Interdisciplinary Arts, MFA

The Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts emphasizes the arts of social engagement, broadly conceived. Positioned at the intersection of the visual arts, architecture, music, visual and media studies, and the expanded field of design, the curriculum supports the development of ambitious projects by a diverse, international group of creative practitioners. 

Students have an opportunity to learn to use the tools and insights of contemporary creative practice to intervene in public discourse through media, research-, and/or community-based methods. The curriculum centers around a series of core critique seminars that provide a foundation and home base for students who then customize their education from a wide array of studio and academic courses. Regular workshops with visiting faculty emphasize hands-on engagement in the creative process of leading artists, while offsite and international summer residencies allow students to complete self-directed projects, supported by online faculty and peer mentoring. The MFA degree requires a minimum 3.000 GPA over 60 semester hours of study, with 64 semester hours recommended. 

The program seeks to help students articulate their goals, context, and audience and develop the professional skills necessary to sustain their practices. Successful graduates are prepared to forge their own paths as publicly engaged artists working independently or in arts organizations, social entrepreneurship ventures, the nonprofit sector, and as faculty in academic institutions.

Complete all courses and requirements listed below unless otherwise indicated.


Seminars Required Courses
Enrollment in a section of each course is required each term. The format of the course is critique-seminar.16
Art, Context, Action 1
Art, Context, Action 2
Art, Media, Participation 1
Art, Media, Participation 2
Studio Electives
In consultation with faculty advisor, complete four courses from the following:16
Interactive Media Arts 1
Photographic Media in Cultural Context
Collaborative Video and Community Engagement
Interactive Media Arts 2
Interactive Mobile Art Apps
Special Topics in Art and Design Studio
Information Design Studio 1: Principles
Visual Cognition
Visualization Technologies
Notational Systems for Experience
Information Design Studio 2: Dynamic Mapping and Models
Visual Ideation
Studio Continuation
Art History Electives
Complete three courses from the following:12
Contemporary Art Theory and Criticism
Issues in Contemporary Art
Postmodernism: Theory and Practice in the Visual Arts
Contemporary Visual Culture
Art and New Media: History and Theory
Special Topics in Art and Design History
Special Topics in Contemporary Art
Art Criticism by Artists

Research, Thesis, and Exhibition

Research Methods
In consultation with faculty advisor, complete one course from the following: 4
Information Design Research Methods
Research Methods for the Creative Arts
Usability and Empirical User Research
Independent Research
Complete one from the following:4
Independent Research Project 1
Independent Research Project 2
Thesis and Exhibition
ARTE 7100Thesis Proposal4
ARTE 7990Thesis4
ARTE 7996Thesis Continuation0

Program Credit/GPA Requirements

60 total semester hours required
Minimum 3.000 GPA required

Sample plan of study. 

Year 1
FallHoursSpringHoursSummer 1HoursSummer 2Hours
ARTD 50014ARTD 50024Studio elective or Studio elective or
History, theory, and critical studies elective4History, theory, and critical studies elective4ARTD 53014ARTD 63014
Studio elective4Research methods4  
 Studio elective4  
 12 16 4 4
Year 2
ARTD 60014ARTD 60024  
ARTE 71004ARTE 79904  
History, theory, and critical studies elective4   
Studio elective4   
 16 8  
Total Hours: 60