Writing your dissertation or thesis, of course, includes settling on a topic and research question, researching your topic, preparing drafts for your advisor and/or committee, rewriting and editing, and preparing your final document for publication. The submission process, which follows, includes several key steps:
Your thesis or dissertation will be made available to the international academic community and the public through the UO Libraries and microfilmed for the University of Oregon archives. All dissertations also are published by ProQuest/UMI.
Officially christened an art and design school in 1932, the Cranbrook Academy of Art was once known as the cradle of American modernism. Its campus, hidden away in an affluent Detroit suburb, is like The Fountainhead come to life: Its and -style buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places. The school is unique in that it only offers graduate-level degrees; all students must enroll full-time and you need 60 total credit hours to graduate. But the curriculum is DIY and there are no mandatory classes, so students are free to build a schedule entirely suited to their individual interests under the tutelage of faculty like , , and . , , and are among this institution’s noted alumni.
As a state school, Hunter offers a big bang for your buck. Students get all the cultural benefits of being located in central Manhattan but pay half the price of most other MFA programs in the city. Moreover, the average Hunter grad student takes only six to nine credit hours a semester, with the goal of finishing the program in under three years. This course structure allows many to hold part-time jobs for the duration of their degree program, and most students leave with little to no student debt—a rarity in today’s loan-laden education environment. (We’ve also heard rumors from certain alumni that the ample studio space is an added incentive to stretch out your time as as a student.) Hunter may offer a bargain, but its curriculum is still top-notch, and the school currently boasts faculty members such as Andrea Blum, Constance DeJong, , and .
US News & World Report named VCU among the the top two public university art schools (tied with UCLA, also on our list), helped in part by its robust Sculpture and Extended Media program, currently helmed by . Its foundry and metal fabrication shop are state-of-the-art, which is perfect if you’re looking to work with stone, metals, or other heavy-duty industrial materials (much like alumni, and MacArthur “genius” grant winners, and have in the past). The school prides itself on inviting established talent to campus as visiting faculty or visiting artists; past participants include , , and .
Known for its competitive “New Genres” program—spanning installation, video, film, audio, performance, and assorted digital mediums—this unique area of study questions “preconceived notions of the role of art in culture and its relationship to a specific form or medium,” . On the whole, UCLA offers Ivy League quality at state school prices. Students work under the sage tutelage of top faculty like , , and ; notable alumni include and .
This central campus resource serves as a hub for exploring design in nature and the natural connections between art and science, offering students hands-on access to more than 80,000 specimens along with high-end microscopes and aquatic tanks. Photo by Jo Sittenfeld. Courtesy of Rhode Island School of Design.
RISD is renowned for a technically driven curriculum, so if you prefer to spend more time getting dirty in the studio than reading critical theory, this is the place for you. Classes are generally pretty small, too, with a student-to-teacher ratio of 10 to one, so you’re guaranteed quality time with your peers and professors. Programs of study include painting, sculpture, and photography, as well as furniture design and glass. Roughly 90 percent of graduates from RISD find work within three years, with over 60 percent of those landing a job directly related to their field of study. Alums include , , , and .
Save your pennies if you want to enroll here—SAIC was recently reported to have one one of the highest price tags of any private school in the nation after subtracting the average amount of government and institutional grants bestowed each year. That said, the institution is consistently ranked among the top three art schools in the U.S. thanks to an all-star faculty including artists , , and . SAIC has always been a museum school, which means students have ample access to the esteemed collection of the ; in fact, artist studios and work facilities are located both within the institute and directly across the street. Notable alumni include a slew of (, , and ); ; ; and Kanye West, if you count the honorary doctorate they gave him in 2015.
Founded in 1826, MICA is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art in the U.S. That’s no simple feat given that the school has burned down twice since then, the first time on February 7, 1835, and again (weirdly enough, also on February 7th) during the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904. The Chronicle of Higher Education listed MICA as one of the nation’s top producers of Fulbright Fellows among specialty schools and the institution counts artists like , Elaine Hamilton, , and Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson among its former students. Courses of study include Community Arts—focused on “art practice as a means of civic empowerment, community organizing and development, activism, education and more”—as well as filmmaking, graphic design, and a low-residency summer program for Studio Art.
Nestled in the picturesque antebellum town of Savannah, Georgia, SCAD was founded with one building and fewer than 80 students in 1978. It has grown aggressively ever since, and is now is a sprawling behemoth with satellite campuses in Atlanta, Hong Kong, and Lacoste, France. The school’s annual deFINE Art Festival is another perk, bringing a program of lectures and exhibitions to town; previous year’s iterations have introduced the student body to critics (Jerry Saltz) and artists like and . SCAD is more commercially minded than others on our list, and is well-regarded for its animation and graphic design programs. It’s also always lauded itself for being digitally driven—according to co-founder Paula Wallace, SCAD was the first school to receive shipments of Commodore’s Amiga computers in the 1980s. Alumni include painter , Academy Award-winning special effects artist Mir Zafar Ali, and M. Alice LeGrow, the cartoonist behind the successful new gothic graphic novel series, Bizenghast.
Situated on over 500 acres of land along the Hudson, on the grounds of two historic riverside estates, Bard’s idyllic campus in upstate New York is the stuff of an Edith Wharton-inspired fantasy. The school is credited with starting the first low-residency MFA program, with students gathering for eight-week summer sessions that split up their independent study, in total lasting under three years. The flexible schedule makes it easy for influential artists like , , and to lend their time as professors. and are both part of the “Bard Mafia,” the nickname for the school’s influential alumni network. And you’re likely to run into other art-world heavy hitters on campus, as Bard continues to enrich its larger program, appointing former curator Lauren Cornell as director of its Curatorial Studies graduate program and chief curator of its Hessel Museum of Art this year.