MFA Program in Studio Art Feature Image

MFA Program in Studio Art

Located in the heart of New York City, the Hunter College’s MFA Program in Studio Art is a three-year program designed to offer artists the time, critical framework and opportunities to develop their practice in the middle of New York City. This location, like nowhere else, provides the student access to the changing ideas and forms of contemporary art and is crucial to the achievement of our educational goal: to develop professional artists capable of continued growth once they leave the relatively structured university environment.

205 Hudson, where the MFA Program is housed, is a hive of individual studios, workshops and galleries, encouraging constant peer contact and cross-disciplinary experimentation and production. The program is designed to offer broad training for artists in the development of critical and analytical visual thinking as it relates to their work.  Over the course of three years, students work closely with faculty tutors to develop their own art individual work. Student work is then examined and tested in the context of contemporary practice during group critique, seminars and one-on-one visits with well-known artists, critics and curators. Classes in Art History and Curatorial Studies are offered at Hunter’s Upper East Side campus where MFA students study alongside their counterparts in Hunter’s dynamic MA program.

MFA Program concentrations

The Program offers six concentrations: Clay and Casting, Combined Media, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, and Works on Paper (Drawing and Printmaking). Once in the MFA Program students have the flexibility to change concentrations.

Ovidus nobitature excero quodiciis vollesciam ipsae consequatia sus, consed ut dolore as sum labores quisque plisti aliat. Bis secerumqui isqui ipsam vitincti od quiatibus. Molo iunt modicat emperci digentem. Bis magnis erro beaquia volorum doloribus reheni utem debitam venissenti officto blaut incta sa que dolectatur? Nim explici repe doloribusa velitas dolent quia por re perro mollut eos am, ad eos solorupta voluptas ex eos est, commosant doluptas aut eumenduntis maiore magnimet volorem volora nonsenimus alia volo. Bis secerumqui isqui ipsam vitincti od quiatibus. Molo iunt modicat emperci digentem. Bis magnis erro beaquia volorum doloribus reheni utem debitam venissenti officto blaut incta sa que dolectatur.


The MFA in Studio Art is three year program spread out over six semesters. Students can begin the program in either the fall or spring semesters, and must obtain 48 credits and 

a 48-credit degree spread out over six semesters or three years. Students enter the program in either the Spring or Fall semester.

Concentration Requirements: 9 credits of tutorial work, 9 credits of seminar work, 6 credits towards MFA project = 24 credits 

Requirements outside of Concentration: 9 credits of studio electives, 9 credits of art history electives, 6 credits of free electives = 24 credits

Free electives may be used for additional art history or studio courses, or non-traditional courses or projects such as apprenticeships, teaching assistantships, participation in the foreign exchange program. 3-6 credits may be taken in areas outside the Art Department with prior permission of the Graduate Advisor.

Students and faculty gather for the mid-program review.


There is a three-year time limit for students to complete the MFA Program in Studio Art. Some international students may be permitted to complete the program into two years for visa or funding reasons.


The Mid-Program Review typically takes place during the third semester or the semester in which the student is enrolled their second tutorial and seminar and prior to completing 24 credits. Before entire MFA Program, students present work that best demonstrates their development thus far. All graduate studio classes are cancelled so that students and faculty may attend the 3-day Mid-Program Review. Each review begins with faculty-only discussion of the work; for the last 10 minutes the student is invited into the discussion. Students who do not pass Mid-Program Review are asked to re-submit the following semester. The Mid-Program Review functions both as a critical assessment as well as an accountability check. Is the student’s work developing? Are they receiving the pedagogical support and input needed to realize their ideas? At the halfway point in the Program, Mid-Program Review creates the opportunity to tailor the coursework to the perceived goals and needs of the student.


Thesis is the final requirement for completion of the degree. Students must secure a full-time faculty sponsor for their thesis prior to the final semester. The culmination of the thesis is a formal group exhibition with catalogue in which the students present their work, and an original paper of 8-10 pages about their work. The Thesis Exhibition takes place at the end of the Fall and Spring semesters in the 205 Hudson Gallery. In addition to departmental sign-off, each thesis must be approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies before a degree is granted.


Candidates for Graduation must file a Degree Audit Application Form (DAAF) with the Office of the Registrar (Room 217 North) in their final semester.


The Advanced Certificate in Curatorial Studies, open by application to students in either the MA or MFA Program, is a sequence of four courses designed specifically to offer both a theoretical and historical grounding in curatorial practices and practical experience in exhibition organization and display and object research and preservation.  Every student enrolled in the certificate program will have the opportunity to work on an exhibition from inception to fruition, whether in the annual Curatorial Seminar or in faculty-supervised guided internships at the Artist’s Institute, or at cultural institutions beyond the College. Members of the Hunter faculty are actively engaged as curators for special projects at both local and international museums.


Several students per year are selected to receive stipends for a period of one semester at the École des Beaux Arts (Paris), Slade School (London), Glasgow School of Art, Scotland, Mohr Institute (Groningen, Holland) or Hochschule der Kunst (Berlin). Students must have passed Mid-Program Review to be eligible to participate. Applications are reviewed once a year in the Spring Semester for the following Fall and Spring Semesters.


Teaching assistantships are not paid positions and are offered for credit only. However, if a student simply wishes to gain teaching experience without using an elective credit, s/he may make an informal arrangement with a professor to assist in a class.


Within the Art and Art History Department and Hunter Galleries, there are opportunities for hourly paid work available to students. Gallery attendants, studio monitors and studio maintenance workers are hired each semester as needed. Students who are interested in these and other possibilities should inquire at the Leubsdorf Gallery office, the Art Department office and at the MFA Building office.



Students may apply to the MFA Faculty Committee for a leave of absence for up to one year. The one or two semesters that the student is on leave do not count towards the three year time limit for completing the MFA degree. Leaves are approved only for documented illness, maternity, military service, or other unusual circumstances. Any student who withdraws from active participation in the program for a semester without permission of the MFA Faculty Committee will be automatically dropped from the program. Any student who has been dropped from the program must apply for re-admission by submitting current work at the time of the mid-program review in the semester prior to readmission.


The MFA Program in Studio Art is located at 205 Hudson Street in Tribeca, a neighborhood known for its 19th century iron-clad facades and cobbled streets. Studios, workshops, classrooms and a large gallery occupy four floors of a converted printing building. 205 Hudson also houses common workshop areas including a woodworking shop, metal shop, clay studio, computer lab and a black and white and color photo darkrooms. A studio at 205 Hudson is assigned to all students matriculated in the MFA Program. The building has a loading dock and freight elevators, allowing for the easy entry of bulky and/or oversized materials. The building is accessible seven days a week from 7 AM to 1 AM throughout the year (24-hour access during preparation for Thesis Exhibition). Living in the studio is not permitted. Students are required to maintain a studio at 205 Hudson throughout their residency.


Located at 68th Street and Lexington Avenue in Manhattan, the main Hunter campus houses the offices of the Art and Art History Department, the Leubsdorf Art Gallery, and the Zabar Art Library, a dedicated library for art and art history students. Many graduate courses are held at the 68th Street campus. The undergraduate studio art program is located on the 11th floor of the Hunter North Building.

A typical studio space at 205 Hudson Street.