Juan Travieso, Lonesome George (detail), 2012. Oil and acrylic on canvas.

Graduate Programs

Master of Fine Arts with Tufts University (MFA)
Recently ranked one of the top 10 most influential Master of Fine Arts programs in the world, the SMFA/Tufts Master of Fine Arts (MFA) is both rigorous and highly selective as it prepares you for a career as a professional artist. Artistic innovation and creativity are fundamental qualities that are highly transferable to wider areas of society. The curriculum integrates practical and critical skills across diverse media and disciplines; you'll hone your practice through individual innovation, creative collaborations, informal mentorships and academic discourse. MFA students are enrolled at both SMFA and Tufts University, and graduate in two years with an MFA degree from Tufts.

Key aspects of the program include:

  • A varied curriculum that integrates practical and critical skills across diverse media and disciplines.

  • Professional development including a Contemporary Art Seminar (CAP), graduate group critiques, individual meetings with graduate advisors and the support of Career Services.

  • Teaching opportunities and the ability to apply for outside exhibitions and grants, including SMFA Travel Grants.

  • Colloquia that explore timely ideas in the visual arts and art theory.

  • Distinguished visiting faculty and guest artists.

In this program you will complete 60 credits, including studio, four graduate seminars and two art history and two academic electives at the upper or graduate level at Tufts University. You'll have your own semi-private studio space and access to the School's faculty and equipment. The final thesis exhibition is held at the famed Cyclorama in Boston's South End.

Additional program information and degree requirements are available here

Graduate studio courses are taught at SMFA's Mission Hill Building, 160 St. Alphonsus Street, about a ten minute walk from the main campus.


Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art with Northeastern University
The MFA in Studio Art within Northeastern's College of Art, Media, and Design, is a professional program that is both rigorous and highly selective. It prepares students for careers as working artists or as university professors (the MFA is considered a terminal degree in its field).

The curriculum integrates practical and critical skills across diverse media and disciplines; students hone their practice through individual innovation, creative collaborations, informal mentorships, and academic discourse. MFA students are enrolled at both the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and NU, and graduate in two years with an MFA degree from Northeastern. For more information, visit the NU MFA program page.

Prospective students should apply through Northeastern’s online application portal

Art + Design applicants are required to submit their portfolio via Slideroom, an online portfolio submission service. Portfolio submission guidelines are in the Slideroom link under the degree you wish to apply to. 

Visit the College of Arts, Media and Design’s Graduate Web site for detailed Admissions information.


Masters of Arts in Teaching, Art Education with Tufts University

The Master of Arts in Teaching in Art Education (MAT) program prepares the artist to teach in elementary, middle and high schools with a critical focus on both contemporary visual culture and traditional arts. The resources of Tufts University and SMFA combine to enhance your understanding of urban and multicultural education and to develop your capacity as a reflective studio artist.

The studio component of the program intersects with art teaching methods, art education curriculum development, visual-critical studies and supervised pre-practicum internships in public schools and at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Full-time practicum internships in urban, suburban and urban-rim communities engage MAT students in the study, analysis and production of visual culture with youth in the classroom.

MAT students are enrolled at both SMFA and Tufts University, and graduate with an MAT degree from Tufts. You will complete a 12-month program of study in education foundations, art theory and curriculum and studio art. Many MAT students start with three education classes at Tufts in the summer, then take eight studio credits and two art education classes in the fall. They then complete their course of study in the spring with a student-teaching internship that includes a weekly seminar and an art curriculum development course.

When you graduate, you'll be eligible to apply for grades PK-8 or 5-12 Massachusetts Initial Teaching Licensure in Art Education. 46 states have signed the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification contract with Massachusetts for interstate licensure reciprocity.

To apply for the MAT program, visit the MAT page on the Tufts website.

Master of Fine Arts with Tufts University Program Directors

Mary Ellen Strom, Director, Master of Fine Arts Program (maryellen.strom@smfa.edu)
Lisa Bynoe, Associate Dean of Graduate Programs (lbynoe@smfa.edu)
Jackie Williams, Administrative Coordinator, MFA Graduate Programs (jwilliams@smfa.edu)

Graduate Advisors, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 2015

Danielle Abrams, Performance
Gerry Bergstein, Painting
Fritz Buehner, Sculpture
Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Painting
Abigail Child, Film
Mark Cooper, Ceramics
Bonnie Donohue, Photography
Joel Frenzer, Animation
Barbara Gallucci, Sculpture
Jane Gillooly, Film
Nate Harrison, Sound
Patte Loper, Painting
Megan McMillan, Sculpture
Ethan Murrow, Painting
Jennifer Schmidt, Print and Paper
John Schulz, Print and Paper
Jeannie Simms, Photography
Carol Stakenas, Curatorial
Mary Ellen Strom, Video

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