Dive into the artist's life with an MFA in Studio Practice

Give yourself time and space to fully investigate your creative pursuits with a Master of Fine Arts in Contemporary Art Practice: Studio Practice.

Why PSU?

At the core of our MFA program is research-intensive creative investigation. Our three-year, full-residency Studio concentration of the MFA in Contemporary Art Practice degree focuses on interdisciplinary experimentation and the exploration of ideas through the experience of making.

Our graduate program is truly immersive for our students and allows them to pursue studies with academic rigor and while forming close ties with resident faculty. Our students are supported in a range of production disciplines, from the traditional to the emerging, as they consider the multiple ways art can live in and beyond the studio.

Portland State's School of Art + Design provides students with spaces and resources sought after by professional artists. This includes multiple galleries, state-of-the-art computer graphics and multimedia facilities, a foundry, a welding studio, a printmaking studio with etching and lithography presses, a darkroom and wood and metal workshops. 

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What will I learn?

The School of Art + Design's Master of Fine Arts in Contemporary Art Practice Interdisciplinary Studio Degree is a three-year, full residency program. 

You will work with designated faculty during your first and second years in the program. We encourage our students to explore new media, models and ideas as they develop their proposal for the culminating solo exhibition project. 

Upon successful completion of the candidacy review, students work with a faculty advisor to produce a solo public exhibition or present their work in another appropriate form in the spring quarter of the third year.

Get to know some of our recent students and their work.


Students complete at least 90 credits, distributed as follows:

  • 40 credits Contemporary Art Practice/Directed Studies
  • 12 credits Visiting Artist Program/Group Critique
  • 12 credits Contemporary Art History/Theory
  • 12 credits Graduate Seminars
  • 8 credits Electives (outside Art Department)
  • 6 credits Exhibition Project/Statement

What can I do with an MFA in Contemporary Art Practice: Studio Practice?

Our graduates work as professional artists in creative capacities with a variety of businesses, non-profit organizations and community groups. They exhibit in commercial, academic and alternative galleries and produce commissioned work for private and public initiatives. The program’s intensive teaching practicum equips our graduates to teach fine arts at the college level.

Apply to the MFA in Studio Practice 

Applications for Fall 2020 are accepted from September 1, 2019 to January 11, 2020.

How to apply