Jun 22, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


Professor Ira Greenberg, Division Chair

Professors: Barnaby Fitzgerald, Philip Van Keuren
Associate Professor: Brian Molanphy
Assistant Professors: Courtney Brown, Melanie Clemmons, Lisa McCarty, Sarah Nance, Nishiki Sugawara-Beda
Lecturer: Nyugen Smith
Visiting Lecturers: Tamara Johnson, Tabatha Trolli


Facilities for the study of art include well-lighted studios, excellent supporting equipment for all media, including digital and video applications, and studios for graduate students. Art students work broadly and as experimentally as they wish, surrounded by dancers, musicians, actors, filmmakers, and communications specialists.

The Division of Art will provide every graduate student with an individual or shared studio. It is the responsibility of each student to make full and proper use of the studio provided or lose the privilege. The division has no obligation to provide studios for longer than two years.

Additional facilities include the Pollock Gallery, located in Expressway Tower. Exhibitions organized by the Pollock Gallery provide students, faculty, staff and the surrounding community with opportunities to experience a wide and thought-provoking array of exhibitions representing diverse artists, time periods and cultures.

Special Programs and Resources

The division offers the New York Colloquium, a winter interterm program that fulfills a three-hour art history requirement. During the Colloquium, students visit a range of museums, galleries, artists’ studios and other venues appropriate to the development of their critical and professional studies in art.

The Dallas-Fort Worth area has a large artistic community with rich and varied resources. These include many internationally and nationally significant museums and galleries: the Meadows Museum on the SMU campus, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Nasher Sculpture Center, the Crow Museum, the Dallas Contemporary, the Latino Cultural Center, the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, the Arlington Museum, the Kimbell Museum, the Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art and the Amon Carter Museum. There are also vibrant, artist-run alternative and cooperative galleries, and a strong commercial gallery system.

Mercedes Benz Emerging Artist Award: A two-month residency is offered in Berlin every other year to a graduating art student or recent alumnus/a.


The M.F.A. program is a two-year residential program of study. Graduate students are admitted into the M.F.A. program in the spring for studies starting in the fall term. Candidates for the program must complete the online application available at http://www.smu.edu/Meadows/Admissions/Graduate. Additionally, candidates must upload a portfolio, including 20 selections of their work, to Slate. Portfolio submissions are due by February 1. Students are encouraged, but not required, to tour the facility with a current graduate student and to meet the graduate advisor and other faculty prior to application. Admission to the graduate program is selective. Only those individuals will be admitted in whom the faculty recognizes clear prospects for attaining the objectives of the program during the two-year period of graduate study. Admission also is based on the objectives and limitations of the department.

The applicant is required to have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree equivalent to that offered at SMU (including 60 studio hours and 9 Art History, Theory, or Criticism hours). In exceptional cases, unusually qualified applicants not holding this degree may be considered for admission. The ranked admission criteria are portfolio, statement of intent, transcript and recommendations.

In general, not more than six credit hours of transfer credit apply to the M.F.A. in art. However, if the applicant has an M.A. in studio art, up to 30 credit hours may be transferred to the SMU program with the approval of the faculty and the head of the graduate program. In any case, a minimum of 36 hours must be taken at SMU.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Each year up to six Meadows Scholarships are reserved for incoming graduate students, awarded based upon artistic merit. These awards are for up to full tuition and fees remission and include teaching assistant stipends of $3,000 per academic year. A number of other grant programs offer significant funding for projects, materials and travel in support of creative research.

Aside from receiving a full fellowship, students are can apply for the following travel and scholarship opportunities: Meadows Travel Grant, Doolin Grant, Zelle Grant, Jones Grant, & Richter Fellowship.

Graduation Requirements

With the approval of the graduate committee, in consultation with the faculty, each student will participate in the M.F.A. Qualifying Exhibition. The M.F.A. Qualifying Exhibition is a group show of all graduate student candidates in their final semester. Approval to exhibit must be obtained in the term prior to the exhibition. This approval usually is given at the critique at the end of the prior fall term.

The quality of this exhibition will be the primary determinant of whether the M.F.A. degree will be granted. Once approved for the M.F.A. exhibition, the student must enroll in ASAG 6301 - M.F.A. Qualifying Exhibition and Exam  in the spring term with the chair of his or her graduate committee.

During the period of the graduate exhibition, the entire faculty will interview each student. This examination is to establish that the student’s creative work is of sufficient maturity and that his or her general knowledge of critical and historical issues is at the level expected of an M.F.A. candidate. Students are also expected to present an oral defense of his or her work, a slide presentation in the form of a professional artist lecture, a written thesis, as well as the following: an artist statement, 20 images with image list of work produced during the graduate program, a current curriculum vitae, and a PDF of the MFA Qualifying Exhibition brochure. This information should be presented in digital format. Students may not graduate unless this information is accepted to SMU Scholar.

If the faculty finds the oral presentation or written thesis to be unsatisfactory, the student will have the option for a single retake within 10 days of the first review. The student will not be eligible to receive his or her degree after a second failure. Once the exhibition and the faculty examination are accepted and the required materials are turned in, the student will receive his or her degree at the graduation ceremony at the end of the term.

Possession of Work

Meadows School of the Arts is entitled to retain as many as one piece of work by each student. The intention is to honor the successful candidate and to provide evidence of student success in lieu of the usual formal thesis. These works enter the University art collection.

Graduate Committees and Critiques

With the exception of the graduate seminars and the required coursework in art history, graduate study proceeds primarily through individual tutorials with members of the faculty, guided by a two-person graduate committee. Prior to the beginning of the first semester of study, the graduate adviser will appoint, for each student, two members of faculty to serve as committee members (including the committee chair), two members of faculty for graduate studio “hours”, & a member of faculty for GA/TA for the forthcoming semester. Graduate committees can change beginning with a student’s second or third term. Membership on the graduate committee becomes permanent at the beginning of the student’s second year except for substitutions for faculty who are on leave. Upon the return of a committee member who has been on leave, he or she will resume his or her place on the student’s committee.

This committee will meet with the student in critique at least once every month during each term in which he or she is registered for studio credit. These critiques are normally held the first week of each month, and it is the student’s responsibility to arrange these critiques. 

Graduate Reviews

At the end of each term, a selection of completed and ongoing work and a written statement discussing the term’s progress will be presented for review to the entire faculty of the division. Continuation in the graduate program is on a term-to-term basis and is determined by the graduate committee with the advice of the faculty at the critique at the end of the term.





      In registering for courses in art, the course number must be preceded by the appropriate subject code prefix for credit to be properly recorded. The ASAG sequence of seminars and independent study comprises the core of the graduate curriculum. Courses in individual disciplines, at or above the 5300 level, also are available for graduate credit.