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MFA Art Practice

installations of mfa thesis work

The MFA program provides a rigorous and demanding educational environment appropriate to the needs of strongly motivated students.

Participants are chosen for the program on the basis of work that indicates high artistic individuality, achievement, and promise. Candidates should embody the intellectual curiosity and broad interests appropriate to, and best served by, work and study within the University context.

Program Overview

The non medium-specific program provides a demanding curriculum and encourages experimental and innovative integration of media and interdisciplinary approach to art-making informed by contemporary theory, criticism and broader culture. The small program facilitates intimate interaction between peers and with the faculty in an intellectual community, and affords a wealth of professional experience in teaching art at the highest academic level via teaching assistantships and solo teaching of undergraduate courses.

Size of the Program

The Department admits 5 students each year to this program.

Time to Completion

Two years; students are required to be in residence at Stanford for the full two years of the program.

Financial Aid

Through a combination of fellowship funds and teaching assistantships, each Art Practice graduate student normally receives an aid package that includes tuition and stipend as well as small materials grants. Additional information about graduate financial aid, including a student budget and tuition calculator are available at

Stanford Studios

Graduate students in the MFA Art Practice program have individual studio space provided at the Bleeker site, three buildings located in a remote and quiet section of the campus. The studios vary in size from 300 to 800 square feet. Students also have access to woodworking and machine shops, and the photo and digital labs.  Many of our students also utilize the Product Realization Lab in the School of Mechanical Engineering.

Paris Studio

Stanford University maintains a Paris studio apartment. The Departments of Art & Art History, Music, Drama, Film, Dance, and Creative Writing may nominate one student each for this studio residency. The Associate Dean of Humanities and Sciences then makes the final selection of two students for six-month residencies. The residency takes place following graduation from the MFA Program.  The MFA Program has placed graduating students in the Paris Studio the past two years.