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MCA’s vision a professional art in an Here in Memphis, a city soaked in culture, Memphis College of Art has existed for more than 75 years as a veritable artist’s colony where access to a professionally geared education is available to those whose passions burn brightest. Revel in our forward-thinking curriculum that incorporates the most exciting new fields of study. Bask in the real-world experience our renowned professors bring to the field of academics. Flourish within a campus being constantly updated and expanded to make it increasingly conducive to living the life of an artist.


is to provide and design education intimate setting. vision

Artmaking is and has always been one of the most powerful and enduring endeavors of humankind. Every people, every culture, every era has made art — in every circumstance. Education is as essential to the social condition as art is to the human condition. Through education we preserve, impart, and expand our collective disciplines and wisdom. As an institute of higher learning, we are committed to two traditions: the professional artist’s tradition, which requires mastery of the skills, tools, and technologies of the visual arts; and the liberal arts tradition, which requires education in the truest sense, not only imparting facts and ideas, but also fostering critical appraisal of them.




This catalog is designed specifically to

requires intellectual pursuits and the

communicate through words and images the

graduate curriculum is set to expand

nature of the graduate programs at Memphis

and challenge and sharpen the ideas and

College of Art. Certainly you will sense in

theory that drive your personal voice;

these pages the quality of our facilities, the flexibility and depth of our programs, the

3. The MFA programs at MCA are

credentials of our faculty, and the look and

individualized, customized and tailored

feel of student work — current and past. All of

to your growth, your evolution, your

this should suggest that MCA is a significant,

aspirations, your changing directions

comprehensive, and professional institution

and passions. Faculty are engaged

deserving of your serious consideration.

weekly in reviewing and critiquing, collectively serving as partners and

What is not in these pages is what really

mentors as you explore new paths;

matters and, I am quick to point out, clearly distinguishes MCA from most, perhaps all,

4. The MFA programs at MCA presume

of the settings where a graduate education

that you are only as strong as your

can be pursued. Here, in a short but honest

weakest areas; so together we step

list, are the attributes that I, as the President,

through and into new media, new

have discovered at MCA. It includes the

ways of thinking, and new methods of

qualities and strengths that I think set MCA

manipulating and managing materials.

apart; and the more important points to

You will expand your options creatively

consider in this crucial decision that is likely

as you become increasingly proficient;

to impact the rest of your creative life. 5. And all of this in Memphis–a city that is 1. The MFA programs at MCA are interdisciplinary. This is not just a phrase

genuine, soulful, full of spirit, and recognized as a great environment for emerging artists.

but also an accurate description of the climate in which you work as an artist. You

Visit our spectacular Nesin Graduate

are encouraged to find your own voice and

School located in the heart of Memphis’

use the necessary and appropriate materials

South Main Historic Arts District; talk

to allow your unique expression to emerge;

with the grad students who are already here; visit with faculty . . . come, see for

2. The MFA programs at MCA are

yourself . . . and I would be delighted to

informed by liberal arts and art history,

meet with you to talk about this incredible

criticism, and theory. Art practice

place that I, too, have selected to join.


A graduate art center

Graduate programs, studios, classrooms,

the late 1950s, Rust Hall inspired Progressive

and labs are located in the Nesin Graduate

Architecture magazine to recognize it with

School in downtown Memphis at 477

a distinction for design award. Inspiration

South Main Street. Beautiful and expansive

can be found nearby within the Memphis

individual studios are available for each MFA

Brooks Museum of Art, which houses the

student. There is a fully equipped computer

state’s oldest and most distinguished art

lab with scanners and large format printing,

collection, and the Memphis Zoo, a recently

as well as a video editing lab. The large Hyde

renovated, animal-friendly wildlife sanctuary.

Gallery is used throughout the year to exhibit graduate student work and curated exhibitions.

