- Gallery Director
About this Program
Hood’s MFA program prepares students to contribute original knowledge and creativity to the field of ceramics.
Transform theory into practice
Courses are designed to guide artists far beyond the hobbyist stage, becoming visual communicators of ideas, concepts and passion through art. Students explore the subtle nuances and details of aesthetic expression as they refine the practical application of science and technology in their work, conduct advanced thesis research and prepare for a solo gallery exhibition.
Work alongside renowned artists
Faculty members are accomplished ceramic artists and well-known specialists in areas such as East Asian coil techniques, structural strength, wheel techniques, large-scale stoneware and porcelain, ceramic engineering, wood firing, exhibition development and public art. Special course topics taught by distinguished guest artists add another dimension of creative expression and research. Small classes assure personal attention. Outstanding facilities include a kiln pavilion that has five atmospheric kilns: exploratory research, production soda, large-scale sculpture, hybrid gas/soda/wood and Sanderson ECO wood train. Through careful study and studio work, and hands-on experience with these kilns, students produce a comprehensive body of work.
Study at your own pace
A variety of class formats accommodate working adults and long-distance commuters. We offer evening and weekend class schedules, as well as four-day, one-week and two-week intensive courses. The program can be completed in two calendar years with full-time study, or longer on a part-time basis. Another option is to complete the requirements of a Hood M.A. in ceramic arts, and apply those courses to the longer-range goal of an MFA.
Workshops and events
The Hood College Graduate School also offers workshops, studio courses and events designed to allow ceramic artists, both experienced and aspiring, to gain specialized knowledge in their field.
Are you ready to go further?
Candidates for the MFA in Ceramic Arts program must have obtained a BFA or equivalent training in the ceramic arts. Students with an undergraduate degree in an area other than ceramics who provide evidence of life experience, skill and drive in the arts may be accepted at the discretion of the program director.
To be considered for admission to the MFA program, students must meet the following admission requirements:
- A completed application to the Hood College Graduate School.
- One copy of official transcripts from each institution of higher education attended (official transcripts required upon acceptance prior to enrollment).
- An essay (500 words or less) discussing previous experience with ceramics/craft medias, current work and professional goals in relation to the MFA.
- Two letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with recent work (letters can be emailed to email@example.com).
- A portfolio of high quality 300 DPI images in PDF format to 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 processes.
Before acceptance, the Director of the program will conduct an interview with the candidate. This can take place at NCECA or online.
The Master of Fine Arts in Ceramic Arts requires candidates to complete a studio emphasis in ceramic arts with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
60 credits are required for graduation:
19 credits of core requirements
17 credits of required research
15 credits of general electives
9 credits of art history, aesthetics and criticism
Students studying full time will normally spend three years earning the degree. Successful completion of ARTS 570 and a 3.0 GPA will serve as an interim evaluation for continuing studies. Strong candidate for the MFA will have earned a grade of A- (3.67) or higher in ARTS 570. Students may transfer up to 9 credits earned from an accredited program to their course requirements for the MFA.
Core Courses - 19 Credits Required
|ARTS 501||Glaze Application|
|ARTS 502||East Asian Wedged Coil Technique|
|ARTS 505||Ceramic Wheel: Masters' Throwing Concepts|
|ARTS 508||Ceramic Sculpture|
|ARTS 523||Ceramic Materials|
|ARTS 525||Electric Kilns|
|ARTS 530||Kiln Technology & Firing Theory|
|ARTS 540||Clay/Glaze Chemistry Theory & Practice|
|ARTS 574||Advanced Studies in Ceramic Arts|
|Total Credit Hours:||19.0|
Art History and Criticism Courses - 9 Credits Required
|ARTS 543||History of Ceramic Arts|
|ARTS 564||Aesthetics and Criticism|
|3 credits Art History (ART) at 500 level|
Additional graduate level humanities courses may serve as elective credit with approval of the program director.
Research Courses - 17 Credits Required
|ARTS 569||Survival Skills for Visual Artists|
|ARTS 570||Seminar in Personal Studio Research|
|ARTS 576||MFA Thesis Preparation|
|ARTS 580||MFA Thesis Research|
|ARTS 595||MFA Thesis Exhibition|
|Total Credit Hours:||17.0|
Elective Courses – 15 Credits Required
|ARTS 504||Ceramic Decoration|
|ARTS 506||Ceramic Wheel: Masters' Throwing II|
|ARTS 507||Plates and Platters|
|ARTS 509||Throwing Large Forms|
|ARTS 512||Eastern & Western Tech in Trimming|
|ARTS 517||Dynamic and Asymmetrical Wheel|
Handbuilding and Sculpture
|ARTS 542||Modeling the Figure|
|ARTS 545||Large Scale and Composite Sculpture|
|ARTS 531||Wood Firing Theory|
|ARTS 532||Firing Large Scale Wood Kiln|
|ARTS 533||Soda Firing Theory and Practice|
Special Topics Courses
|ARTS 520||Photographing Ceramics|
|ARTS 547||Creating with Porcelain|
|ARTS 590||Teaching Assistant in Ceramic Arts|
1.0 - 4.0
|ARTS 599||Special Topics in Ceramic Arts|
1.0 - 3.0
|ARTS 575||Independent Study|
1.0 - 3.0
Our advisory board...
provides support and assistance in the development of new programs, serves as ambassadors for our program and identifies best practice standards.All Faculty
Lillian Ding graduated from Hood College with an MFA in Ceramic Arts in September 2020. She received First Prize in 2018 and the President’s Choice Award in 2019 at Hood’s Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition Awards Ceremony.
- Alumni Relations
Chaz Martinsen, MFA, joins the Ceramic Arts program this fall as its new program director.
"Hood College’s ceramics program is so unique as it offers a robust spectrum of classes that teach graduate students everything from the most basic to the more advanced aspects of ceramics."