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Ceramic Arts, M.A.

Ceramic Arts, M.A.

Program Director: Joyce Michaud, M.F.A.,;  (301) 696-3526 

The Master of Arts in Ceramic Arts program offers academic training in the aesthetics, science, technology and management of a career in the ceramic arts. Lectures and critiques provide students with an understanding of the history of ceramics and the issues and ideas that underpin contemporary work in all aspects of the medium, as well as a firm grounding in the science of glaze formation, clay development and firing theory. Practical application of the science and technology of the ceramic arts will combine with skill building and individual exploration to develop exhibition-quality work demonstrating personal aesthetic expression. The M.A. requires an exhibition of original ceramic art work and culminates in a comprehensive exam.  With full time study, the Master of Arts in Ceramic Arts may be accomplished in two calendar years; part time study allows up to seven years for completion. 


  • The student will gain a broad knowledge base of a variety of studio art media, develop technical skills, gain an awareness of historical movements and comprehend universal aesthetic concepts;
  • The student will develop the ability to observe, cultivating analytical and creative thinking skills;
  • The student will develop a process for articulating aesthetic ideas and the ability to communicate their personal aesthetic intentions visually in their art work, verbally and in written form.
  • 36 Credits Required

    Core Courses - 17 Credits


    ARTS 505 Ceramic Wheel: Masters’ Throwing II (2 credits)

    ARTS 512 Eastern and Western Techniques in Trimming (1 credit)


    ARTS 502 East Asian Wedged Coil Technique (1 credit)

    ARTS 508 Ceramic Sculpture (3 credits)

    Surface Treatments

    Skill and Experience/Aesthetics

    ARTS 501 Glaze Application (1 credit)

    ARTS 504 Ceramic Decoration (3 credits)

    Science and Technical

    ARTS 511 Properties of Clay (1 credit)

    ARTS 521 Properties of Glaze (2 credits)


    ARTS 525 Electric Kiln (1 credit)

    ARTS 530 Kiln Technology and Firing Theory (2 credits)

    Art History, Aesthetics and Criticism Courses - 9 Credits

    ART  506 Writing for Artists (3 credits)

    ART  568 Contemporary Topics in Visual Art (3 credits)

    ARTS 543 History of Ceramics (3 credits)

    ARTS 564 Aesthetics and Criticism (3 credits)

    Art History electives (ART) numbered 505 or above

    Capstone Courses - 4 Credits

    ARTS 569 Survival Skills for Visual Artists (1 credit)

    ARTS 570 Graduate Seminar in Personal Studio Research (3 credits)

    Comprehensive Exam

    Studio Art Electives - 6 Credits


    ARTS 506 Ceramic Wheel: Masters’ Throwing II (2 credits)

    ARTS 507 Plates and Platters (1 credit)

    ARTS 509 Throwing Large Forms (3 credits)

    ARTS 515 Ceramic Arts Throwing Lab (1 credit)

    ARTS 517 Dynamic and Asymmetrical Wheel (3 credits)

    Handbuilding and Sculpture

    ARTS 542 Modeling the Figure (3 credits)

    ARTS 545 Large Scale and Composite Sculpture (3 credits)

    Kiln Technology

    ARTS 531 Wood Firing Theory (2 credits)

    ARTS 532 Firing the Large Scale Single or Multi-Chambered Kiln Wood (2-3 credits)

    ARTS 552 Kiln Design and Construction (3 credits)

    Special Topics Courses

    ARTS 520 Photographing Ceramics (1 credit)

    ARTS 547 Creating with Porcelain (3 credits)

    ARTS 564 Aesthetics and Criticism (3 credits)

    ARTS 571 Arts Management and Marketing (3 credits)

    ARTS 574 Advanced Research in Ceramic Arts (3 credits) 

    ARTS 575 Independent Study (1-3 credits)

    ARTS 590 Teaching Assistant in Ceramic Arts (1-3 credits)

    ARTS 599 Visiting Artist Special Topics (1-3 credits)