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Program Overview

The Hood College Master of Fine 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 is combined with skill building and individual research to develop exhibition-quality work demonstrating personal aesthetic expression. 

Entrance requirements

Candidates for the Master of Fine Arts in Ceramic Arts program must have a baccalaureate degree or equivalent training in the ceramic arts. Students with an undergraduate degree in an area other than ceramics who provide evidence of life experience and skill in the ceramic arts may be accepted with permission of the program director.

To be considered for admission to the Master of Fine Arts in Ceramic Arts program, students must meet the admission requirements of the Hood College Graduate School and submit:

  • A completed application to the Hood College Graduate School
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • A minimum 2.75 undergraduate GPA is required
  • Two letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with recent work
  • A formal essay of no more than 500 words discussing previous academic and personal experience with clay, current work and professional goals in relation to the Master of Fine Arts in Ceramic Arts
  • A portfolio is required and may be submitted as an all-inclusive package on a CD with 300 dpi digital images that must include:
    • 20 images of current work
    • A corresponding image list stating title of work, medium, size and dates of completion
    • An artist statement about the portfolio work addressing concept, objectives and process
    • A résumé

Program requirements

The Master of Fine Arts in Ceramic Arts requires candidates to complete a studio emphasis in ceramics with a GPA of 3.0 or greater.

60 credits are required for graduation.

  • 23 credits of core requirements
  • 15 credits of electives
  • 17 credits of required research
  • 6 credits of art history
Core courses  
ARTS 501 Glaze Application 1
ARTS 502 Eastern Wedged Coil 1
ARTS 504 Ceramic Decoration 3
ARTS 505 Ceramic Wheel: Masters’ Throwing 2
ARTS 508 Ceramic Sculpture 3
ARTS 511 Properties of Clay 1
ARTS 521 Properties of Glaze 2
ARTS 525 Electric Kiln 1
ARTS 530 Kiln Technology and Firing Theory 2
ARTS 540 Clay and Glaze Chemistry, Theory and Practice 3
ARTS 543 History of Ceramics 3


Research courses  
ARTS 569 Survival Skills for Visual Artists 1
ARTS 570 Graduate Seminar in Personal Studio Research 3
ARTS 576 Thesis Preparation 3
ARTS 580 MFA Thesis Research 6
ARTS 595 MFA Thesis Exhibition 4


15 credits in Ceramics elective courses  
ARTS 506 Ceramic Wheel: Masters Throwing II 2
ARTS 507 Plates and Platters 1
ARTS 509 Throwing Large Forms 3
ARTS 510 Brushmaking 1
ARTS 512 Eastern and Western Techniques in Trimming 1
ARTS 515 Ceramic Arts Throwing Lab 1
ARTS 517 Dynamic and Asymmetrical Wheel 3
ARTS 520 Photographing Ceramics 1
ARTS 531 Wood Firing Theory 2
ARTS 532 Multi-Chambered Kiln Wood Firing 2
ARTS 542 Modeling the Figure 3
ARTS 545 Composite Sculpture 3
ARTS 547 Creating with Porcelain 3
ARTS 552 Kiln Design and Construction 3
ARTS 571 Arts Management and Marketing 3
ARTS 564 Aesthetics and Criticism 3
ARTS 575 Independent Study 1-6
ARTS 599 Visiting Artist Special Topics 1-3


6 Credits in art history  
ART 505 The Youngest Art: The History of Photography 3
ART 540 Art of Prehistory 3
ART 549 Art of Egypt and Mesopotamia 3
ART 550 Art of the Classical World 3
ART 551 Medieval Art 3
ART 552 Northern Renaissance Art 3
ART 553 Early Renaissance Art 3
ART 540 Art of Prehistory 3
ART 549 Art of Egypt and Mesopotamia 3
ART 555 Art of Asia 3
ART 557 High Renaissance and Mannerist Art 3
ART 558 Baroque Art 3
ART 560 Nineteenth Century Art 3
ART 561 Twentieth Century Art