The college’s administrative building, Gibson

A wood shop and the 477 Store are also

Hall, is located at the southeastern edge of

on site. All MFA candidates are provided

Overton Park and houses faculty and staff

24-hour access to the Graduate School.

offices including admissions, financial aid,

Full-time graduate students have studio

to Gibson Hall are MCA-owned student

access during the summer between their

residences that provide housing for more

two years of study. The Nesin Graduate

than 160 students. Spacious and furnished,

business office, and student affairs. Adjacent

School building is shared with MCA’s

these apartments and efficiencies include

Graduate Art Education program.

fully equipped kitchens, bedrooms, and

Daily shuttle service is provided to Rust Hall,

studio space. (More information on housing

the college’s main building in Overton Park,

is available in the back of this catalog.) The

a 342-acre wooded park in midtown Memphis.

Admissions Office can assist with locating off-

Built by architects Harrover and Mann in

campus housing, available throughout the city.


in the heart of the art district

Nesin Graduate School DOWNTOWN MEMPHIS




In addition to the Nesin Graduate School, graduate students have access to the labs, studios, equipment and academic resources of Rust Hall 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A shuttle that runs between the two facilities each day during the academic year provides quick and easy access. MCA’s Gallery hosts visiting artists, juried and curated exhibitions, and student exhibitions throughout the year while the Brode Gallery is designated for student work.


MCA’s shop has 4,400 square feet with equipment for woodworking, metalworking, plastic molding, mat cutting, glass cutting, and stretcher and frame construction. MCA has large metal and clay sculpture studios, as well as separate foundry and welding areas for castings and metalwork. The clay studios have wheels, a space for hand-building and glazing, a spray booth, and a semienclosed firing room with electric and gas kilns. 9


Printmaking, papermaking, and book arts studios provide easy interaction between these related media. Printmaking has two presses for stone and plate lithography, three etching presses, serigraphy, and equipment for photo printmaking processes as well. Book Arts includes three letterpresses and a bindery. The wet room is equipped with beaters, a 36-square-foot vacuum table, a hydraulic press, and a pulper. 11

Thomas Green // MFA Studio Arts // 2014


Justin Bowles // MFA Studio Arts // 2013

Shea Snow // MFA Studio Arts // 2014


There are four fully equipped digital labs with digital cameras, slide and transparency scanners, flatbed scanners, and high-resolution printers. A separate large-format printing lab provides for large scale archival printing on a variety of media. Two sound and animation studios are available for animation and video work. Projectors, video cameras, and other equipment are available for loan to students through the Digital Media faculty. 14

Photo Lab facilities include 10 workstations equipped with Omega large-format enlargers and 12 workstations equipped with Beseler medium-format enlargers. A lighting studio houses strobe equipment, backgrounds, and medium and large format cameras. Digital SLR cameras, portable strobe and hot light sets, and backdrop stands are available for checkout. Also available are facilities for non-silver alternative photo processes including digital negative printers and a large UV exposure unit.

Hot meals or just a snack are available in the “Sleaze and Slime� Snack Bar— open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner each weekday. 15



ELIZABETH brown Elizabeth Brown is a graduate of The School

nationally, explore the link between nature

of the Art Institute of Chicago (BFA) and

and culture often with an interactive or

the University of Georgia (MFA). She has

performative element. She works with both

taught writing, literature, and art courses

traditional sculptural techniques and materials

at the college level for over 15 years and has

such as wood, metal, and textiles as well as

taught courses in both the Foundations and

non-traditional materials. Areas of interest

Sculpture programs at MCA since 2008.

include sustainability and exploring existing

Her installations and object-based works,

visual and social systems.

which have been shown both locally and


MFA // overview The MFA programs at Memphis College of Art are a diverse community of students that make up a fifth of the entire college population. The Nesin Graduate School building in downtown Memphis houses graduate faculty and directors’ offices along with an exhibition gallery, individual studio spaces, and computer labs bringing students together in trans-disciplinary and transprofessional collaboration. The Graduate School programs combine teaching professionals, full-time studio artists, and graduate education students in 44,000 square feet of space with 24-hour access to all the resources necessary for each program, including shuttle service to Rust Hall’s additional studios, labs, library, administrative and staff offices. The Office of Career Services offers graduate students the support and opportunities for professional development and preparation for a career as an artist, designer, or teacher. Visiting artists and critics enrich studies with professional perspectives and offer opportunities for mentorship and networking. Career Services, along with the Graduate Seminar course, are resources for employment information, residencies, grants, and awards. Each semester, graduate open houses and exhibitions highlight work from each program, and offer opportunities for the public to visit with faculty and students, and tour facilities.


