3160 Art & Design

Programs Offered:

  • Master of Arts in Art History
  • Dual B.A. in Art (Art History Concentration) / M.A. in Art History
  • Master of Art Education
  • Master of Fine Arts

Ernest G. Welch School of Art and Design
Georgia State University
P.O. Box 4107
Atlanta, GA 30302-4107
404-413-5229
artdesign.gsu.edu
E-mail: artgrad@gsu.edu

Michael White, Director
Craig Drennen, Director of Graduate Studies

The Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in art history prepares candidates for professional activities in museums, and galleries, and in the fields of historic preservation, conservation, and art criticism. The program also prepares students for graduate work at the doctoral level.

The Master of Art Education (M.A.Ed.) degree allows students to strengthen art content while developing skill in the teaching of art at all levels. Students who hold degrees in either art or art education and have obtained Tier 4 (T4) certification are encouraged to apply. The Master of Art Education program structure is based on a cohort group of students who progress through course work together. Both traditional master students with teaching certification and graduate students seeking certification may be included in the cohort. Graduate students seeking certification must complete some additional course work for certification as advised by graduate faculty based on the portfolio review. The program is designed so that graduates may pursue further study at the doctoral level.

Students seeking a graduate degree with certification may apply to the MAT in ArtEd. Candidates for the MAT may be asked to complete additional coursework as advised by graduate faculty based on the portfolio review.

The Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) degree program in studio arts is subdivided into the following areas of specialization: Ceramics (CER); Drawing and Painting (DP) ; Graphic Design (GRD); Interior Design (ID); Photography (PHOT); Printmaking (PRT); Sculpture (SCU); and Textiles (TXT). Each specialization requires course work within the discipline. Students should stay in close contact with their faculty advisers to determine which particular classes are best suited to their development as artists and designers.

All degree programs of the Welch School of Art and Design are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Applicants may obtain additional information about the Welch School of Art and Design by contacting the Director of Graduate Studies at the addresses above.

Application Procedures

The Welch School of Art and Design admits students from a variety of undergraduate backgrounds who have a record of academic excellence and demonstrated skill in a visual art discipline. The applicant must specify one of the above degrees and the area of concentration on the application form. Applicants interested in an assistantship should fill out an assistantship form and submit it with their application. All accepted applicants are considered for scholarships—no form is necessary.

Applications for the Art History and Studio programs are reviewed once a year, in the spring, for fall admissions. Applications for the M.A.Ed programs are reviewed in the spring (for fall admissions). Each applicant must satisfy the general requirements of the Office of Graduate Services of the College of Arts and Sciences. Incomplete or improperly prepared applications and portfolios will not be reviewed.

Additional Admission Requirements

In addition to the general requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Welch School of Art and Design have the following requirements:

M.A. Degree

Applicants for the M.A. degree must submit the following items:

  1. Three letters of recommendation. No form is required.
  2. A one-to-two-page statement of purpose describing current academic interests, proposed area of specialization, and long-range career goals. The statement should also explain how the art history graduate program at Georgia State will serve those interests and goals.
  3. A writing sample such as a term paper from an upper-level art history course.
  4. GRE scores.

The statement and writing sample should be included with the other application materials sent to the Office of Graduate Services, College of Arts and Sciences.

Specific admission requirements for the M.A. degree in art history include the following:

  1. A high standard of overall undergraduate achievement.
  2. Undergraduate coursework in art history. Applicants normally should have a minimum of five upper-level courses or the equivalent.

Applicants to the art history graduate program are also encouraged to meet personally with a member of the art history faculty.

Please note: Deadlines are not postmark deadlines but deadlines for completion of applications.

All materials must be in the College of Arts and Sciences Office of Graduate Services by the deadline. Due to the volume of applications submitted each year, a return receipt is highly recommended. It is also recommended that you submit all your materials a month in advance.

M.A.Ed. Degree (36 hours)

Applicants for the M.A.Ed. degree must submit the following items:

  1. Three letters of recommendation. No form is required.
  2. Statement of Intent: A one-to-two-page statement of purpose describing current academic interests, proposed area of specialization, and long-range career goals. The statement should also explain how the graduate program at Georgia State will serve those interests and goals.
    The letters of recommendation and the statement of intent should be included with the other application materials sent to the College of Arts and Sciences Office of Graduate Services.
  3. Portfolio: A successful portfolio demonstrates creativity and commitment in a cohesive body of work. The portfolio should contain both two- and three-dimensional work. It should reflect basic skills in drawing and design and sufficient advanced skill in one area. A total of twenty images should be submitted if the applicant is not a practicing art educator. If the applicant is a practicing art teacher, a minimum of ten images of personal studio work and up to ten images of student work are acceptable. Under no circumstances should more than twenty images be submitted. Examples of work by the applicant’s students should represent a variety of media and reflect quality in design, craftsmanship, originality, complexity, and historical or cultural content.
    Submission guidelines for the statement and portfolio preparation are the same as the M.F.A. degree (listed below).
  4. GRE or MAT scores.

