MONTCLAIR STATE UNIVERSITY
COLLEGE OF THE ARTS
DEPARTMENT OF ART AND DESIGN
Dr. Dorothy Heard Tel: 973-655-4210 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
MA Graduate Program Coordinator
Dr. Robert Browning, MAST Adviser Tel: 973-838-4290 email: email@example.com
Ms. Jennifer O’Sullivan Tel: 973-655-4157 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Asst. Director of Graduate Admissions
Prof. Scott Gordley, Chairperson Tel.: 973-655-7295 email: email@example.com
MASTER OF ARTS IN FINE ARTS
Montclair State University is a designated center of influence for the fine and performing arts. Its College
of the Arts (CART) provides professional training and education for students seeking careers in the arts,
education, and public service or management. The College seeks to stimulate public interest in the arts and
to encourage research, creative work, and experimentation in the arts.
The Master of Arts in Fine Arts Studio Concentration (MAST) allows the student to specialize in one of the
following studio areas: Ceramics, Cinematography, Drawing, Metalwork and Jewelry, Painting,
Photography, Printmaking, or Sculpture. Final evaluation is based on the successful completion of a Visual
Project and Paper.
The student will also participate in seminar courses which examine and discuss particular issues pertaining
to contemporary art; the creative process; art in the life of the individual and society; the writings of artists,
historians, and philosophers.
Both full and part-time students are welcomed. Some graduate courses are offered in the evening; some
courses are available during the day.
The goals of the M.A. in Fine Arts Studio Concentration (MAST) are:
1. To stimulate the artistic growth and development of students as serious and committed artists.
2. To increase professional skills and aesthetic understanding.
3. To enhance students’ awareness of themselves as part of an ongoing rich tradition of visual
Eligibility for matriculation requires either an undergraduate degree in fine arts or the equivalent as
determined by the Department of Art and Design MA Studio Admissions and Retention Committee. A
strong background in both art history and studio art is expected. A portfolio of representative artwork and
a statement of intent are required for admission as evidence of the applicant’s ability and objectives. See
the MAST Portfolio Guidelines for specific details, if necessary, additional information concerning
portfolio requirements may be obtained from the department’s MAST Adviser or MA Graduate Program
Art History Prerequisite: The Department of Art and Design expects all candidates for admission to have
completed at least 15 s.h. in undergraduate art history. The MA Studio Admissions and Retention
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Committee may, at its discretion, include related courses in critical studies, aesthetics and philosophical
theory in this category. If a deficiency exists, undergraduate art history courses may be added to the
graduate work program as prerequisites.
Application Deadlines: All credentials and application materials must be submitted to The Office of
Graduate Admissions & Support Services. Portfolios must be submitted directly to the departmental MA
Graduate Program Coordinator at the time of the applicant’s interview. Basic application materials include:
1. A completed application form and letters of recommendation; a statement of objectives,
indication of the applicant’s preferred area of Specialization within the Studio Concentration
and possible artistic focus, is required.
2. A portfolio of artwork appropriate to the intended area of Studio Specialization, usually
submitted in the form of 10 or 20 PowerPoint slides, is required. DVDs and VHS time-based
media may be used to submit samples of work in film, video and new media. (Original, flat
drawings, paintings, prints, etc. or high-quality photographic copies of original artworks
presented in a professional portfolio, are also acceptable.) See MAST Portfolio Guidelines.
3. Transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work and test scores. (Copies of all application
materials except the portfolio will be sent to the Department of Art and Design from The
Office of Graduate Admissions & Support Services.)
Upon receipt of all credentials the departmental MA Studio Admissions and Retention Committee
consisting of representative faculty members, will review all applications. The MA Studio Admissions and
Retention Committee may at its discretion consult with appropriate studio advisers. The Committee will
then recommend one of the following for each candidate:
1. Admission to MAST within a specific area of studio Specialization.
2. Deferred Matriculation.
3. Recommend that the applicant take an undergraduate course of study to establish an
Equivalency and re-apply for admission. Credits earned to establish requirements for
admission will not credited towards the M.A. degree.
