MFA Summary

  1. Achieve Classified Standing
    This applies only to those few students admitted "Conditionally Classified”.  Those who are in this position should contact the Graduate Advisor to review their program. 


  2. Clear English Competency Requirement

    All graduate students are required to fulfill the requirement demonstrating English competency.  This should be completed the first semester of attendance at SJSU.  It may be satisfied by one of the following:

    • Passing a University examination designated for this purpose.
    • Taking (and passing) one of the Art department's Art History or seminar courses
           that has been approved by the University Graduate Studies office as fulfilling
           this requirement: ART 210, 282A, 282B, ARTH 270, 271 ,273, 275, 276, 278,291

    NOTE:  If you have an undergraduate degree at any CSU, this requirement is automatically satisfied.


  3. Departmental Request for Candidacy | see Forms

    This is not to be confused with the MFA Adavancement to Candidacy Review.

    The Request for Candidacy may be filed after completing 9 units in graduate standing and must be completed no later than February 1st to graduate the following December and October 1st to graduate the following May. Candidacy represents the formalization of your graduate program.  It is a form on which you list the classes you will take and when you will take them.  Changes can be made, if necessary, but since the Candidacy form represents a contract between you and the University it should be filed as soon as possible (after completing 9 units) in case the University changes any of the requirements that exists in the current catalog.  You should file the Candidacy form before applying for the Advancement to Candidacy Review.  Forms are available on-line, as above and in the Art Graduate Office, ART 125, and must be approved by both the Art Graduate office and the University Graduate Studies office.


  4. First Year Review

    This Review is held at the end of the first year and involves faculty and students from the four areas. Times are announced by the middle of the Spring semester and you will be notified via the Graduate Listserv.


  5. MFA Advancement to Candidacy Review

    To be eligible to sign up for ART 298A or ART 298B you must pass this Review.  This Review involves an exhibition of your work and is held once each semester.  Forms are available in the Graduate Office, ART 125.  Students wishing to apply for the Advancement to Candidacy Review will be required to schedule a meeting of three faculty members to obtain their signatures on the form.  The goal here is to encourage a more thorough discussion regarding the student’s readiness for the Review, allowing the approval to be based on a well-considered and informed consensus of the sponsoring faculty (who at this point represent an unofficial “proto committee”).

    Within two weeks after the ATC Review a second meeting of the student and the three faculty members should occur, again arranged by the student.  At this meeting, a discussion and evaluation of the student’s ATC presentation from the perspective of the sponsoring faculty would take place.  Additionally, issues and/or concerns expressed by other faculty during or after the review would be relayed to the student and discussed, as always, without directly quoting particular faculty.  At this second meeting the student’s Graduate Advisory Committee would be formally established by having the three faculty sign the official committee sign up form.  (Faculty not wishing to sign the form could, of course, still choose not to).


  6. Form Thesis Committee
    Select 3-4 faculty members to work with on your Thesis (ART298A & ART298B). The third meeting would be scheduled by the student no less than two months before their final thesis project exhibition.  At this meeting, the project exhibition would be discussed and approved by the faculty.  If approval is not granted, and the meeting takes place prior to the student’s final semester, the student will not be permitted to sign up for Art 298B the next semester.  If the meeting takes place during the final semester, and approval is not granted, a grade INC will be given in Art 298B.  The idea here is to assure that shows are not installed without the approval (or awareness) of the student’s committee.  


  7. Apply for Graduation 

    Deadlines are set by the University and are posted on the Art Graduate Office door each year.  These deadlines are about one year in advance of graduation.  Apply at the University Graduate Studies office.  Proof of application for graduation must be presented to the Director of Student Galleries in the Art Department in order to reserve exhibition space for your project exhibition.  Remember you may not apply for graduation until the Graduate Studies office has approved your Candidacy papers.


  8. Arrange for Exhibition Space

    Early in the semester prior to your planned project exhibition date reserve an exhibition space with the Director of Student Galleries for an exhibition in the Department galleries (gallery 2 or 3).  You must show proof of paying for graduation to the Director of Student Galleries.

    Project Exhibitions in locations other than gallery 2 or 3 require the approval of your project committee and of the Art Graduate Committee.  Petition forms for alternative exhibition location are available in the Art Graduate Office.  Off-campus exhibitions outside the greater San Jose area are generally not approved except under extraordinary circumstances.

    Keep in mind that you must stay in close touch with the members of your MFA project committee and have their approval before going ahead with your project exhibition.  Meeting with the whole committee prior to scheduling the exhibition is strongly advised.  Exhibitions installed without committee endorsement may not be approved.


  9. Complete Course Work and Install Project Exhibition
    The Gallery Office has all information on exhibition procedures. 


  10. Arrange for an Oral Examination Meeting

    Arrange to meet with your Project Committee to complete the requirement for an Oral Examination.  The format for this exam is determined by your Project Committee but will typically be a meeting of the entire committee, of approximately one hour in length.  Whenever possible, the chair of the committee should invite up to two faculty and/or professionals from outside the committee to attend the Orals.  These persons would participate in questions and discussions but not have a vote on the committee regarding the students passing the Orals.  The idea here is to bring some fresh perspectives to the discussion of the student’s work.

    Times of the Orals should be posted in the gallery.  This is a reminder that long-standing practice has encouraged all interested faculty to attend Orals as well.  Content of the Orals should be challenging.  Students should be prepared to respond to questions and discuss their work in terms of its formal concerns, content, process, historical, theoretical, social or political context, etc. for approximately one hour.  Once satisfactorily completed, the Project Committee Chairperson should sign the Comprehensive Examination form, available in the Art Graduate Office.  Return this signed form to the Art Graduate Office.  The time for the Oral Examination must be posted with your show so interested Faculty may attend.


  11. Complete your Project Report | see Forms

    Instructions for the Project Report are available in the Art Graduate office.

    Signatures are obtained prior to binding.  When submitting the report draft, include the photographic prints of the exhibition.  These should not yet be attached to the report draft just in case there are problems with the draft pages.


  12. Have the Project Report bound and submit the Report and one set of slides to the Art Graduate office

    Project Reports are usually bound at the Associated Students Print Shop.  This process takes ten working days to complete.

    One copy of the Project is kept in the Art Graduate office for future reference.

    One set of slides of the exhibition--mounted in glass slide mounts--must be submitted along with your project report.  These slides must be labeled appropriately.  Information on labeling can be obtained in the Art Graduate Office.  Slide binders may be purchased in the slideroom (ART 110).