George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Visual and Performing Arts, MFA

Program Overview

The MFA in Visual and Performing Arts is a terminal degree which prepares students as professional artists and scholars who can work within their specialty (Dance, Graphic Design, Theater, and Visual Art), and teach at the university level. Candidates are required to complete 60 credits, of which 30 are made up from core requirements. An additional 30 credits are based on concentration area and comprehensive experience.

For complete information on program requirements and policies, please see the University Catalog.


Concentrations in Visual Arts and Graphic Design
Located 30 minutes west of Washington D.C., the School of Art connects all graduate students to phenomenal regional resources. Our MFA graduates receive semi-annual fellowships at CulturalDC/Flashpoint Gallery. Other professional development opportunities include access to esteemed artists, curators, collectors, and art dealers, an off-campus graduate gallery at the Lorton Workhouse Center in Virginia, and post-graduate residencies at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, Virginia. MA and MFA Graphic Design students work as designers, creative directors, and educators across the D.C. area.

Concentration in Dance
The MFA  is a highly selective 60-credit program of study grounded in the modern dance genre that emphasizes mastery in performance, choreography, and teaching in higher education. Applicants must have significant (5 years or more) professional performance experience in modern or ballet at the national or international level. They must also demonstrate professional competence in choreography as exemplified by a significant body of work, and have experience teaching technique at the advanced level. 

Housed in the inspiring and award-winning Donald and Nancy deLaski Performing Arts building, Mason Dance brings together the professional dance world and the artistic resources of the Washington, D.C. area to ensure that your experience at Mason will be a rich and rewarding one. Frequent guest artist residencies such as Kyle Abraham, Mark Morris, Andrea Miller and Robert Battle expand the continued creative interaction that will connect you to the exhilarating possibilities that dance offers.

Concentration in Theater
The Mason Players, a dynamic faculty-directed student organization, produces six productions each season. These include Mainstage Productions, which are directed by faculty or guest artists, and Studio Productions which are selected and directed by students. The Mason Players perform in the TheaterSpace, a 150-seat flexible venue; the Harris Theater, a 460-seat traditional proscenium stage with a counterweight fly system, and the 1900-seat Center for the Arts Concert Hall. The School of Theater offers additional performance venue opportunities by touring our productions to the Hylton Performing Arts Center on Mason’s nearby Science and Technology campus. The Performing Artist Residency in Theater (PART) initiative engages theater professionals in our faculty, our productions, and special events. Mason's Theater Program provides professional interaction among our students and the working professionals of the vibrant Washington, D.C. theater community and beyond. Alumni from Mason's Theater Program are working professionally in Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Their training at the university has helped them land positions in acting, directing, stage management, technical work, design, and literary management.

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