HALEY morris-cafiero Haley Morris-Cafiero holds a BA in Photography and a BFA in Ceramics from the University of North Florida and an MFA in Art from University of Arizona. She is an Associate Professor and Area Head of the MFA and BFA Photography programs at Memphis College of Art. Her series of photographs, Wait Watchers, has been featured in over 40 sites all over the world including CBS This Morning, Huffington Post, and


Jason Williams // MFA Studio Art // 2014

MFA // studio art The interdisciplinary program offers the opportunity to focus on methods that are most appropriate to the individual students. This may include traditional studio practice, digital technologies, or a multi-disciplinary course of study. A critical dialogue will be developed between the graduate advisors and the students investigating the questions: What are the ideas most essential to express in the work and what are the most effective methods of expression? Through seminars and discussion, students are encouraged to consider the social, cultural, and physical context of their work as central to its interpretation. Study is possible in traditional and non-traditional studio practice, including but not limited to painting, drawing, sculpture, book arts, photography, printmaking, fibers, ceramics, installation, animation, public interventions, performance, video, other digital media, or an individually tailored program of interdisciplinary study. Students are encouraged to explore a variety of media to find the most successful and efficient methods of expressing their ideas. Combinations of media are encouraged, as is collaboration with other graduate students where appropriate.

MFA // photography The MFA in Photography program allows students to develop their aesthetic and conceptual core while working in the medium of photography. Students work with graduate advisors to develop a photographic body of work that is contemporarily relevant while challenging the genre of photography. Photography is an ever-changing medium and, therefore, students are allowed to work traditionally or on experimental aspects of photography. The flexible studio electives allow students to work with imagery while developing technical proficiency in photography, bookmaking, papermaking, metals or any of the studio classes offered at MCA.



Thomas Green // MFA Studio Art // 2014

The MFA programs at Memphis College

a rigorous, yet developmental environment

of Art offer highly critical two-year studio

for photographic professionals. The program

intensive programs with the goal of

is designed for photo-based artists who

developing artistic practices that contribute

are interested in teaching photography at

significantly to contemporary culture. The

a college level and/or are pursuing a career

MFA in Studio Art program offers students

in commercial areas of photography where

the opportunity to expand the boundaries

critical and theoretical contexts are beneficial.

of artmaking and assists them in finding

Students will be prepared to present a large

their own particular artistic expression.

body of work that is bound by a visual style and conceptual foundation that is informed

Students who are interested in pursuing a

by historical and theoretical discourses.

terminal degree in a specific discipline must have at least 18 graduate level credits in the

Students support and enhance their studio

discipline. Students enrolled in the MFA in

practice with coursework in art history,

Studio Art Program at Memphis College of

theory and criticism. The program consists

Art can attain a discipline MFA equivalent by

of structured coursework and independent

enrolling in one discipline for all studio electives

studio practice in consultation with the

plus taking an additional two studio electives

Graduate Director and graduate advisors.

in the discipline. MCA offers this option

The second year culminates in the MFA

in Graphic Design, Sculpture, Printmaking,

thesis exhibition, oral defense of the work

Painting, Illustration, and Digital Cinema.

and a written thesis document. Students are assisted at all stages of this process with

The MFA in Photography program integrates

regular meetings with faculty, visiting artists,

contemporary media with traditional

and writing mentors. Students select their

photographic practices with photographic

Graduate advisors from the Memphis College

history and critical discourses to deliver

of Art faculty and local independent artists.


MFA, 2012


Georgia Gadsby Creson received her BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston majoring in sculpture. Creson worked in arts administration in Nashville, TN before heading to Memphis to serve as Memphis College of Art’s Director of Career Services. While at MCA, she decided to get back to her 3-D artist roots by enrolling in the MFA studio art program. She has worked on several bicycle rack commissions for the city of Memphis. Combining her art with her student affairs background, Creson has recently moved to Baltimore, Maryland where she is the Director of Fine Arts in the Office of Career Planning at Maryland Institute College of Art while also maintaining an active studio practice.

