Master of Fine Arts in Visual Arts

Meet an MFA student who’s thriving.

Callan Prakel (Master of Fine Arts, 2021) earned their bachelor’s degree from Capital University in art therapy, psychology, and studio art, but at heart, they always knew they were a maker. So, heading to Columbus College of Art & Design for a Master of Fine Art in Visual Arts seemed like the next logical step.

Read more.


Challenge your perspective. Deepen your practice.

CCAD’s Master of Fine Arts in Visual Arts brings together accomplished makers from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds to form a community ready to be challenged as artists, thinkers, and citizens. 


We revel in the discoveries that emerge when we place illustrators, photographers, sculptors, and other creative minds alongside one another in our classes and in our studios.

Get ready to confront your artistic habits, assumptions, and mindsets as you productively unlearn and begin to better apprehend your work and its role in the world around us.


Guest speakers including ground-breaking queer, femme, and BIPOC artists like:

Lisa Jarrett, Billie Lee, Lisa McLymontAndrea Myers, Johnathan PayneErik ScollonTosha Stimage, and Namita Gupta Wiggers.


Work in a personal studio you can access 24/7

Launch Experience

We’ve built an inclusive environment that will fuel collaboration, experimentation, and creation. The CCAD MFA program is located on the third floor of CCAD’s Design Studios on Broad, a renovated early 20th-century building (formerly an auto dealership) in downtown Columbus.


The 13,700-square-foot facility includes individual student studios located next to one another, faculty offices, a lounge, and an exhibition space. And as a CCAD student, you also have access to CCAD’s library, plus the college’s many labs (think ceramics, printmaking, fabric printing, and so much more), workshops, the Tad Jeffrey FabLab—a unique space featuring 3D printers, one of the largest laser cutters in Ohio, a bigger-than-life walk-in spray booth, and a new state-of-the-art wire bender—various computer and other labs, darkrooms, studios, and digital printing facilities.


Course descriptions

Studio projects

Semesters 1 & 2

Studio projects focuses on the development of your individual work, through rigorous studio practice, presentations and critique. You will receive in-depth feedback from peers, faculty and visiting artists.


Graduate seminar

Semesters 3 & 4

This topical seminar supports individual studio work by exposing you to the larger dialogues around art and design practice. The content of this seminar focuses on the theoretical, social, and historical issues that intersect the artistic issues pertinent to art and design production. Through readings, discussions, and presentations, you are guided through in-depth investigations and explorations of these topics. In 2020–2021, these seminars were on the topics of The Studio and Adaptation



Critique and the Creative Practice

Semester 1

This foundational seminar is designed for incoming students to engage, explore, and analyze both their own practice and critique methodology through speaking, writing, research, and presentation. The course format includes lectures, student presentations, guest lectures, and class discussions.

Graduate Art History seminar

Semesters 1 & 2

You'll take two graduate-level theory courses designed to introduce you to deep, theoretical research. This will ground your work in contemporary thought in art and design.


Art/Design electives

Timing varies

All courses offered at CCAD are available to graduate students, subject to availability, and are taken as part of your six art/design elective credits. 


Professional Practices

Semester 2

Professional practices seminar is an in-depth look at opportunities specific to different disciplines. You will develop a well-formulated and flexible strategy to navigate the professional art and design worlds. You’ll present work professionally, investigate grants and fellowships, navigate exhibition and residency opportunities, and utilize communication technology with confidence.

Teaching Methods

Semester 2

This weekly graduate seminar focuses on teaching, planning, and assessment of college-level studio art classes. This course is required for if you wish to be considered for a paid Teaching Assistant position in your second year. 

Thesis projects I & II

Semesters 3 & 4

Thesis Projects I focuses on the initial thesis project proposal, development and implementation. You'll choose your thesis advisor, develop your thesis proposal, and complete a pre-thesis review. Emphasis will be placed on the highest professional standards of development, planning and execution.

Thesis Projects II focuses on the final thesis project development and exhibition. Emphasis will be placed on originality and the highest professional standards of development and execution.


Credit hours

Requirement Hours
Program Requirements 60
Total 60

View online catalog

Faculty & Mentorship

As an MFA student, you’ll work with select faculty who provide one-on-one feedback. They will push and challenge you as part of a community that is supportive and rigorous, demanding, and compassionate. Our program features small class sizes, accepting only nine to 15 students per year. To gain exposure and insight from industry professionals, you’ll also work with an off-campus mentor or participate in a practicum. The degree concludes with a thesis project, written thesis paper and oral defense.

Meet our MFA professors

Associate Professor
CORE Studies, Master of Fine Arts
Professor, Chair of Master of Fine Arts
Master of Fine Arts
Dean of Graduate Studies, Professor
Master of Fine Arts
Director of Liberal Arts, Department Head of ESL, Assistant Professor
Liberal Arts, English as a Second Language, Master of Fine Arts
Faculty Director of Galleries
Master of Fine Arts
Fine Arts, Master of Fine Arts
Adjunct Faculty, Business, Math, & Entrepreneurship
Liberal Arts, Master of Fine Arts
Chair of Photography, Associate Professor
Photography, Master of Fine Arts
Assistant Professor, MFA Thesis Advisor
History of Art & Visual Culture, Master of Fine Arts
Director of Corporate & Community Projects, Adjunct Faculty
Academic Affairs, Master of Fine Arts


Apply now

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