Note: The M.A. in Studio Art is offered as part of the Art MFA in Studio Art program. The Art M.A. degree is awarded during the fourth semester of the MFA program as acknowledgement of the completion of the MFA qualifying evaluation. Applicants who are interested in pursuing an M.A. in Studio Art must apply to the Art MFA program. 

The graduate program in art currently includes approximately sixty graduate students and thirty one full-time faculty. The faculty is a distinguished group of professional artists who are active in the research and exhibition of their work and are also devoted teachers. An important strength of the graduate program lies in the breadth and diversity of its faculty. The program continues to grow and provides a wealth of artistic experiences for its students.


Relief Printing:
The relief printmaking laboratory allows for all forms of conventional relief printmaking and unique prints. Specialized curriculum is offered in traditional woodcut and linocut and can include research carried out with a CNC router using safe forms of raised surface printing. Graduate research and production will focus on the interdependence of conventional relief printing to monotype, monoprints, and installation. Paper making and book arts is encouraged for the graduate relief print maker. The relief laboratory is equipped with (2) Takach presses, Press, (1) AWT 5 x 8 ft screen print vacuum press and (1) Vandercool SP15. The relief studio laboratory is equipped with a large selection of rollers and brayers in a variety of size and durometer hardness. 

Screen Printing:
The screen print (serigraphy) studio laboratory allows for all forms of conventional printmaking, varied editions, and unique prints. Specialized curriculum is offered in hand drawn, painterly, photo, and digital methods of constructing the screen print matrix. Graduate research and screen print production will focus on the full development of concepts and the interdependence of screen printing to 3-D objects, installation, and graduate interdisciplinary studio practice. The screen print (serigraphy) studio laboratory is equipped with (5) AWT 33 x 48 inch vacuum presses, (1) AWT 5 x 8 ft vacuum press, (1) 51 x 79 inch light exposure unit with vacuum. The studio also provides an oversized washout unit that measures 91 high x 74 wide 34 deep, (2) light tables for drawing (35 x 54 inches), an Epson 9600 printer for digital films, and a variety of screens, squeegees, and scoop coaters. 

The etching studio laboratory allows for all major acid etching methods along with other intaglio printmaking methods. Specialized curriculum is offered in the use of historic etching materials and digital working methods. The etching lab houses ferric and Dutch mordants for use with copper. Nitric acid for zinc, steel, and alternative painterly etching techniques is also available. The use of photopolymer intaglio plates and other non-acid techniques is presented. Curriculum includes multiple plate and viscosity color inking along with traditional and alternative grounds and plate construction. 

The newly renovated etching studio laboratory has (2) Keuwanee scientific exhaust hoods (one 8-foot and one 6-foot hood); these hoods allow for a various size of etching. There are also (2) 21 x 24 inch vertical etching tanks. We primarily etch with copper plates in Dutch mordant and ferric chloride, but provide nitric acid for experimental techniques such as spit bit aquatint and the use of zinc or steel plates. In the etching lab we have (2) Charles Brand; bed sizes are 62 x 39 and 52 x 32. There is also a ABL floor model Aquatint Box for plates up to 24 x 36. In addition, we have (5) large hot plates and (3) standing heated inking tables modelled after Crown Point Press studio and (2) light tables for drawing (35 x 54 inches). 

Graduate-level lithography practice is founded in individualized studio practice and concept development while utilizing both stone and aluminum plates. Graduate-level lithography is expected to exhibit a high degree of craft and professionalism. All phases of lithography are stressed including direct drawing, image transfer, and photo-litho. 

Digital Printmaking:
Courses in digital print-production techniques provide graphics students with the necessary skills to take original art or digital media to printed output. Courses also provide a thorough explanation of the various systems, software, and hardware fundamentals involved in the integration of digital forms with etching, lithography, screen printing, photography, book arts, and graphic design. 

DPC Print productions/Digital Printmaking Center lab has (4) large printers: Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-6000, Canon image PROGRAF PRO- 8400, and an Epson 7600; several Mac computers, laser engraver, (1) litho press, (1) etching press, (1) oversized offset litho press (set up for monotypes), (1) Charles Brand, screen stretcher system, and a polymer plate maker.

