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About the Program

Prepare for a career influencing culture through writing and other forms of critical expression--as a writer, resident expert, archivist, critic, or other professional working in the field. Bridge your interest in the creative arts with a solid grounding in liberal arts and move beyond the purely academic by collaborating with artists in a creative environment. Learn to build synergies between cultural history, critical theory, and cultural production in all of its forms, including fine arts, film, design, and performance. Learn both how and why art is created as you develop your own voice for discussing it in a way that advances the visibility, impact, and appreciation of arts and culture.

The M.A. in Critical Studies is designed as a one-year (two-semester) program. Students will normally complete the required 30 credits in a single year of study but must complete these requirements within two years. Approximately ten students will be admitted in the program’s inaugural year. The program is structured around coursework in aesthetics and critical theory along with colloquialed by distinguished guest lecturers. The topics and readings presented in these advanced colloquia are then discussed and developed in corresponding seminars, which will cover various subjects of pressing interest in aesthetics, critical theory, philosophy, cinema studies, and cultural studies. Students will be expected to conduct their own research for individual papers, complete faculty assignments, and execute more extensive individual projects that arise from seminar issues. In the final semester of study, candidates complete an extensive thesis undertaken with the advice and guidance of a faculty adviser. Students will be evaluated on their ability to define and complete individual assignments, to participate actively in seminar discussions, to conduct independent research, and to demonstrate their understanding of critical studies through investigations into its history, theory, criticism, methodology, and application.

Program Highlights

  • Earn your master's degree through a one-year, 30-credit program of study that allows you to grow your skill set in a compressed time period.
  • Develop your skills in research, analysis, writing and communication, and observation.
  • Focus your study on one artistic field of customize your degree plan to gain greater understanding of multiple fields.
  • Immerse yourself in MICA's distinctive creative environment--collaborating with graduate students creating trendsetting art and design or inventing new ways to showcase culture, and learning from world renowned visiting artists, designers, and critics featured in the Graduate Colloquium lectAbouure series.
  • Learn from faculty mentors from diverse graduate disciplines who are accomplished practicing critical thinkers, writers, scholars, and practitioners in a number of fields, including art history, theory and criticism, film studies, philosophy, literature, curatorial studies, and studio practice.
  • Apply Advanced critical skills to a thesis project that provides a gateway to professional experience.
  • Gain insight that will prepare you for further advanced study, including doctoral programs.

Become an invaluable contributor to public discussion of the arts--through literary publishing, education, art institutions, print and broadcast media, the Internet, and other venues.