)
    Prerequisties: Graduate standing in Art History or consent of instructor

Take 6 units of the following:

  • AH 597 Seminar in Art History (3)
    Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Take 9 units in graduate-level Art History in area of specialization

Take 6 units Art or Art History

Take 3 units of the following:

  • AH 694 Graduate Studies: Directed Research in Thesis Topic (3)
    Prerequisites: Art History MA Student and Consent of Thesis Committee Chair.

Take 6 units AH 698 Thesis as culminating experience within degree program.

Twenty-four of the 36 required units must be 500/600 level courses taken at CSULB.

Graduate-level or upper-division courses in other CSULB departments may be approved as course substitutions with approval of student's Thesis Committee.

Transferred units are allowed on a case-by-case basis. A minimum of 70% of units applied to degree must be 500/600 level courses taken at CSULB.

Undergraduate coursework applied to degree must be upper-division (300 or 400 level).

ndergraduate courses may not be used as substitutes for any course specifically required by course number for degree. All double-numbered (400-level/500-level) courses applied to degree must be taken at the 500 level. All coursework applied to degree must be approved.

In addition to fulfilling university requirements for advancement to candidacy, MA Art History students must also complete the Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE), an approved qualifying research paper, and all unfinished degree program prerequisites. Advancement to candidacy signifies approval of a plan of study for completion of coursework and the production and supervision of the student's thesis. Students in the MA program are expected to complete all requirements for advancement by the end of the second semester of study in the program.

Studio Art Concentration for the MA

33 approved units to include:

Take 21 units of Art

Take 6 units of graduate-level Art History

Take 6 units of the following:

ART 698B Project (culminating degree experience)
Prerequisite: Advancement to Candidacy and an approved project statement. Execution and completion of an approved Studio Project and Project Report for the MA degree.

Transferred units are allowed on a case-by-case basis. A minimum of 70% of units applied to degree must be 500 and 600 level courses taken at CSULB, including double-numbered courses (400/500). Undergraduate coursework applied to degree must be upper-division (300 or 400 level).

ndergraduate courses may not be used as substitutes for any course specifically required by course number for degree. All double-numbered (400-level/500-level) courses applied to degree must be taken at the 500 level. All coursework applied to degree must be approved.

Studio Art Concentration for the MFA

60 units of approved graduate units.

Transferred units are allowed on a case-by-case basis. A minimum of 70% of units applied to degree must be 500 and 600 level courses taken at CSULB, including double-numbered courses (400/500).
Undergraduate coursework applied to degree must be upper-division (300 or 400 level).

ndergraduate courses may not be used as substitutes for any course specifically required by course number for degree. All double-numbered (400-level/500-level) courses applied to degree must be taken at the 500 level. All coursework applied to degree must be approved.

At least 39 units must be in studio courses. No more than 3 units of ART 693 (teaching internship) may be applied to degree.

Students are admitted into discipline-specific tracks. All students take a core of 21 units. Each student takes an additional 39 units of approved coursework according to the track into which the student was admitted.

Additional information, expectations, recommendations and guidelines for each track are included in the "School of Art Graduate Guidelines" and are available on the School of Art website: www.art.csulb.edu.

MFA Core Requirements

3 units of graduate-level Art History.

12 units of ART 694 (Graduate Studies: Directed Studio) taken with members of student's Project Committee beginning five semesters prior to completion of degree, or semester prior to advancement, which ever comes first. (Student must continue to enroll in 3 units of ART 694 per semester for all semesters between advancement and semester of MFA project.)

6 units of ART 699 (Graduate Studies: MFA Project) taken in the final semester with members of student's Project Committee.

MFA Tracks

In addition to the MFA Core requirements, each MFA student takes 39 additional approved units according to the following discipline-based tracks into which students are admitted.

NOTE: All 597, 598 and 599-numbered courses are studio-oriented variable-topic graduate courses, each with a discipline-specific focus, but with specific topic and structure varying from term to term.

Ceramics Track:

Take 12 units from the following:

  • ART 597A, ART 598A, ART 599A

Take 6 units from any of the following:

  • ART 597, ART 598 or ART 599 courses

Take the following:

  • ART 681 in the first semester
  • ART 685 in the second semester

Take 15 units additional coursework.