Specific admission requirements for the M.A.Ed. degree include the following:

  1. An undergraduate major appropriate to the intended major at Georgia State University.
  2. A high standard of overall undergraduate achievement, usually a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.
  3. Proof of Tier 4 teaching certification (from Georgia or other state).

Applicants to the M.A.Ed. degree program who would like to supplement their portfolios before making official application are encouraged to enroll in the Welch School of Art and Design as post baccalaureate or non-degree graduate students. Application forms for post baccalaureate status may be requested from the Undergraduate Admissions Office at Georgia State University. Application forms for non-degree graduate status are available from the Office of Graduate Services of the College of Arts and Sciences, 404/413-5040. Applicants are encouraged to meet personally with a member of the art education faculty to familiarize themselves with requirements of the program before application.

Please note: Deadlines are not postmark deadlines but deadlines for completion of applications.

All materials must be in the College of Arts and Sciences Office of Graduate Services by the deadline. Due to the volume of applications submitted each year, a return receipt is highly recommended. It is also recommended that you submit all your materials a month in advance.

Program Financial Information

Effective summer 2009, lab fees will be assessed automatically for students who register for certain courses. As a result, students will no longer be required to purchase lab fee cards. For more information, please feel free to contact the department or review the GoSolar or catalog course listings to determine if a course includes a lab fee.

M.F.A. Degree:

Applicants for the M.F.A. degree must submit the following items:

  1. Three letters of recommendation. No form is required.
  2. A one-to-two-page statement of purpose describing current academic interests, proposed area of specialization, and long-range career goals. The statement should also explain how the graduate program at Georgia State would serve those interests and goals.
  3. Portfolio: A successful portfolio demonstrates creativity and commitment in a cohesive body of work. Admissions portfolios may include still images; film/video projects; musical performances/compositions; videos of acting/dance/performance.
    The portfolio may include one of the following:

    • 20 examples of work on CD
    • Film/video projects – DVD or Quicktime on CD. Six minutes maximum.
    • Musical performances/sound work/compositions. Six minutes maximum.
    • Videos of acting/dance/performance. Six minutes maximum.

Please do not send original work. Deadlines are not postmark deadlines but deadlines for completion of applications.

All materials must be in the College of Arts and Sciences Graduate Services Office by the deadline. It is recommended that you submit all your materials a month in advance.

Still image submissions:

Label all materials with name and area of study. Include no more than 20 images. Be sure to include the title of the work, date, medium and dimensions as part of your file and metadata. Include 20 images in JPEG format (150 DPI, 1500 pixels on greatest dimension).

Moving image/sound submissions:

Label all materials with name and area of study. Include no more than 6 minutes of audio-visual material. Work must be accompanied by a list with the title of the work, date, full running time, and the student’s role (e.g., director, actor, etc.) in each work and must be submitted in the appropriate file format for the medium.
If an applicant wishes to include a mixture of stills, sound, or moving images, then the materials will be divided evenly. For example, if still and moving images are submitted, 10 stills and 3 minutes of motion are allowed.

Degree Requirements

Master of Arts in Art History (36 hours)

The Master of Arts in Art History offers two tracks: a thesis track and a non-thesis track. Students declare which track they intend to pursue after having completed 18 hours of course work, with the art history faculty then determining whether or not they may continue in their chosen track. Students who do not have a GPA of at least 3.7 (A-) will generally not be allowed to continue in the program, and students who have not demonstrated sufficiently strong research and writing skills will not be allowed to pursue the thesis track. Students who plan to continue graduate work after the Master of Arts in Art History at Georgia State University are urged to pursue the thesis-track option.

Each student will be assigned an adviser upon acceptance into the program, but may change advisers contingent upon acceptance by the subsequent adviser. Students are responsible for making appointments with their advisers and for being familiar with the requirements for the degree. Students must work closely with their advisers to determine the best distribution of art history courses and the most pertinent electives, as well as to make sure that they correctly progress towards the degree.

