Visual Art

Integrative studio immersion

Herron's M.F.A. in visual art degree program provides students with the opportunity to delve into creative research, critical dialogue, and contemporary art within the context of Indiana's premier urban public research university.

Our studio-oriented environment and community support, as well as access to outstanding facilities, faculty, and resources, will allow you to experiment more thoroughly, work across media or on a larger scale, and take risks while constantly discussing and developing your work, from process to concept.

For the next two years, your focus will be on defining your practice and learning how to sustain it long after graduation.

  Apply for free this fall during Free Graduate Application Week from Monday, Nov. 7, to Sunday, Nov. 13. For more information, email

No mean city

Indianapolis is the 16th most populous city in the U.S., but it has the feel of a small town. You'll discover that it's no mean city — a place that values partnership and diversity. And Herron is a key part of this metropolitan area, with a thriving art and design community.

Explore the city

Within these walls

Herron has everything you need to be inspired and create amazing work. You will have your own studio as well as access to 200,000 square feet of studio space, the Think It Make It Lab, and a professional lighting studio, as well as walk-in resin, casting, and finishing rooms.

Explore our facilities

Year 1, Fall Semester

  • Studio Emphasis I
  • Interdisciplinary Collaboration in the Visual Arts
  • Art of the Past Two Decades
  • Graduate Studio Elective

Year 1, Spring Semester

  • Studio Emphasis II
  • Project Management/Public Art
  • Art History or University Visual Art Teaching Practicum
  • Graduate Studio Elective

Year 2, Fall Semester

  • Studio Emphasis III
  • Interdisciplinary Critique in the Visual Arts
  • Art Theory and Criticism
  • Graduate Studio Elective or Academic Elective

Year 2, Spring Semester

  • Studio Emphasis IV: Thesis Exhibit/Project
  • Art History or Academic Elective
  • Graduate Studio Elective

Student work

Clockwise from top: Andrea Jandernoa, Foiled from Sugar Works installation view, 2019. Sugar, hand woven wire netting. Elizabeth Jorgensen, Breathless Canary from Amnesia installation view, 2019. Wooden quilt stretcher, brass antique peephole, birdcage, yellow LED. Tiffany Pierce, Femine, Like installation view, 2019. Painted artifacts and photographs. Kurt Nettleton

Information sessions

Attend one or more information sessions with Herron staff, faculty, and current students to learn more about the admissions process, the M.F.A. curriculum, and other topics.

View all upcoming sessions

Visual art stories

Dominic Senibaldi

(M.F.A. Visual Art '13)

Dominic Senibaldi discusses the 10 East Arts Windows offer painting, collage, video and light installations.

Listen to the interview

Danielle Riede

Visual Art Grad Director

In this edition of their meet the artist series, Voyage Chicago hones in on what makes Danielle Riede's story unique.

Learn about Danielle

Ray Duffey

(M.F.A. Visual Art '11)

Meet Ray Duffey, Director of Safety Curriculum and Shop Manager, Herron graduate, visual artist and musician.

Get to know Ray

Meet your allies, mentors, and critics-in-chief

Herron welcomes about 10 students annually to its two-year cohort. Our dedicated graduate faculty aim to foster a positive, inclusive learning environment in which the intellectual and emotional capacity of each individual is considered to be part of their professional growth and career goals.

Core graduate faculty are:

Hands-on, community-based learning

M.F.A. candidates gain exposure to artists, designers, and industry professionals through Herron's endowed lecture series. Our spacious and stunning galleries offer encounters with contemporary art and world-renowned artists, as well as the work of Herron's acclaimed faculty, distinguished alumni, and students.

Funding support through one of Herron's many study abroad trips cements a curriculum that encourages leadership in the professional practice of visual art and prepares graduates for a wide range of professional careers, from college-level teaching to creative entrepreneurship to employment at urban arts organizations.

The Basile Center for Art, Design and Public Life facilitates cross-campus and city-wide collaborations and commissions with Herron's and Indianapolis' many cultural institutions, social initiatives, and corporate and government partners.

Join Indiana’s premier school of art and design

Degree programs