EMILY jacir MFA, 1994

Internationally recognized Palestinian-American artist Emily Jacir works in a variety of media, including film, photography, installation, performance, video, painting, writing, and sound. Jacir’s work has been exhibited extensively throughout the world including at the Whitney Museum, MoMA, PS1, the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Austria Museum of Modern Art, and the Beirut Art Center. In 2007, she received both the prestigious Prince Claus Award from the Hague and a Golden Lion Award at the Venice Biennale. She received the Hugo Boss Award in 2008 from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, a prize of $100,000. In 2011 she was recognized as a visual arts winner of the Alpert Award in the Arts. 25

MFA, 2000


Phillip Andrew Lewis concentrated in photography through the course of his MFA study. His thesis piece was selected for the Presidential Purchase Prize at Memphis College of Art. Lewis’ current work has expanded to include installation, digital media, video, sound, and drawing. He is an Associate Professor at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, where he teaches photography and media art in the foundations program. His exhibition record includes Soundlab and Galerie VORD in Germany; the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, TN; Spaces Gallery in Cleveland, OH; Fort Point Art Center in Boston, MA; and Rogalund Museum of Fine Art in Norway.

KONG pang WEE BFA, 2003; MFA, 2012

As an international undergraduate student from Malaysia, Kong Wee Pang came to Memphis College of Art to study graphic design. Pang’s diverse background and unique design style led to her employment at Archer>Malmo, one of Memphis’ largest design firms, shortly after graduation where she is now Senior Digital Art Director. As she expanded her design work to include web design, video, and animation she returned to MCA for MFA study in digital media. Her own work has been published in FEFÉPROJECT #3 Magazine in Rome and Barcelona. Pang also creates her own designs for sale through her partnership venture of TaroPop, selling custom jewelry, t-shirts, and screen prints.

JIM ramer

BFA, 1990; MFA, 1993 Jim Ramer is the Director of Graduate Studies in Photography at Parsons, The New School. His works have been shown and published extensively. Most recently, Professor Ramer’s work was featured in the 2009 International Festival of Photography at the Goeun Museum, Korea and he was a presenter at the PingYao International Festival of Photography. In 2009, he served as Instructor in the IPO Collaborative Visual Research Project linking Parsons and Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. His work is included in the Collections of the Assisi Foundation, the Promus Corporation, and Schering-Plough Inc.

SHIRIN shahin MFA, 2013

Shirin Shahin received her BFA in painting from Iran’s Shiraz University in 2005 and moved to Memphis to attend MFA program in 2011. During her time at MCA, Shahin expanded her practice to combine her drawings and paintings with installation and three-dimensional collage. Shahin attended a very competitive residency program that was sponsored by MCA during her second year of graduate school. While in New York, she met Theaster Gates who later awarded her an internship during her last summer of graduate school. Upon graduation, Shahin was hired as a Studio Assistant for Theaster Gates in Chicago, Illinois. She attributes her wonderful job to MCA and all of the opportunity it afforded her.

MFA, 2010

EMMA LOUISE thurgood

Although Emma Thurgood’s background was in painting, she works in a wide variety of media including the soft sculpture performance work of her MFA thesis show. During the course of her studies she worked as an assistant in the college’s gallery leading her to employment after graduation as an independent artists’ agent and assistant, helping secure gallery representation, art sales, and special exhibition opportunities for her clients. In 2013, Thurgood was hired as the Exhibitions Curator at Art Center in Sarasota, a non-profit visual arts center focusing on exhibitions and education. She currently manages an exhibition program consisting of over 20 shows a year ranging from curated and solo shows of nationally and internationally recognized artists, to juried shows of local artists. While she continues to make her own art, Thurgood finds work as a curator fulfilling in the way it can help the public gain a new understanding and interpretation of what art is and what it can mean to them.


