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Art

College of the Arts

A CSULB student works on an art project

ART - Graduate Programs

Master of Arts in Art (code ART_MA01)

Master of Fine Arts in Art (code ART_MF01)

At the graduate level, the Department of Art offers, and regularly admits students into graduate degree programs with concentrations as follows:

  • Master of Arts degree in Art (code ART_MA01) with Concentration in Art Education (32 units)
  • Master of Arts degree in Art (code ART_MA01) with Concentration in Art History (39 units)
  • Master of Fine Arts degree in Art (code ART_MF01) with Concentration in Studio Art (60 units)

Additionally, the Department of Art offers, and occasionally accepts students into a program of study leading to the Master of Arts degree in Art (code ART_MA01) with Concentration in Studio Art (33 units)
In all Department of Art graduate degrees, the student develops a personalized program of study within established curricular parameters, and with the consultation and approval of the student’s Thesis or Project committee. In the MFA, The student develops a personalized program of study within one of thirteen discipline-specific curricular tracks including Ceramics, two Drawing and Painting tracks, Fibers, Illustration/Animation, Metals, Photography, three Printmaking tracks, Sculpture/4D, Visual Communication Design, and Wood.

Departmental Review Process

Admission to a degree program at CSULB is a two-part process that requires application to and acceptance by both the University and the Department of Art into a specific degree program. (See the detailed information on CSULB graduate application and admission requirements earlier in this catalog.)

For graduate programs, the Department of Art accepts applications for Fall admission only, with applications being accepted January 1 through 31. Application forms are available on the web (www.art.csulb.edu).

Department of Art application materials must be sent to the Department of Art Student Services Office, FA4 – 106. University Application must be made to the CSULB Office of Enrollment Services, Brotman Hall. Call (562) 985-4145 or 1655 to obtain a CSU application booklet, or apply online at www.csumentor.edu There is a $55.00 fee for the University application process. (Do not send the Department of Art this fee; we will send it back to you.)

Some art programs may conduct applicant interviews, in which case they will contact you directly. Acceptance decisions are normally sent out by March 15th.

Acceptance to a degree program in Art: After submitting the Department of Art application materials, those who pass the program review are recommended by the faculty to be admitted as either Classified or Conditionally Classified. A Classified Graduate has satisfied all prerequisites. A Conditionally Classified Graduate has outstanding prerequisites to complete. Acceptance is not complete until the applicant has received both notification of acceptance from the Department of Art and a formal letter of acceptance from the CSULB Office of Enrollment Services.

NOTE: The Department of Art requires a GPA of 3.0 in upper-division (junior and senior level) art prerequisite units for acceptance to our graduate program. All applicants must be accepted by the Department of Art in order to be officially accepted by the University. There is no fee for the departmental application process.

International Students must be accepted by the Department of Art and pass the TOEFL examination (minimum score of 550) before they can be admitted to the University. International students must apply to CSULB through the Center for International Education at (562) 985-5476.

CSU general requirements include: a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution; a grade point average of at least 2.5 in the last 60 semester units taken; and good standing at the last college attended.

MA and MFA Prerequisites

An applicant may be accepted if, in addition to having satisfied specific prerequisites set by the Department of Art for each degree concentration, the applicant has satisfied the minimum university standards found in the Admission section of this catalog.

Special Action: In rare and compelling circumstances, an applicant who doesn't qualify for admission under the previous provisions may be admitted by special action if on recommendation of the appropriate faculty of the department/college concerned and in the judgment of the Associate Vice President for Graduate and Undergraduate Programs or his/her designee there exists acceptable evidence that the applicant possesses sufficient academic, professional, and other potential pertinent to her/his educational objectives to merit such action, as shown through aptitude scores, recent academic performance, and experiential background.

Prerequisites for the Degree Concentrations

NOTE: Courses taken as prerequisites for a graduate degree may not be counted toward the graduate degree program of study.

An applicant who has deficiencies in prerequisites for a concentration, but who in the judgment of the Department of Art can meet these prerequisites with additional preparation specified at time of admission, may be admitted with conditionally classified graduate standing. Students who have deficiencies in prerequisites for a concentration, but who are willing to engage in additional preparation to meet prerequisites, are encouraged to apply.

Art Education Prerequisites

Applicants must complete 36 units of coursework approved by the Art Education faculty, and to include:

  • 15 units upper-division units approved by the Art Education faculty
  • 9 upper-division units of Art or Education electives
  • 12 units Art History (6 may be lower-division, 6 must be upper-division).

Applicant must have a minimum 3.0 GPA in prerequisite courses.