All candidates for the Master of Arts degree in Art History must demonstrate a reading knowledge of either French or German. The language requirement should be fulfilled no later than the end of the first year (or 18 hours) of graduate work. This requirement may be adjusted by petition of the student if his/her major area of research requires learning a language other than French or German. The foreign language reading requirement may be satisfied by:

  1. Completing or providing evidence of completion of two years of college coursework in the requisite language.
  2. Passing a reading examination administered by the Department of World Languages and Cultures. The reading tests, offered once a semester, emphasize translation ability. Students are permitted to take the exam more than once, if necessary.
  3. Receiving a B or better in FREN 7151 French for Reading, GRMN 7151 German for Reading, or, with permission, SPAN 7151 Spanish for Reading.

Courses taken to satisfy the foreign language requirement will not count toward the total hours of coursework a student must take in order to obtain a degree. Graduate-level language courses can be taken as electives, and FREN 7151,GRMN 7151, or SPAN 7151 can be taken as an elective once the student has already fulfilled the foreign language reading requirement in another language.

Thesis Track (33 hours):
  1. Eighteen hours of coursework consisting of six art history lecture courses or seminars with a minimum of three seminars (AH 6000 or AH 8000 level).
  2. Three hours of AH 8010 Methodology and Historiography of Art.
  3. Six hours of electives in related areas
  4. Thesis proposal approved by the thesis committee.
  5. Six hours of AH 8999 Thesis Research.
  6. Thesis approved by the thesis committee.

(In regard to 4, 5, and 6, students should consult the latest art history thesis guidelines.)

Students should take at least one course in three of five general areas of study. These areas are: Ancient Art; Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque Art; Modern Art; Art of Africa and the African Diaspora; and Art of the Americas.

Non-Thesis Track (36 hours):
  1. Twenty-seven hours of coursework consisting of nine art history lecture courses or seminars with a minimum of four seminars (AH 6000 or AH 8000 level).
  2. Three hours of AH 8010 Methodology and Historiography of Art.
  3. Six hours of electives in related areas.

Students should take at least one course in three of five general areas of study. These areas are: Ancient Art; Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque Art; Modern Art; Art of Africa and the African Diaspora; and Art of Asia and the Americas.

Dual B.A. in Art (Art History Concentration) / M.A. in Art History

The department offers a dual Bachelor of Arts with an Art History concentration and Master of Arts in Art History. The dual degree opportunity enables qualified students to enroll in graduate courses late in their undergraduate program and apply the coursework toward both the bachelor’s and master’s programs.

Students must be formally accepted into the dual degree program by the department and College of Arts and Sciences to be able to take graduate courses as an undergraduate. Additionally, acceptance into the dual program does not constitute admission to the master’s program. Students must fulfill regular graduate admissions requirements and apply for the master’s program following college processes.

Information about the dual program, including application instructions and program requirements, can be found at cas.gsu.edu/dual-degrees/.

Master of Art Education (36 hours)

Course of Study
  1. Three hours of art history coursework
  2. Nine hours of coursework in a studio concentration
  3. Nine hours of 8000 level art education coursework
  4. Three hours of coursework in the area of the psychology of learning, to be selected from:
    • *EPY 7080 The Psychology of Learning and Learners (3)
    • EPY 7090 The Psychology of Learning and Learners: The Young Child (3)
  5. Three hours of coursework in the areas of philosophical and social foundations of education, to be selected from:
  6. Three hours of research methodology, to be selected from:
    • *EPRS 7900 Methods of Research in Education (3)
    • EPRS 7910 Action Research (3) (preferred)
    • EPRS 7920 Classroom Testing, Grading, and Assessment (3)
  7. Six hours of AE 8999, Thesis Research.

*These specific education courses are offered on-line and are aligned with the low-residency MAEd cohort program structure.

The thesis in art education may concentrate solely on an art education issue, or explore a studio or art history oriented problem that is tied to an art education issue. Research in art education may focus on action research in the candidate’s own classroom as well as other research methodologies. Thesis research that includes a thesis exhibition is also acceptable.

Master of Fine Arts, Studio (72 hours)

MFA with Concentrations in Ceramics (CER), Drawing and Painting (DP), Graphic Design (GRD), Interior Design (ID), Printmaking (PRT), Photography (PHOT), Sculpture (SCU), and Textiles (TXT)

In general, the requirements for an MFA are as follows:

Category of Work Units Required Description
Professional Development 12 Pedagogy, Teaching Practicum, Professional Practices, and Thesis Writing.
Studio-Specific Courses 30 Graduate Studio/Design Seminars and Graduate Studio/Design Practice
Electives 6 Variable – must be outside area of specialization, can be outside School of Art and Design
Art History 12 Graduate-level courses in Art History
Thesis 12 Intensive work with a thesis committee to prepare your written thesis and exit show, lecture, presentation, or screening
Total 72

All MFA candidates in CER, DP, PHOT, PRT, SCU, and TXT must complete a written thesis and an exit exhibition. Normally, ID and GRD students will also complete a written thesis and exit show, though there may be exceptions for those fields of study.

