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Bulletin Archive

This archived information is dated to the 2009-10 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

Master of Fine Arts in Design

University requirements for the M.F.A. are described in the "Graduate Degrees" section of this bulletin.


Working jointly, the departments of Art & Art History and Mechanical Engineering offer graduate degrees in product and visual design. A large physical environment, the Design Yard, provides professional caliber studio space and well-equipped shops. Flexible programs may include graduate courses in fields such as engineering design, biotechnology, marketing, microcomputers, or the studio and art history curriculum. The program centers on a master's project and may also include work in advanced art and design. The program is structured to balance independent concentration with the use of the University and community, and interaction with the students and faculty of the graduate Design program. Cross disciplinary interaction is encouraged by a four-person graduate Design faculty.


  1. The applicant must have a B.A., B.F.A., or B.S. from an accredited school. It is expected that the applicant will have a strong background in studio art, either an undergraduate degree or at least three years of independent studio practice.
  2. Applications and portfolios for the design program must be received by January 12, 2010. Students accepted to the program are admitted for the beginning of the following Autumn Quarter. No applicants for mid-year entrance are considered.
  3. Portfolio Specifications:
    1. A portfolio or book containing 12-24 photographs, originals, or printouts of creative work, appropriately labeled and identified.
    2. A DVD showing works in action. Total run time should not exceed five minutes, and the disc should be playable in any standard DVD player. CD-ROMs are not accepted.


Fields of study for the M.F.A. degree are offered in Product or Visual Design.


  1. Residency: Completing a minimum of two years (six quarters) of graduate work in residence at Stanford.
  2. Units: Completing 54 units of course work chosen in consultation with an adviser. At least 18 of the 54 units must be in ARTSTUDI 360A,B,C and ME 316A,B,C.
  3. Seminar Requirement: Participating in a weekly seminar in which the student's work is critiqued and discussed in detail.

Graduate students must remain in residence at Stanford for the duration of the program.

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