Private spacious studios are given to every MFA student. Average square feet: 240 27 28

Graduate faculty at MCA fulfill a critical role in providing constructive criticism for MFA students in the form of conceptual, aesthetic, and technical council. These dialogues occur at a series of levels including regular meetings throughout the semester with the individual candidate, formal midterm and final critiques with all graduate faculty and the candidate.

To assist with their visual and conceptual development, the graduate students work closely and intensively with a group of three graduate advisors. These advisors are members of the Memphis College of Art faculty and local independent artists. The advisors are an intentionally diverse group, both in terms of media and intentions for making work. The range of perspectives and commentary give the graduate students the broadest possible range of information and feedback. Instruction blends rigorous group critiques with personal and informal interaction between faculty and students. The diversity and frequency of critical discussion strengthens each student’s personal vision and development of articulate responses.


Lucienne Auz PhD Art History, University of Washington; MS Art History, Pratt Institute; BA Art, Gonzaga University Maria Bibbs PhD, MA, University of WisconsinMadison; BA, University of Tennessee-Knoxville Elizabeth Brown MFA, University of Georgia; BFA, School of the Art Institute of Chicago Ellen Daugherty PhD, MA, BA, University of Virginia Maritza Dรกvila MFA, Pratt University; BA, University of Puerto Rico Don DuMont BFA, Memphis College of Art Colleen Fitzgerald MFA, Parsons the New School for Design; BA, Boston College Kate Gerry Ph.D Art History, Johns Hopkins University; MA Art History, University of Maryland; BA Art History, Smith College Adam Hawk MFA, Southern Illinois University Carbondale; BFA, Memphis College of Art Tom Lee MFA, University of Mississippi; BA, Montana State University Susan Maakestad MFA, University of Iowa; MA, BA, Central Washington University Shane McDermott MFA Comics (2015), California College of the Arts, BFA Illustration, Memphis College of Art Remy Miller MFA, Bowling Green State University; BFA, University of Connecticut Haley Morris-Cafiero MFA, University of Arizona; BA, BFA, University of North Florida Joe Morzuch MFA, University of Southern Illinois; BFA Western Illinois University Michele Noiset MFA, University of Massachusetts/ Dartmouth; BFA, Rhode Island School of Design Hannah Park MDes, York University, Toronto, Ontario; BFA, Parsons The New School for Design Soyoung Park PhD, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; MA, BA, Kyunghee University, Seoul, Korea Bill Price MFA, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale; BFA, Memphis College of Art James Ramsey PhD, MA, Tulane University; BA, Vanderbilt University; Mark Rouillard MFA, Memphis College of Art; BFA, Memphis College of Art Michael Shaw BFA Animation, Memphis College of Art Zark Strasburger BA, Oberlin College Leandra Urrutia MFA, University of Mississippi; BFA, Southwest Texas State University Jill Wissmiller MFA, Northwestern University; BFA, Arizona State University


The MFA curriculum can be completed in four semesters of full-time (in residence) study, with a fifth or sixth semester optional at either the faculty or student’s request. Candidates have five calendar years from the initial date of enrollment to complete the degree. The MFA degree requires 60 semester credit hours distributed as follows:

Major Studio 36 Liberal Arts 12 Elective Studio 12 _______________ Total


The recommended semester course load for MFA students is 9 to 15 credit hours with the maximum being 16 credits. Course loads over this limit must have prior written approval by the MFA Graduate Director.


MFA STUDIO ART First Semester

Second Semester

Students should demonstrate a willingness to take risks in their investigations. While a consistent body of work is not required, an indication of direction and the ability to succeed should be evident. During this semester, students craft a series of artist’s statements as they relate to various bodies of work.

Students should be able to identify and articulate the pertinent issues in their work, and an ambitious body of work should be presented. This work may be a conglomeration of ideas but is closer to a sustained interest. A more refined and precise artist’s statement is written during this semester along with a bibliography of pertinent research materials.

