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EIU Master of Arts
in Art


Master of Arts in Art

The Department of Art and Design offers a Master of Arts in Art program that is successful in giving students time to mature in the development of their artwork, providing valuable work experience in the visual arts through graduate assistantships, and assisting in the development of portfolios.
Work closely with faculty mentors and create a mature body of artwork that will propel you into additional studies or professional practice.
Our graduates are routinely accepted to leading MFA programs around the country. The quality of our students' artwork rivals that of students completing terminal degree programs. For more information or if you have questions, please email the graduate coordinator, Katie Shaw.

The Master of Arts in Studio Art application is a two-step process:

Deadline for fall is MARCH 1st. Ongoing review of applicants until all openings are filled.

  1. Apply to the graduate school through the myEIU portal.
  2. After a day or two, you will receive an email that gives you access to the
    departmental application which includes:
    1. Basic background information
    2. Information for your three references 
    3. A goal statement (approximately 300 words)
    4. Twenty images of studio artwork
    5. Graduate assistantship information

Graduate Assistantship Information

If you have any questions about assistantships, please contact Katie Shaw, Graduate Coordinator or Chris Kahler, Department Chair, at

If you are interested in obtaining an assistantship from the list below, please complete the relevant section in your Department of Art + Design application, indicating your preferences. All assistantships are typically awarded between February and April preceding the fall of attendance. All assistantships involve virtual interviews as well as review of your materials you submitted for admittance.

In the Department of Art + Design we have a variety of assistantships available that you can apply for. These come with a tuition waiver and a monthly stipend on a nine-month contract. Assistantships are subject to change year to year, but often include:

Five teaching assistantships: These involve teaching a section of the general education course Introduction to Art. This is a good fit for students with teaching experience, or those who might like to pursue a career in teaching.

Graphic design assistantships: Assistantships in design are typically awarded to students who have significant design experience and broad software knowledge. Our graduate advisory committee makes assistantships recommendations to other units around campus.

Two Tarble Center for the Arts assistantships: This assistantships are available at the Tarble Art Center and involves a variety of museum practices including preparatory and installation duties, curatorial assistance, building of display components, archiving, and design.

One Fashion Lab Graduate Assistantship, working 19 hours a week assisting undergraduate students in the Fashion lab, assisting in teaching the beginning Apparel Construction Course, and working with Fashion Merchandising faculty.

Click here for the Online MA in Art Education option.

Request More Information Apply Now



Why Choose EIU for an MA in Art

Actively Engaged

Faculty are actively engaged mentors that guide you in your selected studio discipline. You will work closely with your instructional faculty and your Masters Committee to develop a focused body of artwork that will assist you in your professional aspirations or pursuit of a terminal degree program.


Each graduate student receives a spacious private studio in The Burl Ives Hall, a purpose designed building that includes an open critique gallery and faculty studios. In addition, students have access to the Doudna Fine Arts Center, a world-class performance and teaching complex for the departments of Art, Music and Theatre Arts. The Art Department wing includes state-of-the-art labs for printmaking, painting, drawing, digital art, design, metalsmithing, ceramics, and sculpture.

The Tarble Arts Center, a major hub for cultural programming in East Central Illinois, seamlessly complements the Department. Every academic year, the Tarble Arts Center and Department of Art sponsors a series of visiting artists and curators. Besides public lectures, many of the visiting artists provide individual and group critiques especially for our graduate students.

Achieve Your Goals

Among many outcomes, students of our program have gone on to teach at community colleges, work as gallery directors, or engage in their own studio practices and businesses in the arts. Whether you intend to pursue a professional path in the arts, or go on to a terminal degree, the Masters of Arts in Art program at Eastern Illinois University is an effective and valuable program to help you reach your goals.


Meet our Faculty

Jenny Chi

Painting and Drawing

Specializes in the area of figurative art. The creative theme of recent work is based on Greek Mythology in a style of Romantic Realism.

Alan Pocaro

Foundations, Digital Art, Printmaking

Associated with the New Aesthetics movement, an informal group of artists and writers who emphasize the physical and material nature of art.

David Richardson

Graphic Design

Graphic design, with an emphasis on interactive media and motion graphics. Original video-narratives and experimental "video-poems".


Don't take our word for it

"Specifically, this program gave me the great opportunity to teach my own art course to non-art majors, and this was not simply shadowing a professor in the classroom. I wrote my own syllabus and initialized an art foundation course for two semesters containing two different groups of 25 students. This was an immensely rewarding experience, for myself, to be able to create art projects and formulate a direct communication with my students. By being put in this situation I became more confident in publicly speaking about art, using clear positive-criticism while in discussion of the student’s results. "

Tim Zercie (2010)

"The demands in academics and studio practice at EIU's MA program have greatly contributed to the artist and professional I am today. From the spacious studios in the Burl Ives Studio Hall and the state of the art facilities at the Doudna Fine Arts Center to the accessibility of cross-departmental resources and professionals, the whole environment of EIU's MA program is well designed to facilitate a space where artists can grow and challenge their own artistic vision.”

Chris Smith (2009)

"In this space I really got to branch out on my own and do my own thing without having to worry about what other people are going to think. There is no judgment toward my work. The spirit of all of the art kids together, not matter if you're in graphic design or painting or sculpture, even though they are on different levels, everyone forms their own group."

Hannah Freeman (2013)

"The faculty nurtured my work and ideas but more importantly they pushed the trajectory of my practice far beyond anything I could have ever predicted. Just when I thought I had a major break through I would quickly be encouraged by faculty to explore even more. The studio space at Eastern was both functional and thriving because it existed as a communal space while still maintaining privacy for the artists.”

Margaret Crowley (2009)

Related Pages

Online MA in Art Education or Community Arts Undergraduate Studies Assistantship Opportunities

Contact Information

Art Department

Doudna Fine Arts Center
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920

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