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Master of Fine Arts

Master of Fine Arts

ArtBistro Degree Center

The Master of Fine Arts degree is a specialized, terminal degree available at the graduate level in both fine arts and design.

The same aspects that distinguish a BFA from a BA are what differentiate an MFA from an MA. The MFA is a concentrated “professional” degree for students seeking advanced education prior to becoming practicing artists or designers. A practicing artist or designer can also obtain this additional degree to advance his or her career in a different direction or for greater opportunities. The MA, on the other hand, is usually a “liberal arts” degree with less emphasis on practice. A further distinction is that the MFA must be a two year, 60 credit program, whereas the MA need only be a one year, 30 credit program.

Finally, the MFA requires that 65% to 85% of the course work be in art or design practice, whereas the MA requires approximately 50% in studio areas.

In virtually every state in the country, the MFA is considered a “terminal” degree in fine and applied arts majors. That is, there is no higher level degree available or required for the practice-oriented student. College professors in art and design are typically required to have an MFA. The MFA degree is offered in art and design studio areas, as well as in art history, art education, art therapy.

A Master of Fine Arts will most likely increase your salary. An artist or designer with a Master of Fine Arts Degree can make up to $30,000 more a year than a designer with a Bachelor’s degree.

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