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

Graduate Programs

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
Recently ranked one of the top 10 most influential Master of Fine Arts programs in the world, the 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 graduate in two years with an MFA degree.

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.

Application Requirements


Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) 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 the Medford and Boston-SMFA campus 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 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 (mary_ellen.strom@tufts.edu)
Lisa Bynoe, Associate Director of Graduate Programs (lisa.bynoe@tufts.edu)

Graduate Advisors, School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts

Danielle Abrams, Performance
Patty Chang, Video Fall 2016 
Mark Cooper, Ceramics
Santiago Cucullu, Painting, Installation
Bonnie Donohue, Photography
Joel Frenzer, Animation
Barbara Gallucci, Sculpture
Jane Gillooly, Film
Patte Loper, Painting
Megan McMillan, Sculpture
Ethan Murrow, Drawing and Painting
Jennifer Schmidt, Print and Paper
Jeannie Simms, Photography
Mary Ellen Strom, Video
Floor Van De Velde, Performance and 3D


The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate is a one-year program that offers intensive studio art study and practice, closely advised and supported by SMFA faculty. The program is ideal for students who have completed a bachelor's degree and want to immerse themselves in rigorous studio art-making. Whether you have recently graduated or are changing careers, the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate also provides excellent preparation for graduate study in art or for professional practice as an artist.

The Post-Baccalaureate program attracts applicants from a wide range of backgrounds. Some Post-Baccalaureate students are recent college graduates seeking a year of intensive studio education before beginning independent work as artists. Others come to initiate professional art practice after working in a different field. Still others are working artists who seek to expand their skills or explore new media.

Why the Post-Baccalaureate Program?
Completion of the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate prepares students for a variety of paths. Some go on to graduate degree programs, such as the MFA, many others participate as fellows in professional artists' residencies. Whether immediately or after further formal study, most graduates sustain professional practice as artists.

Program Benefits

Intensive time in the studio
With a curriculum of courses chosen almost entirely by yourself, your Post-Baccalaureate year allows you to immerse yourself in your studio work. You may choose to focus on one medium—or explore media across the curriculum. The choices are many: The Museum School offers an average of 275 studio courses each year.

A focus on contemporary art
Post-Baccalaureate students actively engage the contemporary art world through field trips and dialogue with visiting artists. Readings, gallery visits, and class discussions focus on contemporary art—and examine how each student's art fits into that historical context.

Studio space
Each Post-Baccalaureate student has the use of a semi-private studio space in the Mission Hill building, a short walk from the SMFA's main building and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. For most of the semester, students have 24-hour access to studio spaces and facilities.

A close-knit community
Post-Baccalaureate students develop a sense of camaraderie as they work closely with one another and with faculty in weekly seminars, in joint and individual critiques of artwork, and in discussions of students' development and needs.

Certificate Requirements

The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program is a one-year program that consists of two full-time semesters of studio courses (including the Post-Baccalaureate Seminar), plus one Visual and Critical Studies (Art History) course.

Studio Art
Post-Baccalaureate students register for 14 credits of studio art coursework each semester of the program, chosen from across the SMFA curriculum. The Museum School awards credit for studio art at the end of each semester during Review Boards.

Visual and Critical Studies (Art History)
All Post-Baccalaureate students take one course in Art History, either in the spring or the fall semester.

Post-Baccalaureate Seminar
The Seminar is a mandatory core component of the curriculum during both fall and spring semesters. The Seminar includes professional presentations, student presentations, directed group discussions and writing projects, critiques of work, and visits to museums, galleries, collections, and other sites.

Sample Course of Study
• 14 credits of studio art, including the Post-Baccalaureate Seminar, plus one course in Visual and Critical Studies (may be taken fall or spring semester)

• 14 credits of studio art, including the Post-Baccalaureate Seminar

Please contact the SMFA Admissions for more information on applying to the Post-Bac program: gradadmissions@tufts.edu or 617-627-3395.