MFA Fine Arts


The MFA Fine Arts Program is open, inclusive, and interdisciplinary. We are looking for advanced artists who are engaged and committed to exploring an art practice in its various forms, traditions, and contexts. We emphasize interdisciplinary critical dialogue and lifelong learning within our intimate community. Our Art + Social Practice emphasis is an optional concentration that explores and encourages collaboration and builds skills to work in the social field.

You will be simultaneously supported and challenged. In Critique, you will learn to discuss your own and others’ work and attempt to locate it within wider cultural debates. Individual studio meetings with faculty will offer you one-on-one conversations on work in progress, ideas, readings, or plans. In Art History and Theory seminars you will read, write, discuss, and consider various histories, methodologies, and frames of thought. Professional Practices will prepare you to sustain a lifelong practice. Our Visiting Artist Lecture Series brings distinguished artists, curators, and thinkers into close dialogue with students. Studies culminate in a written thesis and final MFA exhibition.

All full-time graduates work in their own individual studios located at the graduate campus in Culver City. Residencies in Paris, Mexico City, and Anderson Ranch in Colorado are exclusively reserved for Otis graduate students and alums. A fellowship with the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena is also available to Otis graduates.


Read the Current Newsletter.


MFA Fine Arts now offers an area of emphasis focused on the field of Social Practice. Learn more.

In a high-ceilinged warehouse in Culver City's burgeoning arts district, students have individual skylighted studios. Working with distinguished practicing artist faculty members, they develop a “personal vision” that has been filtered through history, gender, sexuality, culture and politics.They acquire the necessary technical and theoretical resources to develop an understanding of the demands of a professional practice. The program promotes strong interaction and critical dialogue among all participants, encouraging students to converse in the language of art. Students produce work that reflects their ideas, needs and ambitions, as well as the challenges of the artistic environment and contemporary issues and concerns.

Students and faculty alike help determine the direction of the program. Through student exchanges with the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam, students gain a broader context. At the same time, the intimate community reflects the real working of the multilayered and diverse art, design and literary worlds, removing the walls between faculty and students.

Graduate students are accepted for admission in fall term. Spring admission is on a space-available basis only and arrangements must be made with the Graduate Chair. All named scholarships are awarded by the graduate faculty according to admissions ranking. They do not require a separate application; all accepted applicants are automatically considered. For information on how to apply for other forms of financial aid please contact admissions. Completed MFA application forms and required supporting documents must be on file at the Admissions Office by January 15 for the Fall Semester or November 1 for the Spring Semester.

Read the Current Newsletter.

MFA Fine Arts now offers an area of emphasis focused on the field of Social Practice. Learn more.