Graphic Design and Typography
The courses in graphic design emphasize the process of visual communication of ideas and information, with attention to aesthetic considerations, techniques, and methods. Course work in letterpress and computer typesetting introduce historical and visual aspects of formal typography and serve to facilitate experimentation with the communicative properties of type. Practical study in this area involves the design and production of books, broadsides, brochures, and posters; the development and application of logotypes and design formats; and utilizing the facilities of letterpress, computer technologies, and graphic reproduction techniques. In addition, a focus on book structures and artists' books is provided.

The photography area is situated within a rigorous multidisciplinary art program at one of the world’s leading research institutions. Graduate students are able to conduct their advanced research strictly in photography or in combination with other disciplines offered within the Art Department. The low student-to-teacher ratio allows for a supportive atmosphere for individual artist development. Graduate students are given a personal studio with access to a private graduate darkroom for black & white and alternative processes. The general photography facilities include the following: darkroom, digital print lab, computer and lab w/scanning equipment, lighting studio, mat cutting, and dry mounting room.

Books, Letterpress, and Paper Making
Book arts is equipped with (2) Vandercooks, (1) proofing press, (2) Reliance Book Presses, (1) hot foil stamp, an expansive assortment of type and photopolymer plate making equipment. Book arts and typography curriculum is supported by the Kohler Art Library's Artist Book teaching collection and is also supported by the Annual Bernstein Book Arts Lecture, an annual visiting artist series. The UW–Madison Silver Buckle Press Collection is now housed at Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin.

The courses in paper making are concerned with understanding the inherent materials used in the paper making processes as applied to traditional sheet forming, and as they relate to other contemporary concepts in book arts, sculpture, and drawing. The paper mill is equipped to make large and medium paper and is currently housed in the Art Lofts. 

Drawing and Painting
Courses in painting emphasizes conceptual, formal, and material logic in the development of an individualized studio practice. This course of study promotes an understanding of contemporary and historical painting and drawing practice as well as the theoretical premises pertinent to furthering the student's intellectual and creative development.

Within the multidisciplinary department, the student is encouraged to access the broad variety of available facilities, equipment, and faculty fundamental to their continued artistic growth and specialization. Graduate students are provided with a private studio space.

The sculpture area offers a balance between techniques and concepts. Various forms of expression from object making, installation, and time-based media are encouraged. Issues of professional practice within the traditional art venues as well as in the larger public domain are addressed. Students are encouraged to develop their individual voice as artists, be part of a constructive community, and prepare to be creative citizens. 
Facilities are available for most of the processes needed to produce sculpture: welding (including MIG and TIG), a foundry with a large alpine sculpture kiln for foundry molds and two gas melt furnaces, forging facilities, and shops for mixed media construction, digital fabrication, casting, and paint.

Woodworking and Furniture Design
The wood/furniture area explores the technical and conceptual possibilities of woodworking and furniture design. The curriculum is project-based and teaches a full range of skills from design development through drawing and model building as well as hand and machine-based construction skills. Graduate students receive a work space in one of two private bench rooms attached to the machine room and have 24-hour access to the studio facility. The graduate program stresses advanced visual research and is highly flexible. Graduate students produce both functional and nonfunctional work that represents a wide spectrum of aesthetic perspectives. The context of a very large and diverse research university allows for effective support and mentoring of varied and wide-ranging approaches to art making. Experimentation and collaboration with other areas of the Art Department and the larger university are actively encouraged.

The wood/furniture facilities offer a state-of-the-art laboratory for working with wood. However, the program promotes and endorses a far-reaching exploration of traditional and cutting-edge materials as well as newer digitally-driven approaches to design and fabrication. Graduate studio research includes extensive one-on-one interaction with faculty from all areas of the Art Department. Additional feedback is provided through group critiques by faculty, fellow students, guest critics, and visiting artists.

The ceramics area emphasizes a relationship between the field of ceramics and contemporary approaches to art making, theory, and criticism. The area offers a diverse approach to materials and processes, emphasizing work that is both technically proficient and conceptually diverse. Through advanced study, students will gain an understanding of the technical concerns involved in ceramic production such as clay and glaze calculation and mold making, while simultaneously developing the critical and historical skills necessary to apply those processes to finished works. The ceramics studio offers a wide assortment of equipment including a fully stocked supply of raw materials for clay and glaze mixing, digital scales and test kilns, electric wheels, extruders, slab rollers, an industrial spray booth, slip casting equipment, and a variety of both updraft gas and computer-controlled electric kilns. Graduate students receive private studio space, and are strongly encouraged to experiment and collaborate with other areas of the Art Department and university. Graduate-level research includes extensive one-on-one interaction with faculty from all areas of the department, with additional feedback provided through group critiques by faculty, fellow students, guest critics, and visiting artists.

