Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts

The Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts (MFAIA) engages artists from a variety of practices, including visual arts, dance, music, theater, performance art, social practice, design, digital media, and the literary arts, to study in a rigorous interdisciplinary context. Students not only have the opportunity to work across artistic disciplines both individually and in collaboration with peers, but the MFAIA also encourages broader interdisciplinary inquiry, enabling dialogue among art and science, social science, humanities, and other systems of knowledge.

One of the only graduate programs in the world committed to art as a transformational practice, the MFAIA is designed to support artists with diverse life experiences and goals ranging from the social, political, to the aesthetic, spiritual or autobiographical. Our learning community supports the development of a robust lifelong art practice. We envision artmaking as a form of critical thinking, that integrates research and interdisciplinary problem-solving and engages ethically in public contexts.

SELF-DIRECTED | COMMUNITY-ENGAGED

No two artists are alike and no other MFA program places you – the artist – truly at the center of your education. Based on your unique interests, intentions, and professional goals, you will design and pursue an individualized course of study. Faculty advisors — themselves accomplished and evolving artists — work with you one-to-one, challenging you to develop your vision while providing personalized feedback, guidance, and support. Additionally, because learning is a social process, the MFAIA provides opportunities to engage in faculty- and student-facilitated group studies, artistic collaborations, and projects.

The dialogue that emerges with your advisor and through collaborative learning opportunities allows you to explore the creative possibility that exists between fields of knowledge and artistic traditions. Interdisciplinary work undertaken in the program, such as recent student projects that combine art and ecology, spiritual and aesthetic practices, and traditional artisan techniques with community development, not only introduce you to currents in contemporary art, but also provide examples of how the arts can be woven into public life.

INTEGRATED | RIGOROUS

In the 21st century, every community needs to be a center of creative transformation and aesthetic engagement. Our low-residency program enables you to be part of a supportive academic community while also advancing your creative practice where you live and work.

Each semester begins with an intensive eight-day residency focused on developing your academic plan, expanding your perspective, and learning within a community of artists. Informed by philosophies of participatory, democratic education, our educational approach not only accommodates the complexity of your life, but also expands the scope of your practice to include new colleagues, opportunities for showing work, and networks of practice across the world.

The MFAIA program is designed to help you articulate and engage with an original vision, discover new creative opportunities, and refine your critical and expressive skills. As you work to develop your personal practice, the program supports you in understanding a broad range of strategies and dialogues that inform contemporary art at this historic moment.

Request more information from an Admissions Counselor.

The Faculty

The MFAIA Program Faculty members work one-on-one with students as faculty advisors throughout the semester, as well as facilitating group studies, teaching workshops at residency, and acting as second readers to students’ final projects. Our faculty is comprised of national and international scholar practitioners with extensive experience supporting students taking charge of their learning. Faculty members’ work with students is focused, clear, and rigorous.

Learn more about our faculty.

Locations

Twice a year, at the start of each semester, students attend an intensive eight-day residency at the College’s Plainfield, Vermont campus, Goddard’s historic main campus, or the Port Townsend, Washington campus, a vibrant arts community on the Pacific Coast. Residencies are a rich time of exploration, connection, and planning.

During the application process, you choose one of the two residency site options for the duration of your studies. Each program site is home to a lively community of interdisciplinary artists and allows you to engage with a unique physical landscape in a retreat-like setting.

Goddard College programs operating in Washington State are authorized by the Washington Student Achievement Council. For more information, please refer to Accreditation and Approvals.

Low-Residency Model

At the start of the semester, students attend an intensive eight-day residency in Vermont or Washington, followed by 16 weeks of independent work and self-reflection in close collaboration with a faculty advisor and course mentor. Goddard pioneered this format nearly a half century ago to meet the needs of adult students with professional, family, and other obligations seeking learning experiences grounded in the real-world.

Residencies are a time to explore, network, learn, witness, and share with peers, staff, and faculty. Students work with advisors and peers in close-knit advising groups to forge individualized study plans that describe their learning objectives for the semester.

Working closely with their faculty advisors, and supported by fellow learners, students identify areas of study, personal goals, relevant resources, and avenues to achieve these goals. Students also attend and are invited to help organize workshops, keynote addresses, celebrations and other events intended to stimulate, inspire, and challenge.

This low-residency model combines the breadth of a collaborative community with the focus of personalized learning, enhanced by insightful exchanges with a faculty advisor and course mentors.