Art History Prerequisites

Applicants must complete 36 units of coursework approved by the Art History faculty, and to include:

  • 3 units from AH 447 or 547 Historiography of Art History
  • 3 units from AH 448, 449, 450, 548, 549,or 550 (theory/criticism courses)
  • 9 units additional upper-division Art History
  • 9 units upper-division Art or Art History electives
  • 12 units (or the equivalent) of foreign language.

Applicant must have a minimum 3.0 GPA in prerequisite courses.

NOTE: Art History applicants should have completed at least two years (or a minimum of 12 units) of college-level French or German with an average grade of “B” or better. Students without this preparation are advised that all students accepted for the Art History MA must pass the In-house Foreign Language Exam within the first three semesters of study. (With approval from the Art History faculty, another language may be substituted.)

Studio Art Prerequisites

The Department of Art prefers, but does not require, that Studio Art applicants have undergraduate degrees in art, Application to our graduate programs is competitive and most applicants to the studio programs will have an undergraduate degree in art, many with a BFA in their chosen media. For Studio Art admissions, the part of the application that is given the most weight is the portfolio of work. The Department of Art invites all applicants who feel they have strong portfolios to apply. If faculty feel the application is strong, but the applicant needs additional preparatory work, the Department of Art may admit the applicant with conditionally classified graduate standing, with specific prerequisites stated on a case-by-case basis at the time of admission.

Departmental Application Requirements

January 1 through 31 prior to the fall term for which the applicant seeks admission, applicant must submit departmental application materials as follows:

Art Education: Department of Art application, statement of purpose, writing sample, portfolio of studio work, transcripts, and two letters of recommendation

Art History: Department of Art application, statement of purpose, writing sample, transcripts, and two letters of recommendation

Studio Art: Department of Art application, statement of purpose, portfolio of studio work, transcripts, and two letters of recommendation

A faculty list is available on the website; contact the appropriate professor if you need particular information on a specific program.

Transcripts

When you formally apply to the University, two official (sealed) sets are required; send one to Enrollment Services and one to the Department of Art.

Transfer Units

Transfer units are allowed on a case-by-case basis. With faculty approval, up to 12 post-baccalaureate units from another university may be accepted into the MA degree program and up to 24 units (for example, from a previous MA degree) into the MFA degree program. In the case of an existing MA degree from CSULB with a concentration in Studio Art, up to 30 units may be accepted into the MFA degree.

MA and MFA Degree Requirements

  • 1. A minimum overall GPA of 3.0, with no grade below a "C".
  • 2. Successful fulfillment of the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) by passing the Writing Proficiency Examination (WPE), usually completed in the first semester in residence at CSULB and required to be fulfilled prior to Advancement to Candidacy. Students unable to pass the WPE may be able to fulfill the requirement by completing a special GWAR course.
  • 3. Successful completion of an Advancement to Candidacy review. Reviews generally occur when a student has completed between one third and one half of the units required for the degree, and require the submission of a complete list of coursework for the degree. Additional advancement requirements:
    • Art Education majors satisfy assigned written topics and prepare an oral defense of their research.
    • Art History majors present a qualifying paper and satisfy the language requirement in either French or German (or an approved substitution).
    • Studio Art majors participate in a group exhibition in the Art Department galleries and present an oral defense of their work.

If all scheduled units for the MA or MFA degree have been completed but the final written component has not been approved and submitted, registration in GS-700 (1 unit, no credit) through University Extension is required in order to maintain in enrollment until the semester of graduation. Care should be taken not to exceed the University limit of seven years for all masters’ degrees.

Additional information may be found in the “Department of Art Graduate Guidelines,” given to each student accepted into a master’s program.

Art Education Concentration for the MA

32 units of approved graduate and upper-division units to include:

  • 2 units ART 509A or 509B Research in Art Education
  • 6 units ART 601A and 601B Seminar in Art Education
  • 6 units Art 695 (field problems) or 697 (directed study)
  • 6 units of graduate level Art History beyond the 12 units taken as prerequisites, to complete a cumulative total of 18 units
  • 6 units elective Art, Art Education, or Art History
  • 6 units ART 698A Thesis or Project, with student completing a Thesis, or combination of Project, Project Report and Comprehensive Exam, as culminating experience within degree program.

At least 20 of the 32 units must be 500/600 level courses taken at CSULB.

Art History Concentration for the MA

39 units of approved graduate upper-division units to include:

  • 3 units 546 Art History Methodologies and Writing
  • 9 units AH 597 Seminar in Art History
  • 15 units approved graduate-level or upper-division Art History
  • 6 units approved graduate-level or upper-division Art or Art History
  • 6 units AH 698 Thesis as culminating experience within degree program.