Studio Art Workshop I (8) Studio Elective (3) Liberal Arts/Art History Elective (3) Graduate Seminar (1)

Studio Art Workshop II (8) Studio Elective (3) Liberal Arts/Art History Elective (3) Graduate Seminar (1)

Third Semester Students should continue developing an idea about the thesis project and working towards that goal, again presenting an ambitious body of work. The final critique of the semester determines the candidate’s advancement or the requirement of a fifth semester and reapplication to advance to candidacy. Students write a thesis proposal as a part of their advancement to candidacy and an annotated bibliography detailing specific materials significant to the body of work. A draft thesis is the starting point for the thesis document. Studio Art Workshop III (8) Studio Elective (3) Liberal Arts/Art History Elective (3) Graduate Seminar (1)

Fourth Semester Formal advancement to candidacy has been accepted and students begin their thesis semester. Students should present a final body of work and be able to articulate intentions, conceptual and material decisions, and discuss relevant theoretical and historical models. The written thesis document, the oral defense of work, and digital documentation of work are all requirements for completion of the degree. Studio Art Workshop IV (8) Studio Elective (3) Liberal Arts/Art History Elective (3) Graduate Seminar (1)

For a list of course descriptions go to

Complete policies and procedures for the MFA program, advancement to candidacy, written thesis, final review and the MFA exhibition are detailed in the Student Handbook, which is given to all entering MFA students during orientation and is available online or from the Student Affairs Office.


First Semester

Students are encouraged to push themselves outside of their comfort zone with concepts, aesthetics and techniques within the photographic medium. While a successful, completed series of image-based work is not required, successful students will attempt to resolve issues found during their experimentation. Students are required to write an artist statement for midterm and final review and have a web presence.

Photo Studio Workshop (8) Studio Elective (3) LS/AH Elective (3) Graduate Photo Seminar (1)


Second Semester

While students are encouraged to continue to experiment, students are expected to have a more directed plan or path for their experimentation. Students are expected to have a completed piece at the end of the semester that shows the direction of further work and research. Written statements are further developed and students are required to enter external exhibition opportunities.

Photo Studio Workshop (8) Studio Elective (3) LS/AH Elective (3) Graduate Photo Seminar (1)

Third Semester

Students will produce a series of image-based work that are finished and presented in a gallery ready format. Students will also work with a writing tutor and their advisors to write 80% of their thesis paper including the critical and theoretical foundation, art historical contexts of their thesis work and concept. Students will present their draft thesis papers at finals for Advancement to Candidacy, which determines whether a student is approved to defend their thesis.

Photo Studio Workshop (8) Studio Elective (3) LS/AH Elective (3) Graduate Photo Seminar (1)

Fourth Semester

Students will produce a body of image-based work that will be presented as their thesis exhibition. The MFA thesis work must be aesthetically challenging and free of any craftsmanship issues. Students will finish their thesis paper by connecting the MFA thesis work to their larger concepts and must be able to verbally communicate and answer questions about their thesis at defense.

Photo Studio Workshop (8) Studio Elective (3) LS/AH Elective (3) Graduate Photo Seminar (1)

Ryan Steed // MFA Photography // 2016

MFA Photography 34


Applications Application deadline for the MFA programs is February 15 for fall admission (August) and November 1 for spring admission (January). • applicants must submit a completed graduate application form (available online at and a $50 application fee • two letters of recommendation (at least one from a college advisor or studio instructor) • résumé • artist’s statement (250 word minimum) • statement of purpose, detailing what the applicant hopes to gain from a graduate experience • portfolio (see portfolio requirements) • all official college transcripts (sent directly from the issuing institution to MCA)


Portfolio Requirements Applicants to the MFA programs must submit a portfolio of their work. The following formats are acceptable: 20 images in digital format—Mac-compatible is required); .jpeg files (less than 2mb), PowerPoint files or DVD. A detailed image list must be included with title, scale, media, and date. DVD and audio material must not exceed five minutes in length. All material must be accompanied by a description list. Submit digital images to Do not send originals.

Interview The program director may request an interview to be arranged through the Admissions Office.

Transfer Credit Graduate applicants to Memphis College of Art may, subject to review of the graduate admissions committee, transfer up to 9 credits of graduate level credit from an accredited institution with grades of 3.0 or higher toward the MFA degree.