4. Reject for admission.
The MA Studio Admissions and Retention Committee may recommend Deferred Matriculation in order to
correct an applicant’s deficiencies in studio and/or art history. Deferments will be determined by the
Committee on an individual basis. Deferred Matriculation requires that the student take a specific course of
study, that when successfully completed, will allow the student to make a written request for matriculation
into the department.
Work Program: A work program form must be prepared by the department MA Graduate Program
Coordinator in consultation with the student and approved by The Office of Graduate Admissions &
Support Services before the student can be considered for matriculation.
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The curriculum consists of a minimum of 33 semester hours.
A typical Master of Arts in Fine Arts Studio Concentration (MAST)
Art History 6 s.h.
ARHS 590 Modern Philosophies of Art I 3 s.h.
ARHS XXX Graduate Art History 3 s.h.
(500 level or above) course
Art Electives 15 s.h.
Courses within Studio Specialization.
Choose from: Ceramics, Cinematography,
Drawing, Metalwork & Jewelry, Painting,
Printmaking, Photography, or Sculpture
(At least 12 sh. in one of these
Free Electives 6 s.h.
To be selected with the approval of the
MAST Adviser and MA Graduate Program
Coordinator. (Fine Arts courses or courses from
Seminars 6 s.h.
ARST 600 Seminar in Art I: 3 s.h.
Contemporary Art & Aesthetics
ARST 610 Seminar in Art II: Graduate Project 3 s.h.
Total Credits 33 s.h.
ARST 600 Graduate Seminar in Art I is a seminar in Contemporary Art and Aesthetics. An appropriate
amount of written work will be assigned, accompanied by discussion of written work and required
readings. It is suggested that Seminar in Art I be taken during the completion of the first 12 sh. of course
work. ARST 600 is typically available once each academic year. ARST 610 Graduate Seminar in Art II:
Graduate Project is taken in the student’s last semester along with the completion of the Visual Project and
Project Paper. ARST 610 Graduate Seminar in Art II: Graduate Project is taken as Independent Study with
the student’s Project Adviser. During this semester the student must work with her/his Project Adviser to
complete (develop and produce) the Visual Project and the Project Paper.
In addition to the successful completion of all required course work, all MAST students are required to
present a Visual Project and a Project Paper. All Project Committee members review both the student’s
Visual Project and Project Paper.
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Prior to completing 12 sh. the student must form his/her Project Committee, in consultation with the MAST
Adviser. The Project Committee will consist of four faculty members.
1. The student’s Project Adviser is selected by the student from the student’s area of
Studio Specialization. The student must have his/her Project Adviser confirm his/her
agreement to be the student’s Project Adviser and the student must (do we want this
extra thing?) file written confirmation with the MAST Adviser.
2. A faculty member selected by the student.
3. A faculty member selected by the MAST Adviser from the student’s area of Studio
4. A faculty member selected by the MAST Adviser from outside the student’s area of
The Project Committee may also be expanded on an ad hoc basis to include other interested faculty,
visiting specialists, etc. who serve in a nonvoting capacity with the approval of the MAST Adviser. The
student is responsible for coordinating the formation of his/her Project Committee in time for the
Midcourse Review and the Final Review. The same Project Committee will also supervise the student’s
Midcourse Review and Final Project Review. (Substitutions can only be made with the approval of the
The student is responsible for scheduling the Midcourse Review. The Project Committee will review the
student’s work just prior to or upon completion of 12 sh. and including the completion of no more than two
courses in the student’s Studio Specialization. The Committee may recommend appropriate course work.
Plans for the direction of the student’s Final Visual Project should be discussed and a first draft of the
Project Paper should be reviewed at this time. The Committee’s signed and dated recommendations are
submitted in hard-copy paper form to the department MA Graduate Program Coordinator. Mid-course
reviews must be scheduled and take place four weeks before the end of the semester.
Convening a Project Committee for a Midcourse Review requires pre-planning. Students are advised to
begin the process of identifying times and dates that will be mutually acceptable to Committee members
and the student at the beginning of the semester in which the Midcourse Review is to occur.
Final Review of Visual Project and Project Paper
The Final Review has two basic components. The Visual Project is the presentation (Exhibition) of a body
of visual art works developed by the student under the guidance of his/her Project Adviser and Project
Committee; the Project Paper with accompanying slides and prints and CD or DVD critically present and
document the student’s artistic focus, like the Visual Project, the Project Paper is also supervised by the
student’s Project Adviser and Project Committee. The Visual Project and the Project Paper are two
separate requirements. A The Project Committee reviews, evaluates and approves or rejects each of these
two requirements separately.
