Dec 08, 2022  
2013-2014 Graduate Catalog 
2013-2014 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]


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Department Chairperson and Graduate Director: Associate Professor Cory Knedler 

University of South Dakota
Art Department
Warren M. Lee Center for Fine Arts, Room 179
414 East Clark Street
Vermillion, SD 57069
Phone: (605) 677-5636



John Banasiak,  M.F.A., Art Institute of Chicago. Specialization: Photography.
Johntimothy Pizzuto, M.F.A., University of South Dakota, Specialization: Printmaking.

Associate Professors:

Cory Knedler, Chair, M.F.A.,University of South Dakota. Specialization: Printmaking/Art Education.
Philip Michael Hook, M.F.A., University of Missouri – Columbia, Specialization: Foundations Coordinator/Painting/Drawing.

Assistant Professor:

Collin Hover, M.F.A., University of Texas at Arlington: Graphic Design.
Young Ae Kim, M.F.A., Savannah College of Art and Design, Specialization: Graphic Design.
Christopher Meyer, M.F.A., University of Montana, Specialization: Sculpture.
Sarah Sik, Ph.D., University of Minnesota: Art History.
Chelsey Wood, M.F.A., School of the Museum of Fine Art, Boston: Painting.


Master of Fine Arts, Plan A only


Graphic Design

Program Description

Areas of Specialization available to students in the Master of Fine Arts program include in Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, or Graphic Design. The Master of Fine Arts degree is a professional, practice-oriented terminal degree program representing the highest level of achievement in visual arts studio disciplines. The degree represents significant creative and intellectual attainment and indicates advancement to professional status. The M.F.A. is designed for mature graduate students who desire to teach at the college/university level and/or for those individuals who wish to pursue a career as a professional artist.

The purpose of the degree program is to prepare students for professional practice directed toward two-dimensional, three-dimensional and mixed media works of art. The application and transmission of knowledge about works of art and their interrelationships with each other and with other aspects of culture is also stressed.

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) accredits the M.F.A. degree program. In addition to courses in support of the major areas of study, graduate-level courses are offered to any qualifying student of the University in the areas of arts administration, art education, art history, book arts, ceramics, design, drawing, gallery management, graphic design, papermaking, photography, and in specialized seminars.


  • An undergraduate degree in Art from an accredited institution with an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.7 (or graduate GPA of at least 3.0).
  • Three letters of recommendation from professionals associated with the applicant’s work and abilities.
  • Statement of purpose in which the applicant expresses interests, intentions, and expectations for wanting to attend graduate school generally, and more specifically, in the MFA program at the University of South Dakota.
  • Art Portfolio: twenty digital images of original artwork by the applicant (five of the 20 slides must be of original drawings).
  • Current Professional Resume.
  • Artist statement supporting the applicant’s work. 
  • Two Official transcripts from undergraduate institution.
  • Additional requirements exist for international students.

Application deadline

  • Applications are accepted throughout the year, preferably prior to February 1. Admission is dependent upon openings for additional students (program capacity: 10-15 students).

- Subject to faculty approval, those who do not meet all of the criteria above may be admitted on a provisional basis.

Additional Requirements

The Master of Fine Arts degree program is a 60-credit terminal degree that involves a minimum of 2-1/2 years of intensive study. In addition to meeting all graduation requirements of the Graduate School, M.F.A. candidates must satisfy all degree-program requirements, including the passing of a preliminary oral examination, presentation of a comprehensive thesis exhibition, completion of a final oral examination, and the passing of the written Art Theory and History Exit Exam. M.F.A. degree candidates must meet all requirements set forth in the M.F.A. Degree Program Guide.

Financial Aid

Teaching or research assistantships, including reduced tuition are awarded on a competitive basis and are available to the majority of M.F.A. students. For additional information and a copy of the M.F.A. Degree Program Guide, contact the Department of Art at (605) 677-5636.


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