International Students

Post-Baccalaureate Program Post-Baccalaureate study is an option offered to students that are not accepted into the MFA program but show potential for entering the program with additional studio preparation. The Admissions Office notifies eligible students for the post-bac program. Post-bac students work with the Graduate Director to choose courses pursuant to entering the MFA program in one or two semesters. Acceptance into the MFA program is not guaranteed.

Registration Information Incoming students register during new student orientation. Course schedules for upcoming semesters are available online at

Visit Prospective students are encouraged to visit the college. Go online at to schedule your tour. Call 901-272-5151 or 800-727-1088, or e-mail for arrangements.

In addition to all other admission requirements, international students must provide the results of the TOEFL test with a minimum score of 527 (197 computerized score) or IELTS score of 6.0 or higher, send certified translations of all academic records, and provide an affidavit of support verifying the ability to meet the total cost of one year of tuition and living expenses.


Memphis College of Art realizes that entering into a graduate program requires a significant investment of time, creativity, and financial resources. To that end, MCA provides financial assistance in three forms: scholarships that require no repayment, Federal Student Loans that usually have deferred payment at low interest rates, and assistantships. Students are considered for scholarships through the admissions process and are notified of scholarship awards and assistantships, along with acceptance. Eligibility for federal student loans is determined through completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. For more information regarding costs and financial aid for Memphis College of Art’s MFA program go to:


Tyler Hildebrand // MFA Studio Art // 2014

MFA Tuition and Fees Graduate tuition and fees for the current year are posted online. Beyond tuition and fees, a student’s budget is estimated for one year based on payment of room and board, art supplies and books, and personal expenses, such as transportation, clothing, and other miscellaneous expenses. An average MFA scholarship is 40% of tuition. Our budget estimates are based on the higher end campus housing and other miscellaneous costs—you may spend less than our estimates.

How to Apply for Institutional and Financial Aid Students need only submit the required application materials to be considered for institutional scholarships, grants, and work fellowships. Students are notified of merit/ portfolio awards along with acceptance replies. MCA awards are determined by the admissions review ranking. Eligibility for Federal Aid is determined upon receipt of a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Only student information is needed, as all graduate level students are considered independent. Federal Student Loans are available to eligible graduates enrolled in at least six credit hours a term. Students may be awarded work-study through the admissions and financial aid process. Work- study is paid in the form of a paycheck at a rate of $9 per hour. To complete and file the FAFSA form, students should go online at Additional information is available at Applications are also available from the MCA Financial Aid Office. The MCA federal code is 003507. (International students are not eligible for government assistance.)


Special Circumstances If you have a unique financial situation, please contact our Financial Aid Office at 1-800-7271088 or locally at 901-272-5136. We’re happy to provide assistance.

MFA Scholarships Graduate scholarships range from one quarter tuition per year to full-tuition discounts and are renewable each semester based on maintaining a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of at least 3.0. These awards are based on full-time attendance and are pro-rated for part-time enrollment. Scholarships that are not renewed are re-awarded the semester after achieving the required CGPA. Once a student attends Memphis College of Art, there are continuing opportunities for merit awards based on the student’s performance in the program. Special merit scholarships are awarded for excellence each year by faculty nomination. These one-year awards range from $50 cash awards to $5,000 per year tuition discounts. Some awards are based on criteria set by the donor, and other awards are open to all students.


Memphis College of Art offers several

mentor other students with solving

competitive graduate assistantships

sculptural problems in the woodshop.

that allow students to gain professional

Students are trained on how to use

experience working at the college. Students

the tools and on safety requirements.

who receive the assistantships earn tuition

The Woodshop Assistants provide

remission based on their performance in their

extended hours and support for the facility.

position. Assistantships include work in Gallery, Exhibitions, and Lectures program,

The 477 retail store is the gallery shop

the Library, the Woodshop, the 477 retail

located in the Nesin Graduate School

store, and the photography program.

that sells artwork made by MCA students, faculty, staff, and alums. The store sells

