Department Detail


The arts program combines art training with a liberal arts education to help you develop your creative voice and vision. Our programs will prepare you for a career in art or further graduate study.

Visit Website

View Undergraduate Information


Philosophy Statement

of the Degree and the Department

In conjunction with the mission of the Insalaco College of Creative and Performing Arts, Marywood’s Department of Visual Arts offers the Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees.

The Master of Arts program in Studio Art is intended for graduates of schools and departments of art/art education who want to develop their talents as studio artists. Study with outstanding practitioners in these fields acts as springboard for further professional growth and education.

There are two areas of concentration within the M.A. Studio Art program. In the 2-D area, students may work in the following media: painting, photography, or printmaking. In the 3-D area, students may work in: sculpture or ceramics.

The Master of Arts program in Art Therapy is designed to help meet the need for trained professionals in the mental health field and in education, to assist in the development of persons through self-discovery, self-awareness, and personal growth, using art as a catalyst for healing and self-actualization. The personal development of the graduate student as therapist is essential to this program. Students use art therapy in collaboration with the approaches described by psychologists. Through a course of study combining theory and practice, the program follows guidelines for art therapy training recommended by the American Art Therapy Association.

The Master of Fine Arts Program in Visual Arts is designed to provide professional emphasis for persons with an intense commitment to their art who intend to become serious professional artists. There are four areas of concentration: 2-D, 3-D, Graphic Design, and Illustration. In the 2-D area, students may work in the following media: painting, photography, or printmaking. In the 3-D area, students may concentrate in ceramics or sculpture, working with a variety of media.

Each program is supported by accomplished, professional faculty, visiting artists of acclaim, impressive exhibit offerings, and excellent academic and technical resources. In certain programs, there are both requirements and opportunities for internships/practica, museum research, and study tours-all designed to provide experiences of breadth and depth for matriculating graduate students.

Students may apply to study at Studio Art Centers International through the Marywood/SACI program for a semester or summer session and may choose from a full curriculum of offerings. This program also includes organized field trips to many important locations throughout Italy. All courses are taught in English, and the program is geared toward an assimilation of Italian culture.

Application Requirements

Applicants to the M.A. and M.F.A. degree programs must meet the general requirements for admission to the Insalaco College of Creative and Performing Arts. In addition, applicants must satisfy the following:

M.A. Degree in Studio Art Requirements

  1. A baccalaureate degree in art or art education or an equivalent credit background in art that would support master's degree work. Any student who, in the judgment of the department, lacks adequate undergraduate preparation must arrange to make up the deficiency.
  2. A portfolio of eighteen to twenty examples of artwork (slides, jpeg or pdf file format on CD, or original work). The portfolio will be judged on its demonstration of both conceptual ability and technical competency.

A maximum of twelve graduate credits may be accepted for transfer.

A student must file an application for candidacy when twelve credit hours of studio work have been completed. Acceptance as a candidate will be decided after the following:

  1. Maintenance of a "B" or 3.00 quality point average or better in twelve studio credits taken at Marywood.
  2. Submission of a portfolio of work from the studio courses taken at Marywood.
  3. Approval of the student's potential as a graduate student by a committee from the departmental faculty.

Upon completion of 36 credits, a student must register the intention to bring the program to completion by means of a written comprehensive examination (for the Art Education program only) and execution of a Professional Contribution.


M.A. Degree in Art Therapy Prerequisites

  1. A baccalaureate degree with a major in art education or studio art, OR a baccalaureate degree in a related field (e.g. psychology, social work, counseling, special education). Students entering the Art Therapy program with either degree must have at least eighteen credits in studio art (drawing, painting, figure-drawing/modeling, and 3-D media) and twelve credits in psychology (general psychology, abnormal psychology, development psychology).
  2. Presentation of a portfolio of art, including significant examples of work in the media noted above.
  3. A brief essay on the topic of why you have chosen to pursue art therapy education.
  4. Evaluation of each candidate's individual competencies by an art therapy admissions committee. In addition, a personal interview may be required.