The UW–Madison Glass Lab has a storied history as the first collegiate glass program in the nation. Sixty-plus years later, UW–Madison students continue to innovate with glass, glass processes, and glass-based thinking. Through conceptual inquiry and rigorous technical instruction, the Glass Lab fosters an approach of thinking through material to generate meaning. We look to an expansive definition of glass that speaks to a broader understanding of the material in contemporary practice. Our facilities include a hot shop, cold shop, kiln room, flameworking station, and neon lab. Graduate students have access to private studio spaces, scholarship opportunities for intensive summer workshops, and a healthy roster of glass-specific visiting artists. The UW–Madison Glass Lab prides itself on a being a strong community that serves to strengthen each individual's studio practice.

The metals area at UW–Madison has a long and distinguished history. The area is designed to challenge students to learn about the making of art through the specific materials, techniques, history, and cultural significance of the metalsmithing and jewelry fields. Technical proficiency is encouraged in the service of deep, socially significant investigation and research. Analytical and critical thinking, historical responsibility, and theoretical awareness are explored in a seminar setting with metals faculty. Visiting artists offer lectures, demonstrations, and individual critiques with grad students that round out this rigorous and comprehensive area.

The metals studios occupy six rooms on the seventh floor of the Mosse Humanities Building. With approximately 4,500 square feet of instructional and studio space, these well-equipped facilities include acetylene, ox/acteylene and propane torches, annealing booths, centrifugal and vacuum casting equipment, enameling kilns and enamels, flexible shafts machines at every work station, a large selection of anvils, hammers and stakes for raising, forming and forging, hydraulic die forming, a gas forge, electroforming, manual and electric rolling mills, sand blaster, band and jig saws, lathes, milling machines and drill presses, a dedicated polishing room, spray etchers, sheet metal working equipment, mold making equipment, and a full complement of hand tools. The resource center includes a computer, digital projector, photo equipment, and metals library.

Courses in non-static forms include video and performance art. Students have access to media facilities throughout the university and are encouraged to participate in classes in non-static forms and to experiment with new media. Courses stress methods of exhibition, documentation, and distribution that are unique to the non-static media. Both individual and collaborative projects are possible, and frequent opportunities are available for students to exhibit or perform.

Digital Media
The Digital Media area provides classes and faculty which allow graduate students to expand their use of digital media tools in the context of their own fine art practice. Classes offered cover a wide range of digital forms including digital imaging, web authoring, video and audio manipulation, 2-D animation, 3-D modeling and animation. All classes provide a balance of technical information on the relevant media and coverage of the historical and conceptual implications of their use in a fine art context. Classes are constantly being updated as digital media tools evolve. Students are encouraged to consider digital tools as part of an integrated art practice that is concept and content driven rather than media specific. As well as supporting students whose art work is presented in digital formats, the Digital Media area provides opportunities for artists working in all media to incorporate new methodologies into their practice. In the department and campus wide, both Mac- and PC-based facilities are available with specialized facilities provided for 3-D & 2-D animation, video editing, digital fabrication, and large-format 2-D printing.

Fall Deadline January 6
Spring Deadline The program does not admit in the spring.
Summer Deadline The program does not admit in the summer.
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Not required.
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 3

For up-to-date application instructions, see Graduate Application on the art department website.

To be admitted as a graduate student with full standing, an applicant must meet the minimum Graduate School requirements. The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not required for admission. 

 Submit an online application through the UW–Madison Graduate School and pay the application fee. The application can be found at the UW–Madison Graduate School Application portal.

It will take 24 hours for your Graduate School Electronic Application to process and appear in our system. Generally, the link to the SlideRoom application is sent the following day. Once you receive a confirmation e-mail, you will be able to register with SlideRoom, log in, and complete the Art Department’s supplemental application. You will be sent an email with a link to the MFA admissions application page (SlideRoom). After you register your account, you will apply to Program 1—Admittance Application NEW MFA APPLICANTS.

The SlideRoom application will walk you through the process of uploading your portfolio, as well as applying for funding opportunities through the Art Department. The department offers a number of teaching assistantships, both classroom and support positions, along with scholarships to qualified applicants. You will also be asked to upload a portfolio of 20 images of your recent artwork.

Your portfolio must be submitted through SlideRoom; mailed portfolios will not be reviewed. Applicants may upload images (jpggif, or png), video (movwmvflv) ,or PDF documents. For all technical assistance with SlideRoom, contact

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.