While there may be some variations, the MFA at the Ernest G. Welch School of Art and Design is a three-year degree. A typical three-year course of study will proceed as follows:

Fall, Year 1

Course Units Description
Pedagogy 3 Theory and practice of university-level teaching
Seminar for Studio Majors 3 Inter-disciplinary seminar focused on a particular research idea/topic
Art/Design Studio Practice 3 Discipline-specific art studio/design work and critique
Art History Seminar 3 Graduate-level Art History focused on a particular research topic *
Adviser-Recommended Class 3 Course for your specific needs/interests determined with your faculty adviser
Assistantship** 3 Time for assistantship duties

Spring, Year 1

Course Units Description
Teaching Practicum 3 In-class experience with university-level teaching
Seminar for Studio Majors 3 Inter-disciplinary seminar focused on a particular research idea/topic
Art/Design Studio Practice 3 Discipline-specific art studio/design work and critique
Art History Seminar 3 Graduate-level Art History focused on a particular research topic
Adviser-Recommended Class 3 Course for your specific needs/interests determined with your faculty adviser
Assistantship** 3 Time for assistantship duties

* For PHOT students, typically the first semester Art History course will be the Photo History Seminar. For ID students, typically the first semester Art History course will be the History of Interior Design. For GRD students, typically the first semester Art History course will be the history of Graphic Design.

** Assistantship hours do not count toward the 72 hours required for the MFA degree.

 24 Hour Review: At the end of your first year of study, you will undergo a review to determine your progress through the program. For more information on this process, see “24 Hour Review Process” in the policies section, below.

Summer, Year 1

Course Units Description
Assistantship** 12 Time for summer assistantship duties

Fall, Year 2

Course Units Description
Seminar for Studio Majors 3 Inter-disciplinary seminar focused on a particular research idea/topic
Art/Design Studio Practice 3 Discipline-specific art studio/design work and critique
Art History Seminar 3 Graduate-level Art History focused on a particular research topic
Elective 3 Course outside your area of specialization  – may be outside the School of Art and Design, with permission
Assistantship** 6 Time for assistantship duties

Spring, Year 2

Course Units Description
Professional Practices 3 Learn professional practices necessary to work as an MFA-level artist/designer
Seminar for Studio Majors 3 Inter-disciplinary seminar focused on a particular research idea/topic
Art/Design Studio Practice 3 Discipline-specific art studio/design work and critique
Art History Seminar 3 Graduate-level Art History focused on a particular research topic
Elective 3 Course outside your area of specialization  – may be outside the School of Art and Design, with permission
Assistantship** 3 Time for assistantship duties

 Choose Committee for MFA Thesis and Exit Show: At the end of your second year, you will choose your committee for your MFA thesis, submit your thesis topic, and begin planning your exit show. See “Thesis” and “Exit Show” in the policy section, below.

Summer, Year 2

Course Units Description
Assistantship** 12 Time for summer assistantship duties

Fall, Year 3

Course Units Description
Thesis Writing 3 Intensive graduate-level writing course for preparing your MFA thesis
Thesis Hours 6 Time for researching and writing your thesis and preparing your exit show
Assistantship** 9 Time for assistantship duties

Spring, Year 3

Course Units Description
Thesis Hours 6 Time for researching and writing your thesis and preparing your exit show
Assistantship** 12 Time for assistantship duties

Policies

The following policies are not exhaustive of the guidelines applicable to students in the Ernest G. Welch School of Art and Design. For a fuller list of policies, see the student handbook. The policies contained herein are only those that most directly impact the above-stated curriculum.

24 Hour Review Process

At the end of 24 hours of MFA course work, you will undergo a 24-hour review. This review will occur typically at the end of your first year of study. This review is meant to assess your progress, and to give you feedback on your strengths and weaknesses.