Drawing and Painting Contemporary Practices Track:

Take 12 units from the following:

  • ART 597K, ART 598K, ART 599K

Take 6 units from any of the following:

  • ART 597, ART 598 or ART 599 courses

Take the following:

  • ART 681 in the first semester
  • ART 685 in the second semester

Take 15 units additional coursework.

Drawing and Painting Figurative Track:

Take 12 units from the following:

  • ART 597L, ART 598L, ART 599L (recommended in the first 3 semesters)

Take 6 units from any of the following:

  • ART 597, ART 598 or ART 599 courses

Take the following:

  • ART 681 in the first semester
  • ART 685 in the second semester

Take 15 units additional coursework.

Fiber Track:

Take 12 units from the following:

  • ART 597N, ART 598N, ART 599N

Take 6 units from any of the following:

  • ART 597, ART 598 or ART 599 courses

Take the following:

  • ART 681 in the first semester
  • ART 685 in the second semester

Take 15 units additional coursework.

Graphic Design Track:

Take 12 units from the following:

  • ART 597S, ART 598S, ART 599S

Take 6 units from any of the following:

  • ART 597, ART 598 or ART 599 courses

Take the following:

  • ART 683, ART 684

Take 15 units additional coursework.

Illustration/Animation Track:

Take 12 units from the following:

  • ART 597F, ART 598F, ART 599F

Take 6 units from any of the following:

  • ART 597, ART 598 or ART 599 courses

Take the following:

  • ART 683, ART 684

Take 15 units additional coursework.

Metal Track:

Take 12 units from the following:

  • ART 597J, ART 598J, ART 599J

Take 6 units from any of the following:

  • ART 597, ART 598 or ART 599 courses

Take the following:

  • ART 681 in the first semester
  • ART 685 in the second semester

Take 15 units additional coursework.

Photography Track:

Take 12 units from the following:

  • ART 597V, ART 598V, ART 599V

Take 6 units from any of the following:

  • ART 597, ART 598 or ART 599 courses

Take 6 units of the following:

  • ART 680

Take the following:

  • ART 681 in the first semester
  • ART 685 in the second semester

Take 3 units from the following:

  • ART 536A, ART 550, ART 680

Take 6 units additional coursework.

Printmaking Track A:

Take 12 units from the following:

  • ART 597R, ART 598R, ART 599R

Take 6 units from any of the following:

  • ART 597, ART 598 or ART 599 courses

Take the following:

  • ART 681 in the first semester
  • ART 685 in the second semester

Take 15 units additional coursework.

Printmaking Track B:

Take 12 units from the following:

  • ART 597R, ART 598R, ART 599R

Take 6 units from any of the following:

  • ART 597, ART 598 or ART 599 courses

Take 3 units from the following:

  • ART 597D, ART 597L, ART 597F

Take the following:

  • ART 681 in the first semester
  • ART 685 in the second semester

Take 3 units from the following:

  • ART 373, ART 384, ART 481

Take one of the following:

  • ART 481, ART 484

Take 3 units from the following:

  • ART 492F, ART 499F, ART 693

Take 3 units additional coursework.

Printmaking Track C:

Take 12 units from the following:

  • ART 597R, ART 598R, ART 599R

Take 6 units from any of the following:

  • ART 597, 598 or 599 courses

Take the following:

  • ART 681 in the first semester
  • ART 685 in the second semester

Take the following:

  • ART 575

Take one of the following:

  • ART 340, ART 349

Take 3 units from the following:

  • ART 449, ART 506A, ART 693

Take 3 units from the following:

  • ART 506B, ART 573, ART 693

Take 3 units from the following:

  • ART 499, ART 514, ART 680

Sculpture/4D Track:

Take 12 units from the following:

  • ART 597O, ART 598O, ART 599O

Take 6 units from any of the following:

  • ART 597, ART 598 or ART 599 courses

Take the following:

  • ART 681 in the first semester
  • ART 680 Graduate Interdisciplinary Critique (3)
    Prerequisites: None
  • ART 685 in the second semester

Take 3 units from the following:

  • ART 536A, ART 550, or ART 680

Take 9 units additional coursework.

Wood Track:

Take 12 units from the following:

  • ART 597B, ART 598B, ART 599B

Take 6 units from any of the following:

  • ART 597, ART 598 or ART 599 courses

Take the following:

  • ART 681 in the first semester
  • ART 685 in the second semester

Take 15 units additional coursework.


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