The Art Department awards roughly $1.3 million annually to fund graduate student education. Funding comes in the form of teaching assistantships (TA and TA–IS), project assistantships (PA), fellowships, and scholarship funding packages. TA, PA, and fellowship awards provide full tuition remission, living stipends, and medical benefits. Scholarships range in awarded amounts and are used to offset annual tuition costs. Students apply every year for funding and are awarded comprehensive funding packages based on their continued success in the program. Funding is based on sustained academic and artistic progress and satisfactory performance toward the completion of the degree. For up-to-date application instructions, see Graduate Funding on the Art Department website.


Art Department Teaching Assistantships (TA): Continuing students apply for TA positions in November, through the Annual Funding Application. Incoming students will apply for TA positions within the department’s Admissions Application. Because of the demanding responsibilities of these positions, the department prioritizes students moving into their second and third year of the program. All continuing students are offered an interview for TA positions. Students completing their third year of the program are not eligible to teach a fourth year. Qualified incoming applicants will be considered for an interview as class sections become available. Students may hold a TA position for two years only. An appointment as a TA includes remission of all tuition (excluding segregated fees or extra course fees) and health insurance coverage for the duration of the appointment. Appointments usually require teaching two studio sections or three discussion sections per semester.

Art Department Project Assistantships and Teaching AssistantInstructional Staff: Project assistantship (PA) and teaching assistant–instructional staff (TA-IS) positions are available within and outside of the department. These are limited-term appointments that pay a salary and provide benefits for studio, lab, or research work. TA–IS applications are included in the Annual Funding Application provided to continuing students in November. Incoming students will apply for TA–IS positions within the department’s Admissions Application. An appointment as a TA–IS includes remission of all tuition (excluding segregated fees or extra course fees) and health insurance coverage for the duration of the appointment.

PA positions are offered to qualified students, both incoming and continuing students, by direct selection of faculty members. There is no separate PA application. Eligible incoming and continuing students who have submitted either their Admittance Application or the department’s Annual Funding Application will be considered for PA appointments. In past years, MFA students have been successful in locating PA, TA, and TA–IS positions in other departments, primarily in positions requiring experience in art, design, or writing backgrounds. PA appointments can range from one semester to the full calendar year and provide full tuition remission (excluding segregated fees and extra course fees) and health coverage for the duration of the appointment.

Fellowships: Fellowships are awards that enable graduate students to pursue their degrees full-time. The steering committee nominates students for fellowships. The Graduate School has general fellowship information on its website. These fellowships are administered through the Graduate School.


Office of Student Financial Aid
333 E. Campus Mall #9701
Financial aid information for graduate student grants, employment appeals, and general loans is available at the Office of Student Financial Aid. Please note that the Art Department does not have anything to do with student financial aid awards.

Work Study

Work-study is awarded through student financial aid. Work-study positions are listed by the Office of Student Financial Aid. Many professors in the Art Department hire work-study students to assist them in lab courses.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Major Requirements


Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No No No No

Mode of Instruction Definitions


Minimum Credit Requirement 32 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 23 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement Half of degree coursework (16 credits out of 32 total credits) must be completed graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide (
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements No other specific grade requirements.
Assessments and Examinations At the end of the fourth semester, M.A. candidates will have an oral and written review of their creative work conducted by a committee of three tenure-track professors and an optional fourth, nonsigning member.
Language Requirements No language requirements.

Courses Required

ART 700 Introduction to Graduate Studies in Art3
ART 908 Seminar-Art3
ART 508 Colloquium in Art1
Art History (Students must take two Art History courses that are >300 level)6
Outside Academic Elective >300 level (This course cannot be a studio course and must be taken outside of the Art Department)3
16 additional credits chosen in consultation with advisor16
Total Credits32

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Major-Specific Policies

Graduate Program Handbook

The Graduate Program Handbook is the repository for all of the program's policies and requirements.

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 9 credits of graduate coursework from other institutions. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master's degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

No credits from a UW–Madison undergraduate degree are allowed to count toward the degree.

UW–Madison University Special

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 9 credits of coursework numbered 300 or above taken as a UW–Madison University Special student. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master's degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.


The Graduate School regularly reviews the record of any student who earned grades of BC, C, D, F, or Incomplete in a graduate course (300 or above), or grade of U in research credits. This review could result in academic probation with a hold on future enrollment or in being suspended from the Graduate School.

