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U.S. News & World Report Ranks MICA's Master of Fine Arts Programs Among Top Four in Nation

MICA Joins Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Yale University, and School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2008-09 'Best Graduate Schools' Edition

Posted 04.08.08 by MICA Media Relations

Graduate students work in Studio Center.

BALTIMORE--Maryland Institute College of Art's (MICA) Master of Fine Arts programs were ranked among the top four in the nation, with those of Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Yale University, and School of the Art Institute of Chicago, by U.S. News & World Report in its “Best Graduate Schools” edition, released on March 26, 2008. This ranking was based “solely on the results of a peer assessment survey of art school deans [asked to] rate the academic quality of programs” at 220 colleges and universities, according to the magazine. MICA was nominated for inclusion in the survey by top art college administrators nationwide as a program “noted for…excellence” in the area of fine arts.

MICA has long been recognized as one of the nation’s top colleges of art and design; its undergraduate program regularly appeared in the top four nationally in U.S. News rankings of undergraduate programs. In addition to being ranked 4th overall for its Master of Fine Arts programs, MICA was also ranked 4th in painting/ drawing, 6th in graphic design, 7th in sculpture, 12th in multimedia/visual communications, and 15th in photography in the specialty rankings. In 2007, MICA was listed among the top 25 design schools by ID Magazine. In 2008, MICA was ranked No. 1 in the nation among specialty schools as a producer of Fulbright Fellows by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

MICA enrolls 214 students in its graduate programs. The Graduate Division at MICA is one of the largest and most wide-ranging in the U.S. and offers programs leading to the Master of Fine Arts in: Graphic Design (directed by internationally renowned designer, writer, and curator Ellen Lupton, who received the AIGA gold medal in 2007), Photographic and Electronic Media (headed by Timothy Druckrey, a recognized leader in the area of digital art) and an innovative low-residency summer MFA program in Studio Art; as well as MICA’s nationally renowned named programs including the Hoffberger School of Painting (one of the most competitive painting programs nation-wide), Mount Royal School of Art (a multidisciplinary program with connections to the contemporary art milieu), and Rinehart School of Sculpture (the oldest program of its kind in the country, and a major influence in contemporary sculpture). Other masters-level programs include cutting-edge programs in Community Arts and Art Education (both teaching and research).

A new focus in research at MICA gained momentum with the announcement in 2008 of the appointment of a Vice Provost for Research. MICA is the first art college in the United States to make a commitment to building an institutional infrastructure for research in the visual arts and design. This structure will support efforts like the Center for Design Thinking, led by noted author and curator Ellen Lupton, which provides a formal home for the publishing and research of MICA graduate graphic designers—a major new textbook, Graphic Design: The New Basics, released in May by MICA and Princeton Architectural Press, is widely expected to become the standard design text at the college level.

MICA’s graduate programs are distinguished by a focus on the individual student and a unique balance of close, collegial relationships between senior faculty and students. Its expansive studio resources and facilities, full-time faculty of distinguished, award-winning, and active professional artists and critics is supplemented by a regular schedule of renowned visiting and resident artists. Students regularly exhibit their work and have an outstanding track record of success with the most sought-after residencies and competitions—from Skowhegan to the International Sculpture Center, Fulbright Fellowships for international study to the Jacob Javits Fellowship for graduate study. MICA graduates receive numerous distinguished awards as well, among them the Pollack-Krasner Foundation Grant, the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant and the Cola-Cola Distinguished Teachers in the Arts Award. They exhibit widely in high-profile venues such as the Whitney Biennale, and their work has been published in important publications such as the New York Times and Art in America.

MICA has continued expanding and improving facilities for graduate study with the addition in recent years of 40,000 square feet for graduate instruction, and the clustering of graduate programs in the Studio Center, an expansive, renovated loft building minutes from central campus and in the heart of Baltimore’s Station North Arts & Entertainment District. This new graduate center offers individual studio spaces and common lounges, computer labs, wood shops, and other facilities designed specifically to meet the needs of graduate students. For more information about the rankings, please visit U.S. News and World Report's Web site.

Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The College enrolls nearly 3,500 undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies students from 49 states and 52 countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies degree and non-credit programs. With art and design programs ranked in the top ten by U.S. News and World Report, MICA is pioneering interdisciplinary approaches to innovation, research, and community and social engagement. Alumni and programming reach around the globe, even as MICA remains a cultural cornerstone in the Baltimore/Washington region, hosting hundreds of exhibitions and events annually by students, faculty and other established artists.