The MFA degree program is centered on a body of work developed by the student, and typically produced over a three-year course of study. Completion, exhibition, and defense of this body of work marks completion of the program. With the help of their advisory committee, students identify and explore a conceptual or aesthetic basis for their body of work.

Required Writing

The student, in concert with their advisory committee, must write a high-quality paper presenting their work. When approved by the advisory committee, this paper will be submitted to the visualization program.


The student is required to write and submit a high-quality paper to a competitive venue. Acceptance for publication is not required. The paper must be:

  • Related to their body of work
  • Developed for a specific, peer-reviewed publication venue
  • Appropriate for the target venue
  • Formatted and written with the audience and guidelines of the target venue in mind

Documented submission of the paper must precede scheduling the final examination.

Students are encouraged to develop and submit for publication additional papers related to their body of work.

When approved by the advisory committee, this writing will be submitted to the visualization program.


MFA candidates are required to exhibit a portion of their body of work in at least one competitive external venue approved by their advisory committee. The exhibition must be approved by the venue before the student’s final examinations are scheduled. Students are strongly encouraged to submit to multiple competitive external exhibitions.

In addition, a local exhibition of the student’s body of work is required, and will be coordinated with their final examination.

Final Examination

The Texas A&M Graduate and Professional School requires an oral final examination administered by their advisory committee. This is a public presentation by the student defending their body of work.