At least 24 of the 39 required units must be 500/600 level courses taken at CSULB.

Graduate-level or upper-division courses in other CSULB departments may be approved as course substitutions with approval of student’s Thesis Committee.

Advancement to candidacy is contingent upon satisfactory completion of an approved qualifying paper, and satisfying foreign language proficiency requirements.

Museum and Curatorial Studies Emphasis for the Art History MA

39 units of approved graduate-level or upper-division units to include:

  • 3 units AH 546 Art History Methodologies and Writing
  • 3 units AH 530 Introduction to Curatorial Practices
  • 3 units AH 531 History of Museums and Exhibitions
  • 3 units AH 539 Art of Mid to Late Twentieth Century
  • 3 units AH 545A Exhibition Practicum
  • 3 units AH 545B Exhibition Practicum
  • 3 units AH 545C Exhibition Practicum
  • 3 units AH 545D Exhibition Practicum
  • 6 units AH 597 Seminar in Art History
  • 3 units AH 597 Seminar in Art History or AH 542 Internship in Museum Studies
  • 6 units AH 698 Thesis as culminating experience within degree program.

Studio Art Concentration for the MA

33 units of approved graduate and upper division units to include:

  • 21 units Art
  • 6 units graduate-level Art History
  • 6 units ART 698B Studio Project as culminating experience within degree program.

Studio Art Concentration for the MFA

60 units of approved graduate and upper-division units. At least 36 units must be in 500/600 levels taken at CSULB. Transferred units are allowed on a case-by-case basis. At least 39 units must be in studio courses. No more than 3 units of ART 693 (teaching internship) may be applied to degree.

Students are admitted into discipline-specific tracks. All students take a core of 21 units. Each student takes an additional 39 units of approved coursework according to the track into which the student was admitted.
Additional information, expectations, recommendations and guidelines for each track are included in the “Department of Art Graduate Guidelines” given to each student accepted into the MFA Concentration, and available upon request to applicants.

MFA Core Requirements

  • 6 units of graduate-level Art History.
  • 9 units of ART 694 (Graduate Studies: Directed Studio) taken with members of student’s Project Committee beginning four semesters prior to completion of degree, or semester prior to advancement, which ever comes sooner. (Student must continue to enroll in 3 units of ART694 per semester for all semesters between advancement and semester of MFA project.)
  • 6 units of ART 699 (Graduate Studies: MFA Project) taken in the final semester with members of student’s Project Committee.

MFA Tracks

In addition to the MFA Core requirements, each MFA student takes 39 additional approved units according to the following discipline-based tracks into which students are admitted. NOTE: All 597, 598 and 599-numbered courses are studio-oriented variable-topic graduate courses, each with a discipline-specific focus, but with specific topic and structure varying from term to term.

Ceramics Track:

12 units from ART 597A, 598A, 599A (Ceramics); 6 units from any ART 597, 598 or 599 course; ART 681 or 683 (seminars in theory/criticism); ART 682 or 684 (seminars in professional practice); 15 units approved graduate-level or upper-division coursework.

Drawing and Painting Contemporary Practices Track:

12 units from ART 597K, 598K, 599K (Painting); 6 units from any ART 597, 598 or 599 course; ART 681 (seminar in theory/criticism), 682 (seminar in professional practice); 15 units approved graduate-level or upper-division coursework.

Drawing and Painting Figurative Track:

12 units from ART 597L, 598L, 599L (Life Drawing and Painting); 6 units from any ART 597, 598 or 599 course; ART 681 (seminar in theory/criticism), 682 (seminar in professional practice); 15 units approved graduate-level or upper-division coursework.

Fiber Track:

12 units from ART 597N, 598N, 599N (Fiber); 6 units from any ART 597, 598 or 599 course; ART 681 (seminar in theory/criticism), 682 (seminar in professional practice); 15 units approved graduate-level or upper-division coursework.

Illustration/Animation Track:

12 units from ART 597F, 598F, 599F (Illustration/Animation); 6 units from any ART 597, 598 or 599 course; ART 683 (seminar in theory/criticism), 684 (seminar in professional practice); 15 units approved graduate-level or upper-division coursework.

Metal Track:

12 units from ART 597J, 598J, 599J (Metal); 6 units from any ART 597, 598 or 599 course; ART 681 or 683 (seminars in theory/criticism) ; ART 682 or 684 (seminars in professional practice); 15 units approved graduate-level or upper-division coursework.