You will work with your faculty adviser to schedule an individual review. Scheduling of reviews will begin mid-Spring semester so that each candidate has an appointment time and day for the end of the semester. The review will consist of an overview of all the work you have produced as an MFA candidate in the first year of study. As a result, it is important for you to produce a body of work consistent with the expectations of your area of specialization. Each area will have a presentation preference (i.e. physical or digital) as well as a minimum/maximum number of works expected. It is your responsibility to work with your adviser to ensure that you follow the preferred format for your area. Your faculty adviser and members of your area of specialization will conduct a formal review and critique of your work. This is a critical assessment of your first year of production as well as your future potential as an MFA-level artist or designer. Your faculty adviser and review committee will also assess your readiness to pursue further course work needed to reach the thesis level. You must ensure that your work is of high quality and reflects your capabilities, vision, and voice. Each review is highly individualized, and will include opportunities for dialogue between you and your reviewers. You should be able to discuss and defend your work in a cogent, articulate, and professional manner. At the end of the process, the review committee will meet and come to a decision regarding the outcome. There are three possible decisions and outcomes for the review process:

Decision Outcome
Full Pass Proceed with course work under the supervision of your faculty adviser
Provisionary Pass You are on probation and must address the concerns of the committee. Typically, you will be given a remediation plan. Failure to complete this satisfactorily will result in dismissal from the program. Students receiving a provisionary pass must apply for and complete another review to be readmitted to full status. Typically, students must wait until the start of the following Fall semester to reapply for review
Failure Students who fail the 24-hour review will be dismissed from the program immediately and may not apply for re-entry to that program.

In order to document the outcome of your review, you will submit a copy of the Graduate Review Record to the department graduate office. The Graduate Review Record is used to track your progress through the various steps toward graduation including your 24-hour review. The form is available in the student handbook.

Thesis

MFA candidates normally are required to complete a written thesis. At the end of the second year of course work, candidates will constitute a thesis committee and will submit a thesis topic to their faculty advisers for approval. Committees will consist of at least three faculty members, two of whom must be from the Ernest G. Welch School of Art and Design. The proposal must be a written document that cogently states the topic the candidate wishes to pursue and should include an overview of the relevant scholarship on the subject.

The thesis is a scholarly document meant to reflect your research. As such, it should be well written and carefully argued, and should meet the highest academic standards. Theses not meeting these expectations will be refused, which will result in graduation delays and may result in the withholding of the MFA degree. In addition to these departmental expectations, each thesis must conform to the formatting guidelines set out by Georgia State University and the Board of Regents, as well as the submission deadlines established each year. The guidelines for theses at GSU undergo periodic revision, so it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that they follow the guidelines published by Graduate Services. Failure to meet published guidelines and/or deadlines will result in delays and may result in the withholding of the MFA degree.

Document Minimum Requirements
Thesis Proposal Prepare a cogent statement of the proposed topicInclude a thorough overview of the relevant scholarship on the subjectSubmit at the end of the second year of course workReceive approval of faculty adviser and thesis committee
Written Thesis Present a well written, carefully argued documentMeet academic standards for theses in your areaConform to published GSU and BOR guidelinesMeet all published submission deadlinesReceive approval of faculty adviser and thesis committee

Exit Show

Thesis candidates typically are required to carry out an exit show at the end of the third year of the MFA program. The exit show is not meant as a recapitulation of the student’s career as an artist or designer. It is meant to show the work carried out in thesis. In some cases, the exit show may consist of a public lecture, presentation, or screening. In all cases, the thesis committee will approve the final form of the show, lecture,  presentation, or screening, to ensure that it conforms to best practices in each area of specialization.

Candidates will work closely with their faculty advisers and committee members to determine the content and scope of the show. This collaboration is not meant to censure the exhibition or to impinge in any way on the academic freedom of the candidate. The dialogue fostered by this process is meant as a teaching and mentoring opportunity in which experienced faculty members help introduce the candidate to the rigorous professionalism expected of MFA-level artists and designers. Each candidate must work with the Gallery Director to schedule the show. Students are required to prepare, mount, and hang their own shows as well as to produce all necessary collateral materials. Once the show has closed, students are responsible for taking down the show and restoring the gallery to its proper condition. Each exit show is unique to the student; determining what is necessary and appropriate must be a collaborative effort between the candidate and the committee. Like the thesis, the work offered for the exhibition should meet the highest academic standards for works in the student’s area. The exit show is not a pro forma exercise. It is an integral part of the curriculum; failure to complete the show in a satisfactory manner (including, but not limited to, abiding by appropriate gallery regulations) may result in the withholding of the MFA degree. Each candidate’s committee and faculty adviser will critique the final show in order to ensure that it meets appropriate standards of professionalism. Failure to secure final committee and faculty adviser approval for the exit show may result in withholding of the MFA degree.

Minimum Requirements
Exit Show Meet the academic standards of the area of specialization, both in the quality of work and in the design of your showFinalize the content and scope of exhibition in collaboration with your faculty adviser and committeeSchedule the show with the Gallery Director according to established timelinesFollow all gallery rules and regulationsPrepare, mount and hang your own showDe-install your show and return the gallery to its proper condition.