Welcome to the Graduate Program in Art at EIU
Dr. Mary Caroline Simpson
Welcome to the webpage for graduate education in the Department of Art at Eastern Illinois University. Our graduate program offers a master's degree with a focus on studio practice. For students, it provides an environment that ensures close consultation with faculty. All the graduate faculty members have an open door policy for students for a discussion of research as well as class material.
Alumni of our program have repeatedly told us of the value they place on close consultation with our faculty in exploring research possibilities or acquiring a richer learning experience. It has also been noted that the relationships developed with faculty and students are so essential and they continue well into their professional careers. Another way our students acquire training in responsibility and maturity is by competing for graduate assistantships. Many of our students are able to secure Teaching Assistantships that allow them to teach an undergraduate course and experience being a primary instructor. This has been identified from alumni as being an essential part of their experience at EIU and it has given them a significant edge in an MFA program and beyond.
Many of our students in the program over the past ten years have come to us from outstanding schools such as the Kansas City Art Institute, Ohio State University, Maryland Institute College of Art, University of Note Dame, Montserrat College of Art, and many other mid-western schools. We are proud of our ability to attract talented students and help them reach their goals.
Mentoring is the top priority of our program and each student works closely with a three member Graduate Committee that help guide their progress throughout the school year. This is an intense one-year program that both challenges and rewards the students. It is a time for the graduates to realize the potential that is within them as emerging artists. Designed as an intermediate step to the MFA degree, the program allows the students to focus much more intently upon their personal aesthetic and develop the skills required to complete an MFA degree
The graduate program in Art has several ways of meeting its educational objectives. As stated previously the goal of the majority our graduates is to move into MFA programs. This is accomplished in part by the number of hours required by the program in the chosen subject area and by the culmination of that immersion in the studio as evidenced at the Graduate Exhibition. With these two major elements of the program working together to achieve the one goal our graduates come away with greater sense of self-confidence, self worth, and a clearer understanding of what it means to be a visual artist. The high quality portfolio that is produced, almost as a by-product, will easily take our graduates to that next level.
The Department of Art is committed to make our graduate program stronger through quality education. Students experience a helpful and rigorous environment in the Department for their personal enrichment. We invite you to stop by the department if you are in the area or contact the graduate coordinator for any program questions you may have. You may also follow the links on the left panel for more information.