Is a masters in fine art worth it? A graduate degree program called a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) gives you the chance to concentrate on a particular area of the arts, such as creative writing, studio painting, or theater.
There are several benefits to earning a master’s degree in fine arts, such as having concentrated time to devote to your trade, getting feedback from peers and professionals, and developing your skill set. Furthermore, after earning your Masters in Fine Art (MFA) degree, you can be eligible for extra opportunities.
Discover the specialties for which you can get a Masters in Fine Arts (MFA), the advantages of enrolling in a Masters in Fine Art (MFA) program, and the potential salary you could make once you graduate.
Masters in Fine art
What is a master’s in fine art degree?
A master’s degree in fine art (MFA) indicates that a professional artist has completed a series of demanding courses in their field of expertise and that they are skilled in their chosen craft, whether it be a technologically demanding field like graphic design or film editing or a technology-free art form like drawing. A master’s in fine art (MFA) is a graduate-level credential, therefore to obtain one, you normally need to have completed your undergraduate studies.
A master’s degree in fine arts (MFA) enables students to hone their artistic principles and inventive methods while improving the standard of their work to make it more distinctive, polished, and engaging. A master’s degree in fine arts (MFA) has also offered students the qualifications they need to instruct courses in their art form at colleges and universities, as well as the depth of knowledge in their field that allows them to provide insightful criticism.
A master’s in fine art (MFA) is a degree that emphasizes courses in a particular area of the arts, such as the performing, visual, or literary arts, or design. Many MFAs are regarded as terminal degrees, which means they are the highest degrees you may obtain in the field. As a result, the degree frequently entitles you to pursue other chances in your profession as well as teaching at the university level.
Areas and concentration
There are numerous fine arts-related fields in which you can obtain a master’s in fine arts (MFA). That covers both artistic disciplines like fiction writing, acting, and sculpture as well as more technical-creative ones like stage design and film production.
- Visual Arts
You can specialize in pottery, sculpture, drawing, painting, illustration, photography, and metalsmithing in a visual arts school (also known as studio arts). You will have a dedicated area to focus on your skill while networking with other students and exchanging resources if you enroll in a visual arts program, which frequently includes studio time.
- Media Arts
You can learn about the making of documentary or fiction films, as well as directing, cinematography, and scriptwriting, in a media arts program. As part of your degree requirements, you’ll most likely have the chance to make a small or significant contribution to a short or feature-length movie.
You can study graphic design, game design, illustration, industrial design, and communication design in a program for designers. Technology-related classes can help you become more proficient at using a variety of digital tools, while art courses can help you develop your creative process.
- Creative writing
You can choose to focus on fiction, nonfiction, or poetry in a creative writing program. You’ll likely participate in workshops where instructors and other students will offer feedback on your work to improve your craft.
You can choose to study fashion design, costume design, or textiles in a fashion program. You will put a lot of effort into designing your designs in addition to taking lectures-heavy classes about fashion history and style.
- Performing Arts
You can study theater, acting, dance, directing, stage management, and dramaturgy in a performing arts program. A performing arts program will frequently give you the chance to hone your skills and get involved in live performances both on and off campus.
Masters in fine arts (MFA) program types
Two different master’s in fine arts (MFA) degree programs are typically offered by graduate schools:
- Low-Residency Programs
Because students learn primarily online with sporadic visits to campus, low-residency programs tend to be more flexible.
- High-Residency Programs
Since students complete all of their coursework on campus and are thus more fully immersed in the community, high-residency programs tend to be more involved.
Both low- and high-residency programs include coursework to support your professional development and artistic ambitions. Consider the type of residency each potential master of fine arts (MFA) school offers as well as how they can meet your more extensive demands and ambitions.
Time and Cost
While every school is different, it typically takes two to three years to earn a master’s in fine arts (MFA) if you can enroll full-time. The price of a master’s in fine arts (MFA) degree varies according to your program’s residence level and whether you attend a public or private university. A master’s in fine arts (MFA) degree could cost anywhere between $24,000 and $73,000 in 2022. There are options to help reduce the expense of graduate school, including assistantships, scholarships, and grants.