A student must file an application for candidacy when eighteen credit hours have been completed. Acceptance as a candidate will be decided after the following:

  1. Successful completion of the Graduate Record Examination or the Miller Analogies Test.
  2. Maintenance of a "B" average or better in eighteen credits taken at Marywood University.
  3. Successful completion of 400 hours of practicum experience.

M.F.A. Degree Prerequisites

  1. A Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
  2. Completion of at least eighteen undergraduate credits of upper division work in the area of concentration chosen and a “B” or 3.00 quality point average in that area. Students who possess outstanding or unusual qualifications that promise a significant contribution to the Master of Fine Arts program, but do not meet the 3.00 or credit requirements, may petition for a special review by the Art Faculty.
  3. A portfolio of studio work indicative of above-average or exceptional ability. Submit twenty images of current work (slides, or CD – jpeg or pdf file format). The majority of these should be in the area of the applicant's interest, but the portfolio also should include a lesser emphasis in related areas. All slides and digital images must be labeled with the applicant's name, date of execution, size and medium.
  4. A statement of purpose, 150-200 words in length.

In addition, a personal visit to talk toa chairperson or instructors in your field and view the facilities is highly recommended.

If a student in Marywood's M.A. Studio Art program is considering application to the M.F.A. Visual Arts program he/she should make an application no later than after his/her successful completion of 9 credit hours. Transfer of graduate credits from the M.A. to the M.F.A. program may be limited to 9 credit hours. All credit transfers are subject to review by the art faculty admissions committee. Students must reapply following the general requirements for admission to the Insalaco College of Creative and Performing Arts. The M.F.A. Visual Arts programs (Ceramics, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture) require full-time study to be completed within 2-3 years.

Students within these programs are advised to take a minimum of 12 credits per semester.Within the M.F.A. program there are four reviews of work in progress and student development. These reviews are held after completion of 12, 24, 36, and 48 semester hours of coursework and are designated as follows: (a) Initial Review; (b) Candidacy Review; (c) Progress Review; (d) Exit Review.

An Exit Review will take place after the final draft of the thesis project (Artist's Statement) and during the exhibit.

Failure to satisfy two consecutive reviews will result in dismissal from the program.

Upon completion of 60 credits, a student must register his or her intention to bring the program to completion. Thesis statement and exhibit are required.

Course of Study

Master of Arts in Studio Art

36 semester hours


9 semester hours

ART 546 Design Research 3
ART 600 Seminar
ART 642 Art Criticism or 549 Aesthetics 3
ART History Elective


18 semester hours

At least eighteen semester hours must be taken in the chosen studio field.


9 semester hours

The remaining nine semester hours may be chosen from courses offered in studio areas other than the field of concentration.


ART 555E: required of each student at a designated time prior to graduation. This must be an exhibit in the art gallery of Marywood University.

Master of Arts in Art Therapy

60 semester hours

The Marywood Art Therapy program follows the guidelines of the American Art Therapy Association.

The core curriculum consists of courses in both Art Therapy and Psychology. Thirty-six credits in Art Therapy, nine credits in Psychology, and six credits in studio art are required.


36 credits

AT 520 Introduction to Art Therapy
AT 529 Ethical Issues in Art Therapy
AT 533 Art-Based Research and Assessment
AT 534 Multicultural Issues in Art Therapy
AT 536 Studio in Art Therapy
AT 537 Group Process in Art Therapy
AT 540 A,B,C,D Practicum in Art Therapy
3, 3, 3, 3
AT 545 Developmental Dynamics in Art Therapy 3
AT 595 A,B,C Professional Thesis
1, 1, 1


6 credits Graduate Level Studio Courses
3, 3


9 credits

PSYC 501 Research Methodology
PSYC 531 Psychopathology
PSYC 532 Child Psychopathology


9 credits

AT 521 Expressive Arts Workshop
AT 527 Trauma and Resiliency in Art Therapy
AT 528 Psychology of Art
AT 530 Art in Special Education
AT 531 Introduction to Family Art Therapy
AT 560 Art Therapies: Creative Art Therapies in the Treatment of Addictions

With permission of the Director of Art Therapy a required course may be waived and replaced by a graduate Art Therapy, Counseling or Psychology course.

