Graphic Design and Illustration Visual Arts “Get Your Master's with the Masters” MFA for Working Professionals / Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Art | Insalaco College of Arts and Sciences

How Do You Create Success?
With a Master's Degree in Visual Arts from Marywood!

This low-residency 60-credit Master of Fine Arts degree is specifically designed for working art directors, designers, illustrators, new media artists, and art educators, who have to budget their time and resources carefully, while continuing with their full-time occupations. While production and technical skills are stressed, the thrust of our program is on creativity and concept.

You can earn your MFA degree in just three years, through four, two-week summer sessions at Marywood, six study tours, and independent work. One-third (20 credits) are delivered through independent, creative, problem-solving experiences and individual strategies for marketing your art. Two-thirds (40 credits) are conducted through lectures, classes, and tutorials. The MFA is the terminal degree to teach at universities nationally. Tracks within the program include children’s books and sequential art.

Working directly with designers and illustrators in the industry is the best way to improve your own work. Our MFA program offers personal, hands-on training from prominent artists, like Steven Brower, Lisa Cyr, John Gall, Melanie Hall, Megan Halsey, Zina Saunders, Nancy Stahl, Craig Welsh, and Christopher Zacharow.

Twice a year, students in Marywood's MFA program meet in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, or another major U.S. city, to tour the studios of well-known designers and illustrators and visit ad agencies, museums, and professional organizations.

  • Low-residency program designed for working professionals
  • Faculty of renowned designers and illustrators
  • Study tours in major U.S. cities

Top Employers

  • Advertising Agencies
  • Design Studios
  • Film/Media/News Companies
  • Publishers
  • Universities

Top Career Paths

  • Art Director
  • Graphic Designer
  • Multimedia Designer
  • Web Designer
  • Illustrator
  • Faculty

Dig Deeper Into the Program Details

The following list outlines requirements for the MA/MFA programs in Studio Art, Visual Arts, and Art Therapy:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and extensive professional or teaching experience
  • “B” average during undergraduate study or demonstrated potential for graduate work
  • Completed application
  • Essay
  • Official, sealed transcripts
  • Two or three letters of recommendation 
  • After submitting your application, you will be asked to submit a portfolio online

Visit Admissions

Every art student at Marywood has access to superb facilities in our two art buildings, from computer labs and darkrooms to drawing, painting, printmaking, metal, wood, and sculpture studios and weaving looms. Facilities are available to art students 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Marywood is also home to four galleries on campus featuring regional and national artists, faculty, and students.  

The Insalaco Center for Studio Art features drawing and painting studios showcasing naturally-lit rooms with beautiful views of the campus. There are studios and equipment for woodworking, fiber arts, jewelry-making, ceramics, sculpture, photography, printmaking, a Mac lab, and private and semi-private studios for upper level BFA, MA and MFA students.

The Shields Center for Visual Arts building contains The Maslow Collection, Mahady Gallery, Suraci Gallery, classrooms for art history and art administration, studios for art therapy, two graphic design Mac labs, and a 24-hour drop-in Mac lab. The Maslow Collection and Study Gallery for Contemporary Art housed in the Shields Center features more than 500 works by artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, and Chuck Close.

The Mahady Gallery is a spacious and dramatic setting for the display of contemporary artwork. Throughout the year, the gallery offers a variety of group and solo shows by visiting artists, juried regional competitions, faculty exhibits, student shows, and curated national exhibitions. The gallery hosts the annual Scholastic Art Awards and the popular Art Faculty Biennial. Featured exhibitions are accompanied by artists’ slide presentations, gallery talks, studio visits, and demonstrations. The Mahady Gallery is located on the first floor of the Shields Center for Visual Arts.