What advantages do master’s in fine arts (MFA) degrees have?
Your ability to hone your talent, advance professionally, and learn more about the artistic sector you’ve chosen can all be aided by pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree. The program is frequently seen as a chance to develop your portfolio, connect with peers and professionals, learn new skills, and benefit from mentorship and fellowship opportunities. Your master’s in fine arts (MFA) may also improve your employment prospects and set you up for a variety of career possibilities.
Other advantages are:
- A greater level of professional development
- Gaining new expertise in your field
- Concentrated time for art-making
- Chances for teaching at a university or college
- The chance to get feedback from experienced peers
What criteria must you meet to apply for a master’s in fine arts (MFA)?
While each university has its requirements, the majority of master’s in fine arts (MFA) programs demand that applicants hold a bachelor’s degree, which need not necessarily be in the same field. A portfolio or performance audition is typically required for a master’s in fine arts (MFA) program as well. You’ll often require a copy of your college transcripts from your prior program(s), a resume or CV, three letters of recommendation, an artist statement, and an application fee, much like any graduate program.
- Creative Portfolio
A portfolio or performance audition will allow you to demonstrate your creative abilities. You will provide a sample of your work that best demonstrates your skills in that medium with your application. For a concentration in studio art, you might submit a portfolio of your work, or for a concentration in creative writing, you might submit a writing sample. Applicants for performing arts positions are frequently required to provide a CV and headshot. The dates and times of each school’s forthcoming auditions will be announced.
Masters in Fine Arts vs Masters in Arts
The Master in Arts (MA) and the Master in Fine Arts (MFA) are both master’s degrees, however, they are not similar. Here is a breakdown of those variations.
|Masters in Fine Arts||Masters in Arts|
A practice-based degree is the Master in Fine Arts. It has a more specialized focus than the master’s in arts (MA) and may take longer to finish. The program is more practical and focuses on a single artistic specialty. The masters in fine arts (MFA) is likewise regarded as a final degree.
|The Master in Arts is a degree that concentrates on humanities or social science topics. Critical thinking and original research are frequently required for the degree, which normally takes two years to complete. The masters in art MA is not a final qualification, however, holders may go on to study for a Phd.|
Salary forecasts and employment growth of Masters in Fine Arts
You can pursue a career in your chosen field, such as costume design, novel writing, or film production, after earning a master’s in fine arts (MFA). You can also teach at the university level because the degree is terminal.
Holders of a master’s in fine arts (MFA) earn an average salary of $64,000 . Your pay will vary according to your profession, the sector you work in, where you live, the employer you work for, and your years of experience. You may take a closer look at the typical wages for master in fine arts (MFA) degree holders in the following table:
|Career Options||Average Us Salary|
The need for master’s in fine arts (MFA) graduates varies by discipline. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that between 2020 and 2030, there will be a 14% rise in work possibilities for craft and fine artists. This is quicker than the average growth rate for all US jobs, which is 8%. The employment of writers and authors (9 percent), actors (32 percent), museum curators (19 percent), and postsecondary professors is also anticipated to rise in the field of fine arts (12 percent).
Things to consider when choosing a masters in fine arts program
The masters in fine art (MFA) is the final professional degree in the visual arts, and as such, it not only aids in your artistic development but also qualifies you to teach at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, ensuring your financial security.
But there are many factors to take into account while deciding where to earn your master’s in fine arts (MFA). To select the ideal fit for you and your artistic objectives, you should study the top master in fine arts (MFA) programs and then learn more about each one.
- Faculty: Find a Mentor
Investigating the faculty is the first piece of advice. It’s important to build ties with faculty advisors both during and after your time in the program. Look at the research of the professors at the leading universities. Focus on the MFA programs for fine arts where there are two or three faculty members you would like to have in-depth interactions with.