Students who are awarded the Gallery,

paintings, jewelry, pottery, and other

Exhibitions, and Lectures (GEL) assistantship

handmade, unique items. The 477 store is

will work with the coordinator of that

managed by the Graduate Assistants who

area to help curate, install, plan, and pack

recruit selling inventory, design product layout,

the exhibitions at MCA. Additionally, the

and work with the Director of Communications

GEL Graduate Assistant will assist with

to market the store and related events.

planning and hosting visiting artists. The Photography Graduate Assistant works The Library Graduate Assistantship

with the Area Head of the Photography

is designed to help students learn the

program to maintain equipment, manage

organizational systems of an academic

work-studies and oversee the equipment

library and electronic visual resources.

checkout system. This assistantship is for

This assistantship is an excellent opportunity

a student who is enrolled in the MFA in

for students to learn how library resources

Photography program and has experience with

impact art practice and academic programs.

darkroom, camera, and lighting equipment. The Photography Graduate Assistant is

The Graduate Woodshop Assistantship

trained on how to repair equipment, inventory

position requires students to supervise and

supplies, and manage student helpers.



Fitness/Wellness/ Health Services The Office of Student Affairs is located in Gibson Hall, MCA’s administration building at 1939 Poplar Avenue. Referrals for medical, psychological, and dental services are available, as well as assistance with any problem or concern. Services offered to students and college policies are listed in the Memphis College of Art Student Handbook, provided each fall for the academic year. Free enrollment at French Riviera Health Club is available through the Office of Student Affairs. The initial facilities orientation for the club must be at the Union Avenue location, but membership includes any French Riviera Health Club.

Cultural Resources & Activities Memphis, Tennessee is a city with over 1.1 million residents in the greater metropolitan area, and is home to a rich history of blues, literature, the Mississippi River, and the National Civil Rights Museum. The Nesin Graduate School is situated downtown amongst The Civil Rights Museum and The National Ornamental Metal Museum; and many other cultural institutions and activities such as The University of Memphis Law School and the FedEx Forum. The College’s Rust Hall is situated in Overton Park, a 342 acre wooded city park next to the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art and the Memphis Zoo.

Art Supplies/Books

Career Services

Textbooks can be purchased through MCA’s Virtual Bookstore. Art supplies can be purchased at the Art Center’s Rust Hall branch for a 15% student discount.

The Office of Career Services provides one-on-one counseling to graduate students providing resume, networking, portfolio, exhibition, and all types of career path/job search assistance. Internships, community service, work-study, free-lance jobs, and other resume-building opportunities are offered through this office. A professional practices seminar for MFA students is geared toward directing students for life after graduate school. The yearly Career Fair provides on-campus interviews.

Exhibition Opportunities Five galleries at MCA support graduate student’s exhibition experience throughout their course of study. Local and national exhibition opportunities abound with facilitation provided by the Office of Career Services. Graduate students are required to present a thesis exhibition prior to graduation.

Housing for Graduate Students Many different campus housing options are available for students including on-campus residence halls and collegeoperated apartments. Contact the Admissions Office or Student Life Director for details.


Raquel Adams // MFA Studio Art // 2012


Memphis College of Art Graduate Admissions Gibson Hall 1939 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104 P: 901-272-5151/800-727-1088 F: 901-272-5158 | Nesin Graduate School 477 Main Street, Memphis, TN 38103 MFA Program Director: P: 901-272-6851 Financial Aid Office Gibson Hall 1939 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104 P: 901-272-5136/800-727-1088 F: 901-272-5134 |

Rebecca Coleman // MFA Studio Arts // 2012

Accreditation Memphis College of Art is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate and masters degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Memphis College of Art. Memphis College of Art is also an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). The Art Education and Teachers Education Programs of Memphis College of Art have been approved by the Tennessee Board of Education.


Memphis College of Art Graduate Admissions Gibson Hall, 1939 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104 P: 901-272-5151/800-727-1088 F: 901-272-5158

2014 MFA Catalog  

Master of Fine Arts Memphis College of Art Catalog.

2014 MFA Catalog  

Master of Fine Arts Memphis College of Art Catalog.