Photography Track:

12 units from ART 597V, 598V, 599V (Photography); 6 units from any ART 597, 598 or 599 course; 6 units ART 680 (interdisciplinary critique); ART 681 (seminar in theory/criticism), 682 (seminar in professional practice); 3 units from ART 536A (video), 550 (intermedia/installation), or 680 (interdisciplinary critique); 6 units approved graduate or upper-division coursework.

Printmaking Track A:

12 units from ART 597R, 598R, 599R (Printmaking); 6 units from any ART 597, 598 or 599 course; ART 681 or 683 (seminars in theory/criticism) ; ART 682 or 684 (seminars in professional practice); 15 units approved graduate-level or upper-division coursework.

Printmaking Track B:

12 units from ART 597R, 598R, 599R (Printmaking); 6 units from any ART 597, 598 or 599 course; 3 units from ART 597D (Drawing), 597L (Life Drawing and Painting) or 597F (Illustration/Animation); ART 681 or 683 (seminars in theory/criticism) ; ART 682 or 684 (seminars in professional practice); 3 units from ART 373, 384 or 481 (drawing courses); ART 481 or 484 (drawing courses); 3 units from ART 492F (life drawing), 499F (illustration) or 693 (teaching internship); 3 units approved graduate-level or upper-division coursework.

Printmaking Track C:

12 units from ART 597R, 598R, 599R (Printmaking); 6 units from any ART 597, 598 or 599 course; ART 681 or 683 (seminars in theory/criticism) ; ART 682 or 684 (seminars in professional practice); ART 575 (Printmaking: Photo and Digital Processes); ART 340 or 349 (photography or computer art); 3 units from ART 449 (experimental photography), 506A (digital imagery), or 693 (teaching internship); 3 units from ART 506B (digital imagery), 573 (Seminar in Photo-based Art), or 693 (teaching internship); 3 units from ART 499 (special studies), 514 (documentary photography) or 680 (interdisciplinary critique).

Sculpture/4D Track:

12 units from ART 597O, 598O, 599O (Sculpture/4D); 6 units from any ART 597, 598 or 599 course; ART 680 (interdisciplinary critique), ART 681 (seminar in theory/criticism), 682 (seminar in professional practice); 3 units from ART 536A (video), 550 (intermedia/installation), or 680 (interdisciplinary critique); 9 units approved graduate or upper-division coursework.

Visual Communication Design Track:

12 units from ART 597S, 598S, 599S (Visual Communication Design); 6 units from any ART 597, 598 or 599 course; ART 683 (seminar in theory/criticism), 684 (seminar in professional practice); 15 units approved graduate-level or upper-division coursework.

Wood Track:

12 units from ART 597B, 598B, 599B (Wood); 6 units from any ART 597, 598 or 599 course; ART 681 or 683 (seminars in theory/criticism) ; ART 682 or 684 (seminars in professional practice); 15 units approved graduate-level or upper-division coursework.

Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies (code ART_CT02)

The Certificate Program in Museum Studies is primarily directed toward graduate students in Art History and the visual arts, but does not exclude students in other fields. The specifically tracked course of study has an emphasis placed primarily on contemporary art.

A student may pursue the Certificate Program in Museum Studies as a program of study in itself, or in combination with a program of study directed toward the achievement of one of the department’s degrees. A student may, with approval of both the Museum Studies Program and the student’s Project or Thesis Committee, count up to 15 units of coursework toward both the degree and the certificate.

Admission to the program is by permission of the Museum Studies faculty and the head of the Art History Program. Applicants wishing to pursue the Certificate Program in Museum Studies should apply for the desired degree program during the regular Department of Art graduate application window of January 1 through 31, and should indicate interest in pursuing the Certificate Program in Museum Studies concurrently.

Applicants wishing to pursue the Certificate Program in Museum Studies separate from a degree program should contact the Department of Art Graduate Advisor.

Requirements

A total of 30 units to include:

  • 3 units AH 530 Introduction to Curatorial Practices
  • 3 units AH 531 History of Museums and Exhibitions
  • 3 units AH 542 Internship in Museum Studies
  • 3 units AH 539 Art of Mid to Late Twentieth Century
  • 3 units AH 545A Exhibition Practicum
  • 3 units AH 545B Exhibition Practicum
  • 3 units AH 545C Exhibition Practicum
  • 3 units AH 545D Exhibition Practicum
  • 3 units AH 597 Seminar in Art History
  • 3 units from AH 547 or 550 (historiography or theory/criticism mid-twentieth century to present), or approved substitution.