Pick a master of fine arts program where the instructors are active participants in the regional and international art scenes. Such instructors not only assist you in developing your artistic practice, but they may also direct you when you enter the art industry based on their personal experiences and connections.
- Type of School: Choose the Educational Setting that Is Best for You.
A fine arts degree can be obtained through a public, private, or art school; each one can offer a completely different kind of experience. Therefore, consider the type of educational environment that is best for you.
You’ll be surrounded by a culture of making if you attend an art or design school; designers and artists will be working all around you.
You might also have access to more art-making resources at an art school than you would at a university.
- Location: Pick a Neighborhood Where You Can Develop Your Talent.
It’s critical to think about what kind of cultural and social setting will enable you to flourish as an artist because engaging with the local community is a vital component of your master of fine arts study.
When picking a school, the location is important.
- Culture needs to be criticized: Think About the Kind of Input You Need to Improve.
The core of graduate art education is studio critique. Your artistic practice will be advanced by the critical input you get during critiques from the professors, visiting artists, and your student cohort. However, each institution has a unique method for providing this input. ” Learn about the master of fine arts (MFA) program’s critiquing culture. “Ask yourself, ‘How can I use my work to develop my critical thinking skills using this program?'” Will it help me to make my voice louder?
- Think about where you want your artistic career to go in ten years for alumni success.
Alumni achievement is a major factor in choosing a master’s in fine arts (MFA) program. Take a look at where recent program graduates are in their careers. “Throughout their lengthy histories, most institutions have produced significant artists, but learning about a masters in fine arts (MFA) program by studying the work and careers of younger artists can be quite instructive. Finding out if a masters in fine arts is worth it for you can be done in this way.
List of universities that offers fully funded scholarship for masters in fine arts (MFA)
Finding masters in fine arts (M.F.A.) programs with full funding can be challenging. Masters in fine arts (M.F.A.) candidates may find it more difficult to find scholarships and funding because Ph.D. students often receive the majority of university funding. There are, however, a few colleges that do provide financed master’s degrees. Full-time students who receive “complete financing” receive full tuition reimbursement as well as an annual stipend or compensation for the duration of their master’s study. Typically, funding is provided in exchange for graduate teaching and research projects that are related to your course of study. I advise examining the financial assistance options of all potential masters in fine arts (M.F.A.) programs in your academic discipline, including local and lesser-known universities because not all universities provide full funding to their master’s students.
- University of California
- Alfred University
- University of North Carolina
- Michigan State University
- Northwestern University
- Ohio State University.
- Oregon University
- University of South Florida
- Stanford University
- Tulane University
- University of Wisconsin – Madison
A masters in fine arts is worth it because it is one of the greatest strategies to advance your artistic career. There are many opportunities embedded in the masters of fine arts. A master’s degree in the fine arts (MFA) aids artists in developing confidence and technical proficiency, whether they are painters or dancers.
Despite the fierce competition in the arts and the reality that unless a person achieves great accomplishment, they are unlikely to become wealthy, these professions continue to draw hordes of both men and women. Many people are drawn to professions in the fine arts because they offer a high degree of liberty and self-expression as well as the ongoing challenge of creating original and significant work. A Master of Fine Arts degree, or MFA, could be appealing to artists who are motivated to become authorities in their field, which is why a masters in fine arts is worth it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to pursue a Masters in fine arts?
- Being certified to teach at both the undergraduate and graduate levels with a master’s in fine arts (MFA), the terminal professional degree in fine arts, will not only help you advance as an artist but also secure your financial future. But there are many factors to take into account while deciding where to earn your master’s in fine arts (MFA).
Which country is best for master’s in fine arts?
- The best countries for students to study fine arts are the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, and Australia.
Are masters in fine arts (MFA) programs competitive?
- However, admission to masters in fine arts (MFA) programs is extremely selective, with only a small proportion of candidates being accepted each year. As a result, creating a good application requires a lot of strategy, investigation, concentration, and time.
You can also read, “Is a masters in architecture worth it in 2022?”