The Maslow Study Gallery is a learning laboratory, providing fieldwork experiences, internships, and opportunities in curatorial and exhibition studies to Marywood students. Works in The Maslow Collection are available for professional research and study, and many are loaned to regional and national exhibitions. The Maslow Study Gallery for Contemporary Art is located on the first floor of the Shields Center for Visual Arts. For more information visit maslow.marywood.edu

Exhibitions in the Suraci Gallery showcase regional and national artists; support art faculty work and scholarship; provide degree research and documentation opportunities for current and alumni art students; and foster community outreach projects and interests. The Suraci Gallery also houses Marywood’s permanent collection of fine and decorative art. The Asian Collection consists of ceramics, furniture, netsukes, inro, ivories, and prints. Bronze and marble sculpture, paintings, ceramics, glass, and French ivories comprise the 19th Century Collection. Religious icons, furniture, and 20th century works round out the Suraci Collection. The Suraci Gallery is located on the second floor of the Shields Center for Visual Arts.

Located in the lobby of the Insalaco Center for Studio Arts, the Kresge Gallery is a versatile exhibition, critique, and lecture space. An alternative venue to the formal art galleries, the Kresge Gallery provides a working and experimental exhibition site for art students and faculty to showcase a variety of work throughout each semester. Recent exhibitions include the Foundation Year student show, Senior Exhibition, Advanced Painting & Sculpture shows, MA shows, the Marywood Print Guild show, Design & Letterpress shows, art auctions, and Art Club shows.


Insalaco Center for Studio Arts

2300 Adams Avenue
Map & Directions

The Insalaco Center for Studio Arts contains 80,000 square feet of gallery space, naturally-lit drawing and painting studios, dark rooms, printmaking, woodworking, jewelery-making and ceramics studios, computer labs, and classrooms.

Learn More | Take a Virtual Tour

Studio Arts Classrooms


Map & Directions

Art education, ceramics, drawings/foundations, photography, painting, printmaking, and sculpture classes and facilities are located in the Insalaco Center for Studio Arts.

Learn More | Take a Virtual Tour

Shields Center for Visual Arts

201 Jackson Court
Map & Directions

The Shields Center for Visual Arts provides classrooms and labs for the Graphic Design, Art Education, and Art Therapy programs. It also houses the Mahady, Suraci, and Maslow Art Galleries.

Learn More | Take a Virtual Tour

Visual Arts Classrooms


Map & Directions

The Shields Center for Visual Arts contains studios, classrooms, and labs for Art Therapy and Graphic Design majors.

Learn More | Take a Virtual Tour

Kresge Gallery


Map & Directions

Located in the lobby of the Insalaco Center for Studio Arts, the Kresge Gallery is a versatile exhibition, critique, and lecture space.

Learn More | Take a Virtual Tour

Mahady Art Gallery


Map & Directions

The Robert J. and Elizabeth FitzMartin Mahady Gallery, known more frequently as the Mahady Gallery, is located on the first floor of the Shields Center for Visual Arts, providing a spacious and dramatic setting for the display of contemporary artwork. Throughout the year, the gallery offers a variety of group and solo shows by visiting artists, juried regional competitions, faculty exhibits, student shows, and curated national exhibitions.

Learn More | Take a Virtual Tour

Maslow Study Gallery


Map & Directions

The Maslow Study Gallery, located on the first floor of the Shields Center for Visual Arts, is a learning laboratory, providing fieldwork experiences, internships, and opportunities in curatorial and exhibition studies to Marywood students. The Maslow Collection is one of the most significant and extensive collections of contemporary art in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Learn More | Take a Virtual Tour

Suraci Art Gallery


Map & Directions

The Suraci Gallery, located on the second floor of the Shields Center for Visual Arts, houses Marywood's permanent collection of fine and decorative art. Exhibitions in the Suraci Gallery showcase regional and national artists; support art faculty work and scholarship; provide degree research and documentation opportunities for current and alumni art students; and foster community outreach projects and interests.

Learn More | Take a Virtual Tour

The cost per credit for this program is $618

The general fee is $200 per semester.

The Heffernan Endowed Scholarship

Graduate Assistantships

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