Degree Requirements

For admittance to degree candidacy, students must have satisfied all outstanding prerequisites, completed a minimum of 60 approved course credits, achieved a final grade point average (GPA) of 3.0, and had their thesis approved by the defense committee. Students must have advanced to degree candidacy before being permitted to attend graduation ceremonies.

Graduating students in the MFA in Illustration program are required to complete a master's thesis, in the form of an academic paper focusing on a specific aspect of illustration -- its history, various applications, and its current state. Students will select a topic whose research and composition is manageable within an 18-month period. With all its constituent parts, including but not limited to text, footnotes, bibliography and illustrations, the thesis averages 100 pages in length.

It is the responsibility of the students to submit, and have approved, their topic proposal to the department thesis coordinator. The thesis coordinator will then select an individual advisor whose area of expertise is relevant to the paper's topic and research. Students are expected to submit their written proposals approximately six weeks into their first semester.

Detailed guidelines on the thesis process will be distributed in the early weeks of the first semester. In April of the fourth semester, students defend their papers to a Thesis Defense Committee prior to the paper's final approval.

Students will be expected to retain a professional copy-editor in advance of their thesis defense.

Time Requirement for Degree Completion
Students will have three years to complete all degree requirements, except for the written thesis, which is due within 18 months after beginning the program.