Top US Master’s in Fine Arts Schools

Master’s in Fine Arts in the United States – Expert Preparation for Creative Minds

The Master’s in Fine Arts is a terminal degree that is directed in a creative subject. Students who are trying to develop a body of work may be interested in enrolling in this type of program. Instead of working solely on academic research and theory, these degrees offer students hands-on practise in their field. Programs are competitive and require either an audition or portfolio for admission. Students in a Master’s in Fine Arts program have a Bachelor’s degree, with some also having a Master’s in another field.

What Is a Master’s in Fine Arts?

The study of fine arts comprises of subjects related to performance and artistry. Students who pursue an arts degree aim for a career performing or completing creative work. The Master’s in Fine Arts degree is one way students can get access to a community of artists and the mentors in the craft, the professors. These programs feature famous artists in residence who teach and provide guidance to students. Students get valuable feedback from their fellow peers about their artistic pursuit. This, along with teacher guidance, allows them to further develop their skills in their field. In order to complete a Master’s in Fine Arts program, you must either present a portfolio of work or a performance. Schools in the US that offer Master’s in Fine Arts programs include New York University, Yale University, the University of Iowa, the Rhode Island School of Design, Tufts University and more.

Programs awarding a Master’s in Fine Arts degree take about three or four years to complete, depending on whether or not it is full-time or part-time. More schools today are also providing online or low-residency programs to give students more flexibility. Some Master’s in Fine Arts schools offer full tuition funding to offset the cost of education. Programs that offer funding tend to be the most competitive. Some examples of the types of Master’s in Fine Arts degrees include:

  • Creative Writing: Students work to develop their skills in fiction, creative nonfiction or poetry writing. Study typically consists of sharing pieces with peers in a workshop setting and consulting with professors, who are often published authors.
  • Acting: Aspiring actors audition for a spot in the program, and then work on fine tuning their skills in dramatic arts. Improvisation, voice inflexion and performance are all part of an acting repertoire.
  • Art: Artists use this type of degree program to explore their talents even further. They spend a great deal of time working on new pieces and sharing them with their school community.
  • Film: Film students work on creating short or feature length films while studying the art of filmmaking in their courses.
  • Dance: Dancers can use this type of degree to further advance their abilities and performing options. They may work in different dance genres with extensive performance requirements.

What Are the Benefits of Getting a Master’s in Fine Arts in the United States?


Getting a Master’s in Fine Arts is one of the best ways to work on an artistic craft. Students in these programs immerse themselves completely in the world of their passion. With their network of peers and professors, they get additional tools to push their work to an even higher level. Programs like this are also extremely valuable with the type of connections they offer to their students. Connections like publishers, theatre companies, film studios and art galleries may all look to these programs for new talent prospects.

What Kind of Career Can You Expect With a Master’s in Fine Arts?

Most students who are part of a Master’s in Fine Arts program look to have a career in their field. Creative writers strive to get published and make a living in writing. Actors aim to get cast in top plays or begin a lucrative career in Hollywood or on Broadway. Filmmakers hope to gain some attention from their work in order to make a transition to a legitimate studio. Visual artists work to get their artwork showcased or purchased. Dancers aspire to get hired in a dance company. Another possible path for graduates in this type of program is a college professor. Because this degree is terminal, it prepares students to be hired by a university. It is also common for graduates to work with foundations or other organisations within their field as administrators.

Earning a Master’s of Fine Arts degree may help you get closer to your dream role. Look around to find the best offerings in the US that match your goals.

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