Can you imagine yourself working side by side with award-winning artists and designers from around the world? Can you picture yourself being challenged to exceed your greatest expectations and aspirations by mastering your creative skills to such a degree that you have the opportunity to succeed as a professional artist or designer or teach at the university level?

The MFA at ECU is a three-year degree program that allows you to fully immerse yourself in the personal research and creative activity that got you accepted in the first place. You will have your own studio space with 24/7 access as well as access to the expansive Jenkins Fine Arts building facilities, state-of-the-art computer labs, wood shop, Shape Lab, and each concentration area’s extensive equipment and resources. You also have opportunities to supplement your education through the visiting artist series, workshops, symposiums and through funded guild activities in which you decide how funds are used.

As a MFA candidate, you will work directly with graduate faculty toward your thesis exhibition, which is the culminating demonstration of the highest level of professional competency in the visual arts and design. To assure quality and potential for success, every MFA candidate must pass an annual review of all creative work produced during the academic year as well as submit a research paper which explains the context and intent of that work. We understand that it can be an arduous journey, and that it is our obligation to let you know that you are on the right path.

ECU Advantage

East Carolina’s School of Art and Design provides you with the same creative skills and intellectual opportunities as some of the most expensive art and design programs in the nation at a fraction of the cost. In addition to our huge, well equipped facilities, award winning faculty, and guaranteed studio space, we can almost promise that you will be given the opportunity to serve as teacher of record. In fact, the majority of our students choose to teach more than once while enrolled.

ECU is the most comprehensive NASAD-accredited art school in North Carolina. Our alumni have gone on to enjoy successful careers as award winning professional artists and designers, gallery owners, art directors, community arts management staff, K–12 instructors, museum directors, curators and preparatory staff, as well as serving across the nation and abroad at all levels of academia, from community college instructors to university deans.

What You Will Study

There is no catalog data for this program.

Careers With This Degree

Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

  • Fine/Studio Arts
  • Painters
  • Sculptors
  • Illustrators
  • Artists
  • Communications, Entertainment and Information
  • Education and Training
  • Fine/Studio Arts
  • Fine/Studio Arts

Career Opportunities

ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

NC Tower

This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

  • Self-employed;
  • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
  • Work outside of North Carolina.

US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

Degree-specific internships

For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.