The Master of Fine Arts in Visual Arts

3-D (Ceramics, Sculpture), 2-D (Painting, Printmaking, Photography), Graphic Design**, Illustration**)

60 semester hours


15 semester hours

ART 600 MFA Seminar
ART 642 Art Criticism
ART 549 Aesthetics
ART History


30 semester hours

Chosen from one of the specific studio areas listed above

**The sequence and schedule of courses for these concentrations differ from the other concentrations, with the majority of the residency being required in the summer and significant work continued during the fall and spring semesters in metropolitan areas. This is a customized delivery system for a 60-credit Master of Fine Arts Degree in Visual Arts with concentrations in Illustration and Graphic Design. It was specifically designed for working art directors, ad designers, illustrators, and teachers of art who have to budget their time and resources carefully, while continuing their full-time occupations. You can continue working at your current job and earn a fully accredited Master of Fine Arts degree at the same time. Interested students should see and contact the Art Department for specific information.


15 semester hours

Chosen from other graduate level studio courses or practicum offerings


ART 639 A,B Thesis Project, Exhibit

Specific course sequence, etc. can be found in the Art Department's Handbook for Graduate Students. Interested students should contact the department.

Certificate in Sequential Art and Storytelling 

As part of the "Get Your Master's with the Masters" MFA Program for Educators and Working Professionals, a low-residency 26-credit Certificate in Sequential Art and Storytelling is offered. By the end of the second Summer, students will produce a publishable full-length graphic novel. In addition, students within the "Get Your Master's with the Masters" Program may choose this line of study with their concurrent program. 


First Summer:
ART 642W Rendering Ideas 3
ART 643W Conceptual Exercises 3
Fall Independent Study:
ART 560A Creative Problem Solving 3.5
ART 560B Creative Problem Solving II 3.5
Spring Independent Study:
ART 560C Creative Problem Solving 3.5
ART 560D Creative Problem Solving II 3.5
Second Summer:
ART 644W The Children's Book 3
ART 646W Communication Concepts 3

MFA Degree in Visual Arts

With Opportunity for Study in Florence, Italy

Marywood/SACI MFA Option

The Marywood M.F.A. program offers an option for graduate students in the fine arts to complete a portion of their M.F.A. degree requirements by studying in Florence, Italy. This opportunity is offered through collaboration with Studio Art Centers International (SACI) in Florence. The Marywood/SACI option offers a traditional M.F.A. from Marywood University in Visual Arts, but with a separate eighteen-credit track of study available from SACI in the disciplines of Ceramics, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, and Sculpture. The 60 credit hours of this M.F.A. option are distributed as follows:

Semester I (Fall) = 12-15 credits at Marywood
Semester II (Spring) = 12 credits at SACI
Summer Sessions (Late Spring) = 6 credits at SACI
Semesters III and IV (Fall & Spring) = 27-30 credits at Marywood

Of the 18 credits taken at SACI, 9 credits may be in the student's area of concentration, and 3 credits may be in Art History. The remaining SACI credits will be studio electives which can be selected from a full range of offerings including: Drawing, Painting, Fresco, Etching, Lithography, Sculpture, Ceramics, Photography and Video.

Studio Arts Centers International (SACI) is an Independent American university-level school for the arts, located in the very center of Florence, Italy. SACI is recognized as one of the leading overseas institutions in the areas of studio art and art history. The SACI studios are situated only a moment's walk from many of the greatest works in all of Western Art. Integrated into the SACI program are frequent organized trips that offer access to important cultural sites throughout Italy. All SACI courses are taught in English.


In conjunction with the gallery coordinator, the student will experience the preparation for a visiting artist gallery exhibition in the student’s area of study. Through this experience the student works directly with the artist and curator on publicity, research, production of gallery poster, exhibit administrative duties, and the set-up and display of the actual exhibits.

The successful completion of this 60-credit program will earn the degree of Master of Fine Arts in Visual Arts from Marywood University.

Art Website