Visual Art

Explore. Experiment. Collaborate.

Herron’s Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) program in visual art is a two-year, full-time experience with an interdisciplinary approach and research focus. As a graduate student, you will embark on a rewarding exploration of visual art as an intellectual and experimental practice.

With access to outstanding facilities, faculty, and resources within Indianapolis’ premier public university, you will have opportunities to explore, experiment, and collaborate. 

Our emphasis in integrative studio practice will allow you to develop a unique interdisciplinary approach to research and making. Elective options will offer you the flexibility to emphasize your specific studio practice within Herron’s disciplines including ceramics, drawing, furniture design, painting, photography, printmaking, or sculpture.

Each semester, you will engage in research activity within a professional context. You will enhance your professional studio practice through production, presentation, installation, marketing, and critical analysis. Impacting the community through civic engagement, social practice, public works and professional development is also a key component of the M.F.A. experience.

Year 1, Fall Semester

  • Research Studio
  • Collaborative Practices
  • Visual Culture/Contemporary Studies in Art
  • Studio Elective

Year 1, Spring Semester

  • Research Studio
  • Project Management/Public Art
  • University Teaching Practicum
  • Studio Elective

Year 2, Fall Semester

  • Research Studio
  • Interdisciplinary Critique
  • Art Theory & Criticism
  • Studio / University Electives

Year 2, Spring Semester

  • Thesis Studio
  • Studio / University Electives

No mean city

Indianapolis is the 14th largest city in the nation, but personifies small-town charm. You’ll find that Indianapolis is no mean city and a place that values partnership and diversity. Herron is an essential part of this metropolitan area, filled with an entrepreneurial spirit and a robust art and design community.

Explore the city

Within these walls

Herron has everything you need to find inspiration and do amazing work. You'll have your own studio space and access to Herron’s two state-of-the-art buildings with 200,000-square-feet of studios; a professional lighting studio; walk-in resin, casting, and finishing rooms; as well as our innovation studio, the Think It Make It Lab.

Explore our facilities

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

Herron has dedicated graduate faculty and accepts less than 10 students per year to its two-year cohort. Our intent is to foster a meaningful and supportive environment where the well-being and intellectual propriety of each candidate is seen as integral to professional growth and career goals.

Core graduate faculty:

Learning by immersion

Through Herron’s endowed lecture series, M.F.A. candidates have access to artists, designers, and professionals in the field. Our stunning and expansive gallery spaces 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 range of specialized careers, from university-level teaching, to creative entrepreneurship, to employment by urban arts organizations.

The Basile Center for Art, Design and Public Life facilitates candidates’ cross-campus and citywide collaborations and funding opportunities with Herron’s and Indianapolis’ many cultural institutions, social initiatives, corporate partners, and government entities.

Join Indiana’s only professional school of art and design

Degree programs