The Department of Art offers general programs in studio art leading to the Master of Arts degree. The graduate curriculum includes painting, sculpture, photography, drawing, ceramics, and mixed and multi-media art. The University Gallery hosts an annual series of exhibits of interest to the University and the Commerce community.

Studio/Fine Arts concentration areas include ceramics, experimental studies, painting, and sculpture. In photography, facilities are available for both digital color and black and white photography.

Students wishing to improve their portfolios, while pursuing graduate degrees in the Studio Arts or Communication Design (new media, art direction, design communications, illustration, and copywriting), may count two upper-level undergraduate courses toward the master’s degree with prior approval of the Graduate School.

The summer MA program leading to the Master of Arts degree is primarily designed for art educators at the K-12 levels but is open to all qualified applicants holding Bachelor’s degrees in the visual arts. The MA degree may be pursued either for personal enrichment or to advance one’s professional standings and credentials. Courses for the degree include painting, sculpture, photography, drawing, ceramics, and mixed and multi-media art. Summer course work is specifically designed for professionals whose working schedules preclude full-time enrollment during the fall and spring semesters. Students accepted for graduate study in the art are expected to possess a high level of technical competency in their chosen medium or media, as our graduate courses focus on conceptual development rather than technical instruction. In consultation with an advisor, course content and degree plans are individually developed to meet the unique needs of the student. Students intending to pursue the MFA degree upon completion of the MA must apply for admission and undergo a portfolio evaluation to determine whether courses taken previously may be counted towards the degree.

Admission to pursue the MA degree in Art must be granted by both The Graduate School and the Department of Art. The applicant should submit a link to a digital portfolio of work and other supportive materials the department requires. Contact the departmental Graduate Coordinator for these requirements. The graduate degree program in Art is individually designed to meet the unique educational and professional needs of the student. In consultation with the graduate coordinator and the department head, students pursuing the MA degree will devise an appropriate degree plan during the first semester.

Graduate Admissions Information 2019

Graduate Student Handbook 2019

Health and Safety Handbook 2019

Transfer Credit
Graduate Faculty may accept a maximum of 12 semester hours for the M.A. degree or up to 1/3 of the credit required for a Master’s degree as transfer credit from another accredited graduate school. Transfer credit must be in art and will be granted only for those courses in which the student received a grade of “B” or better and for which evidence of work can be demonstrated in the form of a portfolio review. Students desiring to transfer courses toward their degree requirements must complete a Graduate Transfer Course Request Form, available in the department office. Students concurrently enrolled or enrolled at another institution during the final semester in a program can anticipate a one-semester delay in graduation. The combination of transferred credit and credit earned by extension may not exceed 12 semester hours or 1/3 of the credit required for the Master’s degree.

MA/MFA Graduate Student Advisor: Vaughn Wascovich,

Studio Art
The Master of Arts with a concentration in Studio Arts requires at least 36 semester hours.

Master of Arts in Art with a Concentration in Studio Art Option II Non-Thesis

Required Courses (9 semester hours)
ARTS 505 The Creative Process 3
ARTS 509 Practices and Techniques in Studio Art 3
ARTS 595 Research Literature & Techniques (3 semester hours required) 3
Studio Courses (6 semester hours)
6 semester hours of graduate-level studio courses 6
Studio Hours (6 semester hours required)
ARTS 525 Studio Hours I 3-8
Graduate Seminar (repeat course 2 times for 6 semester hours required)
ARTS 503 Graduate Seminar 3
Art History (9 semester hours)
9 semester hours Graduate level Art History 9
Total Hours 36

Note:  Successful completion of the Comprehensive Exam is required of all students.


For any Master of Arts degree, a minimum of  36 semester hours is required for the M.A. degree.

The Major
Six to ten graduate courses within the major department are required to constitute a major field of concentration.

Two to four courses may be taken outside the major and four courses in one subject may be designated as a minor.

M.A. Advisory Committees
The student must choose a committee chair by the end of the first semester, and the complete committee must be chosen by mid-term of the second semester or the student’s work will not be reviewed.

The chairperson may be any full-time member of the graduate faculty in either art or photography, though it is advisable that the chairperson be an instructor in the student’s area of concentration. At least one instructor in the student’s major area must be included among the four members of the advisory committee.

Unless staffing changes require otherwise, a student will be allowed to make one change on the committee.

The M.A. advisory committee consists of a chairperson and two other members of the faculty, selected by the student from the full-time graduate faculty. The committee must be selected before the end of the student’s first term. For that purpose, a Committee Selection Form is available in the department office. This form must contain the names of the three committee members, together with their signatures. The chairperson plays an important role on the committee, for he/she is responsible for determining the final grades in studio courses. While every member of the faculty will recommend a grade for the student’s studio courses on the Graduate Review Form (G.R.F.), the committee chairperson, as the instructor most familiar with the student’s work, has the final decision in assigning a grade that reflects the consensus of the faculty.

Graduate students pursuing the M.A. degree in studio art are required to participate in the mid-term and final graduate reviews, as are the students en route to the M.F.A. degree.

The method used to evaluate the graduate reviews is the Graduate Review Form (G.R.F.), which the members of the faculty complete following the day of the reviews. The G.R.F. informs the student of progress or deficiencies in a clear, objective, and useful manner as measured against the standards and criteria of graduate study at A&M Commerce. The graduate coordinator collects the G.R.F. forms and the student’s primary advisor takes into consideration this data while assigning the grade. The G.R.F. forms are then copied and returned to the student by the department office and become a permanent part of the student’s file.

Credit earned over six years prior to graduation will require specific written department justification and approval by the Dean for Graduate Studies in order to be counted towards a Master’s degree. In no case may courses more than ten years old be counted towards a Master’s degree.

With the approval prior to enrollment of the Dean for Graduate Studies, the Department of Art, and the instructor(s) of the course(s) in question, up to two undergraduate courses at the 300 or 400-level may be counted towards a Master’s degree. In such cases, a student will be expected to complete additional work beyond the normal course requirements at a level commensurate with graduate instruction.