Dual Degree

SFAI's Dual Degree MA/MFA program is designed for students whose practices cross the boundaries of art and scholarship to arrive at their own form of production.

The Dual Degree equips students to engage theory, history, art, and culture at their points of intersection.

It consists of:

(1) An MA in History and Theory of Contemporary Art

(2) An MFA in Studio Art with Optional Emphasis (Art and Technology, Film, New Genres, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture/Ceramics)

The culmination of the program is participation in the MFA Exhibition after the second year, and completion of a written thesis as well as participation in the MA Collaborative Project by the end of the third year.

HTCA Dual Degree Curriculum

With only 6 units now required per semester in the third year (72 units total), the Dual Degree is a rigorous yet flexible platform for experimentation and original research. This new structure is more cost effective and enables deep engagement with both individual research/writing projects and the dynamic Bay Area arts landscape.


TOTAL: 72 UNITS

Semester 1 (15 units)

Title Units
Graduate Critique Seminar 3
Graduate Tutorial 3
Art History Seminar Elective 3
Critical Studies Seminar Elective 3
Studio Elective 3
Graduate Lecture Series 0

Semester 2 (15 units)

Title Units
Graduate Critique Seminar 3
Graduate Tutorial 3
Art History Seminar Elective 3
Critical Studies Seminar Elective 3
Topic Seminar 3
MFA Intermediate Review 0
Graduate Lecture Series 0

Semester 3 (15 units)

Title Units
Graduate Critique Seminar 3
Graduate Tutorial 3
Methods and Theories of Art History 3
Global Perspectives of Modernity 3
Topic Seminar 3
Graduate Lecture Series 0

Semester 4 (15 units)

Title Units
Graduate Critique Seminar 3
Graduate Tutorial 3
Research and Writing Colloquium 3
Art History, Critical Studies, or EMS Seminar Elective 3
Studio Elective 3
Graduate Lecture Series 0
MFA Final Review 0
MFA Graduate Exhibition 0

Semester 5 (6 units)

Title Units
Thesis 3
Collaborative Project 3
MA Intermediate Review 0
Graduate Lecture Series 0

Semester 6 (6 units)

Title Units
Thesis 3
General Elective 3
MA Final Review 0
MA Thesis Symposium 0
Graduate Lecture Series 0

Program Learning Outcomes

MFA in Studio Art

  • Conceptual Qualities. Demonstrates a developed conceptual framework of the work and its relationship to historical antecedents and contemporary critical discourse (i.e., clarity of ideas).
  • Formal Qualities. Engages appropriately the materials and tools of the media used to produce the work (i.e., mastery of materials and technique, as well as how effectively the form follows the concept).
  • Presentation. Clearly articulates and presents the ideas behind the work. Produces a cohesive and accomplished visual presentation.
  • Research. Invests an appropriate level of research to develop the work, from both a conceptual and formal perspective (i.e. effectiveness of experimentation and methodology).

MA in History and Theory of Contemporary Art

  • Students will gain sufficient knowledge of artists, art practices and artworks, whether broadly surveyed or specifically focused, as presented in each course, and as assessed by written assignments, class presentations and projects, and exams.
  • Students will gain increasing aptitude in skills of visual literacy, and visual and representational analysis.
  • Students will gain increasing ability to demonstrate historical thinking, however methodologically constituted, through written assignments and class presentations.
  • Students will gain increasing awareness of the contingency of historical thinking viewed from contemporary perspectives.
  • Students will gain an increasingly complicated understanding of the relationships between representational orders and practices and the constitution of subjectivity as multiply situated and contingent.
  • Students will gain an increasing ability to find linkages between art theory and art practice across boundaries of discipline and periodization.
  • Students will gain an increasing awareness of the place of art with regard to a larger context of visual production that includes mass media and mass culture, and old and new technologies.
  • Students will gain an increasingly nuanced and principled understanding of the possible roles of the artist in the world, including roles as activists and agents of social and cultural change.