Student’s Sequence of Due Dates for the Final Review Semester
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The Student’s Sequence of Due Dates for the Final Review Semester is an outline for the semester in which
the student intends to graduate. Please note that time is needed to thoroughly modify and/or correct and re-
submit a Visual Project and/or Project Paper; time is needed for the Project Committee to review revisions
to the student’s Visual Project and/or Project Paper. Sufficient time must be provided for the MA Graduate
Program Coordinator to review and process the Visual Project, Project Paper and the Project Committee’s
recommendations; time is necessary for The Office of Graduate Admissions & Support Services, and the
Registrar’s Office to conduct their reviews of the student’s records and the department’s report of the
student’s Final Review. Students are advised to carefully follow this schedule of due dates:
Register for ARST 610
Semester Week 2: Submit draft copies of Project Paper to Project Adviser. Inform
MAST Adviser of having done so via Email.
Semester Week 4: Submit Project Adviser approved and proofread draft to all Committee
Members. Rewrite in view of suggestions.
Semester Week 6: Send revised paper, including changes suggested by Project Adviser
and Committee Members, to the MAST adviser. At this point student will submit
revisions of Project Paper to Project Adviser and MAST Adviser only. Student should
expect the Project Paper to be reviewed, revised and re-written several times.
Semester Week 12: Hold Final Review (see paragraph below “Visual Project” (See
Semester Week 14: If the Visual Project and/or Project Paper require only very minor
revisions, then those required revisions must be made and submitted to the MAST
Adviser. Major revisions must be addressed in the following semester.
At the Final Review the Project Committee may unanimously:
A. Approve both the Visual Project and the Project Paper
B. Approve the Visual Project and Reject the Project Paper
C. Reject the Visual Project and Approve the Project Paper
D. Reject the Visual Project and Reject the Project Paper
When a Project Committee rejects a student’s Visual Project and/or Project Paper, deficiencies are
identified and recommendations are made to the student and a timetable is set for the student’s re-
submission of the recommended changes and/or corrections to the student’s Visual Project and/or Project
Resubmission and review need not take place in the same semester. Resubmissions for very minor
modifications and review of revisions must take place as per the Student’s Sequence of Due Dates for the
Final Review Semester (see above). Revisions and resubmissions requiring substantial changes to the Final
Project and/or Project Paper will take place in the following semester. No Final Reviews will take place
during Summer Sessions.
1. Visual Project
The Project Committee will convene for the Final Review four weeks before the end of the
semester (not including the University’s examination period) in which the student expects to
complete his/her program of study. Present at the Final Review will be the members of the
student’s Project Committee and the MAST Adviser or his/her representative. If the Visual Project
is not accepted, the Committee will make specific recommendations for improvement. The
student will then have the opportunity to rework his/her project, and to request that the Project
Committee reconvene at a later date.
The student must submit an acceptable project within the time limits set forth by the University for
the completion of the M.A. degree.
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2. Project Paper
Week four of the semester in which the student expects to graduate, it is the responsibility of the
student to provide members of his/her Project Committee with draft copies of his/her Project
Paper. The student’s Project Adviser and other Members of his/her Project Committee are
available for consultation. Before presenting the Project Paper to Committee Members, the
student must have the approval of his/her Project Adviser. The Project Paper must be submitted in
hard copy form and electronically.
The student must allow adequate time for all drafts to be fully reviewed before final submission of
the Project Paper. No drafts of the Project Paper will be accepted four weeks prior to the Final
Review date (i.e. no drafts after week eight of the semester). A revised version of the student’s
Project Paper must be presented to all the Members of the student’s Project Committee at least
two weeks prior to the presentation of the student’s Visual Project and must have been reviewed
by the Committee at the time of the review of the student’s Visual Project. If the Project Paper is
not accepted, the Committee will make specific recommendations for improvement. The student
will then have the opportunity to rewrite his/her paper and to request that the Committee
reconvene at a later date. The student must submit an acceptable Project paper within the time
limits set forth by the University for the completion of the M.A. degree.