  1. Good standing (progressing according to standards; any funding guarantee remains in place).
  2. Probation (not progressing according to standards but permitted to enroll; loss of funding guarantee; specific plan with dates and deadlines in place in regard to removal of probationary status).
  3. Unsatisfactory progress (not progressing according to standards; not permitted to enroll, dismissal, leave of absence or change of advisor or program).


All students are required to conduct a yearly progress report meeting with their major professor. Committee is formed by the end of the student's third semester for M.A. qualifiers in their fourth semester.


12 credits per semester, 13 with petition

Time Constraints

The M.A. show of creative work must be completed by the fourth semester of the candidate's studies.

Master's degree students who have been absent for five or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence. Individual programs may count the coursework students completed prior to their absence for meeting program requirements; that coursework may not count toward Graduate School credit requirements.


In the three-year program of study, students may receive both M.A. and MFA degrees. 

Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

  1. Demonstrate mastery in both the practice and broad understanding of major trends and the historical underpinnings, methodologies and techniques of contemporary visual art both orally and in writing.
  2. Demonstrate and develop critical thinking skills through required coursework and additional self selected courses within the department and across campus as well as through independent study with individual professors.
  3. Examine and evaluate specific examples of artistic and academic production as it relates to their area of artistic research.
  4. Gain exposure to wide set of professional resources and career opportunities.
  5. Develop and complete original research that advances a field of study in at least one of the broad based discipline areas represented in the Department of Art.
  6. Evaluate and interpret professional writing from a variety of disciplines and use this information to develop a theoretical framework for their own artistic research.
  7. Learn to develop a rigorous and sustainable studio practice.
  8. Develop independent and self directed artistic research.
  9. Learn to develop the necessary materials to submit grant proposals to professional organizations.
  10. Develop a critical position and broad understanding of the artistic field that they most closely align with through their artistic research.
  11. (Communication) Effectively communicate to diverse audiences in writing, through oral presentations and discussions.
  12. Learn to write clear and concise statements articulating the direction and intention of their research for professional publications and exhibitions.
  13. Learn to present their research both informatively and articulately to diverse audiences through public lectures and symposiums.
  14. Learn to give and receive feedback orally and in writing.
  15. Be provided with opportunities to engage in public outreach, exhibitions and education in the community, state and nationally.
  16. (Teaching effectively) Teach a variety of courses within the Department of Art foundations program for undergraduate students.
  17. Have the opportunity to apply for competitive positions as instructors of record for the following undergraduate courses in drawing, design, digital media and 20th-century art history and contemporary practices.
  18. Be provided opportunities for mentorship in teaching methods.
  19. Be provided opportunities for observation and shadowing full time teaching faculty in the Department of Art.
  20. Be provided with diverse training that will prepare them for a range of flexible and sustainable careers (e.g., academia, industry, community engagement, museum and gallery support services, art commerce and outreach at all levels).
  21. Develop broadly applicable skills in critical thinking and problem solving.
  22. Be provided with opportunities for leadership, art project management, and teamwork through collaboration, communication skills, and collaborations with academic and nonacademic partners.


For more information about faculty, see UW/ART. 

Faisal Abdu’Allah (Printmaking)
Yeohyun Ahn (Graphic Design)
Emily Arthur (Printmaking) 
Lynda Barry (Comics)
Derrick Buisch (Painting & Drawing) 
Jeffrey Clancy (Metals)
Laurie Beth Clark (4-D)
Sarah FitzSimons (Sculpture)
Aristotle Georgiades (Sculpture)
Lisa Gralnick (Metals)
Gerit Grimm (Ceramics)
Stephen Hilyard (4-D)
John Hitchcock (Printmaking)
Tom Jones (Photography)
Tomiko Jones (Photography)
Helen Lee (Glass)
Dennis Miller (Graphic Design)
Meg Mitchell (4-D)
Darcy Padilla (Photography)
Michael Peterson (4-D)
Douglas Rosenberg (4-D)
Elaine Scheer (Painting & Drawing)
Gail Simpson (Sculpture) 
Leslie Smith III (Painting & Drawing) 
Fred Stonehouse (Painting & Drawing) 
José Carlos Teixeira (4-D) 


Mary Hoefferle (Art Education) 
Michael Valliquette (Art Foundations) 


National Association of Schools of Art and Design

Accreditation status: Accredited. Next accreditation review: 2025–2026.