Call for applications: MFA Art

Call for applications: MFA Art

USC Roski School of Art and Design

USC Roski MFA Art 2019 and 2020. Courtesy USC Roski.

November 12, 2019
Call for applications: MFA Art

Application deadline: January 15, 2020, 11:59pm
Open studios and MFA Art exhibition: February 11, 7–9pm
USC Roski School of Art and Design
850 West 37th Street
Los Angeles, California 90089
United States
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Get your MFA Art degree at USC Roski’s new Graduate Building in the heart of the Los Angeles Arts District

Expand your practice in a cross-disciplinary program in the downtown Los Angeles Arts District. The USC Roski MFA Art program embraces a multidisciplinary approach to artmaking that maximizes a student’s studio experience, with a focus on analytical dialogue as provided by regular individual studio visits with faculty and visiting artists. Group critiques with student peers also play an important part in building relationships, collaborations, and expressive strategies.

Led by Director Nao Bustamante, MFA students work closely with the school’s internationally acclaimed faculty of artists—including Edgar Arceneaux, Patty Chang, Mary Kelly, Suzanne Lacy, Keith Mayerson, Ruben Ochoa, and Jennifer West. 

MFA students also have access to renowned artists, scholars and curators through the Visiting Artists and Scholar Seminars that includes talks, classes, and studio visits. Participants have included Tanya Bruguera, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Cecilia Fajardo-Hill, Theaster Gates, Julie Mehretu, Julio César Morales, Pepón Osorio, and eL Seed.

MFA candidates also take courses alongside the MA candidates with USC Roski’s renowned Critical Studies faculty—Amelia Jones, Andy Campbell, Jenny Lin, and Karen Moss (MA program director). These courses trace intellectual and artistic histories, understanding the complexities of theories as applied to art.

One of the key features of the MFA program is the unparalleled access students have across diverse fields of study at USC, which is one of the world’s leading research universities, and home to 19 professional schools. These electives offer a broader platform for interdisciplinary experimentation and provide expansive possibilities for complementary fields of study.

The program culminates with an MFA graduate thesis exhibition in the spring of the second year. Exhibitions may be mounted in the new Roski Graduate Gallery a well-appointed 2,000 sq. ft. space with moveable walls and roll-up doors for installation of large-scale works. The gallery features large windows allowing for greater public visibility.

USC Roski, one of the oldest arts schools in Los Angeles, has a long list of noted alumni that includes Ken Price, Mindy Shapero, Alex Israel, Amanda Ross-Ho, Young Joon Kwak, and Elad Lassry. More recently, five members of the 2019 cohort banded together to create a new type of cultural space in the former Crenshaw Dairy Mart. Founders Patrisse Cullors, noé olivas, and Alexandre Dorriz, along with Star Montana and Jake Freilich have opened the space that includes a gallery, individual studios, and outdoor area where they present innovative and inclusive art events and installations.

The program is housed in a new, state-of-the art facility located in the vibrant Arts District in downtown Los Angeles. The Arts District—home to dozens of museums, galleries, design firms, artists and designers—is a newly rejuvenated urban neighborhood comprised of brick, cement and wood beamed industrial warehouses, many repurposed and accented with diverse murals by local artists. Some of our neighbors include the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Hauser & Wirth; and The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA.

The 25,000-square-foot facility boasts an MA/MFA seminar conference room and library, an open-plan design studio, large individual MFA studios, a maker space, classrooms and project spaces; along with the Roski Graduate Gallery.

Information sessions
The graduate information sessions begin with a welcome and introduction to participating faculty from the three graduate programs. We then present an overview of the general USC admission process, the USC graduate application, financial aid, fellowships and other grant opportunities. 

November 19, 4–6pm; stay after for a Roski Talk with graphic designer Paul Sahre at 7pm
December 3, 4–6pm; stay after for a Roski Talk with Art Historian and Roski Visiting Associate Professor Jenny Lin at 7pm

Funding is available on a competitive basis.

For details, visit or email penelope [​at​]

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USC Roski School of Art and Design
November 12, 2019

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