The Project Paper is an objective statement of the student’s aesthetic and intellectual development
as an artist and should articulate aesthetic “intent” and include written documentation of the body
of artwork in her/his final Visual Project. The paper should clarify and reinforce the Visual
Project and document the historical aesthetic framework and cultural context within which the
work has evolved. The report of work and aesthetic positions postulated should be supported
accompanied 10-20 slides, digital print images and a CD or DVD of the student’s artwork with
appropriate references. University standards for writing apply. A parenthetical documentation
style must be used. One of the following two online style guides is required:
See the Guidelines for Preparing the Project Paper for further details; contact the MAST Adviser if
additional information is needed.
A recommendation of pass or fail for both the Visual Project and the Project Paper must be signed
by each Project Committee member and submitted to the department MA Graduate Program
The photo documentation of the Final Visual Project (a slide sheet of 10-20 slides, 8 x 10 color
prints and CD or DVD) and Project Paper will remain on file in the Department of Art and
Design. Three bound copies of the Final Visual Project in the form of prints, slides and CD or
DVD and three copies of the Project Paper must be submitted to the department Ma Graduate
Program Coordinator. Visual Project images must be bound together with the Project Paper.
1. University application for Final Evaluation (Final Audit): Individuals anticipating completion
of their degree requirements must apply to have their eligibility for the conferment of the
degree evaluated by the Office of the Registrar. An Audit application form can be obtained
from the Registrar’s Office; it must be completed and returned by March 1 st for August
conferment, by June 1st, for January conferment, and by October 1 st for June conferment.
Only courses at the 500 level or above are applicable to the M.A. degree.
Studio and art history undergraduate courses may be required to satisfy program eligibility
requirements but such undergraduate and/or graduate course work will not be credited toward
the graduate degree.
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2. Admissions, Midcourse Reviews, and Final Visual Project and Project Paper Reviews will not
take place during the summer or during official university breaks.
3. All matriculation, work programs, and changes in work programs are subject to the approval
of the department MA Graduate Program Coordinator and The Office of Graduate
Admissions & Support Services.
ABOUT MONTCLAIR STATE UNIVERSITY
Established in 1908, Montclair is a co-educational four-year university of liberal arts, sciences, professional
and graduate programs. The University is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art
and Design, the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and by the National Council
for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. Among numerous other associations, Montclair is a member of
the Council of Graduate Schools in the United States.
Financial aid in the form of loans, scholarships, assistantships (including tuition and stipend), grants and
employment are available to qualified students. Although on-campus graduate housing is limited, housing
in the surrounding communities is available.
The MSU 200 acre campus is located 20 miles west of New York City in the relaxed and comfortable
suburban atmosphere of Upper Montclair, New Jersey. Cultural opportunities abound within the area.
Montclair State University has been designated as a Center for the Fine and Performing Arts, and the
quality and variety of its programs have received national attention. The university also has convenient
transportation links to the cultural amenities of New York City and its adjacent communities.
TUTION AND FEES
Montclair’s graduate tuition is exceptionally attractive. Please consult our online Graduate Catalog to see
the current New Jersey resident and nonresident tuition rates per semester hour of credit. Miscellaneous
service fees apply each semester; fees are the same for both residents and nonresidents. Books and
materials normally average $200 per course.
Please consult the online Graduate Catalog and Graduate Application booklet for further information about
TRANSFER CREDITS AND WAIVERS
With the approval of the Graduate Coordinator and The Office of Graduate Admissions & Support
Services, a maximum of 6 semester hours may be considered for transfer from graduate study at other
institutions. Such credits may not be part of a previously earned graduate degree.
Specific course requirements may be considered for waiver if the course content was covered by previous
graduate study. Appropriate substitutions must be made to work programs in such cases. No graduate
coursework with letter grades of “D” or below will be considered for transfer.
For additional admissions information or for a consultation, contact:
Dr. Dorothy Heard, MA Graduate Program Coordinator, Department of Art and Design
(973) 655-4210 or (973) 655-7295
For advisement please contact:
Dr. Robert Browning, MAST Adviser, Department of Art and Design
(973) 838-4290 or (973) 655-7295
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