Students in the MFA program establish authentic and sustainable creative practices through the consistent and purposeful development and pursuit of coherent goals. Students emerge from the program with a fluent understanding of the art-making techniques and practices necessary to growth of an independent creative vision as well as a demonstrable competence in the interpretive analysis of creative work and the ability to situate work in appropriate theoretical, historical, cultural and social contexts. These proficiencies are essential to ongoing professional engagement in the world of media arts.
Two, five-day MFA retreats are held each year, one in May and the other in November. During retreats students meet with faculty for critiques of projects, discussions covering topics in visual culture, meet individually with faculty to plan projects for the upcoming semester, and to assess their progress in the program. Guest faculty, including artists, educators, critics and historians, make presentations to the group. During the semesters between retreats, students work with members of the Maine Media College faculty or other approved mentors to complete studio and academic projects. Students earn the majority of the credits toward the degree by completing mentored projects.
MFA students are required to earn four academic credits by completing four, one-week intensive courses during their tenure in the program. “Intensives” are seminars led by resident faculty members, which allow students to focus on subjects essential to MFA students such as the histories and theories associated with the various media as well as professional development. “Intensives” begin on Monday immediately following retreats and run through Friday.
Students, at their option, may earn up to nine studio credits by taking master classes offered by the Workshops. Each one-week workshop is valued at one credit. A list of workshops available for MFA credit is published annually.
The MFA culminates with the presentation of final thesis projects as well as a discussion of the written theses. Thesis presentations and discussions are open to the public, including family members, friends and alumni of the program.
Other opportunities for learning are open to MFA Students. Students may apply for teaching assistantships or other support positions during the workshop season and/or during the school year for the Professional Certificate programs. For more detailed information on credit options and requirements please see the MFA Handbook.