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Frequently Asked Questions:

1. How many years will it take me to complete the MFA in metals program?

Most students are able to complete the program in the minimum two year period. However, the candidate for the MFA degree has up to four years to complete the requirements for graduation and it is not uncommon for graduate students to take a three years to complete their work. Extending one's residency to three or more years is encouraged by the faculty to allow students to undertake and complete demanding projects. This is a 60 credit MFA.

2. What is the scope of the program, the studio, and its equipment?

The MFA candidate in metals is asked to focus at preparing to teach on the college level, or developing the skills, aesthetics, and portfolio to function as an independent producing, exhibiting artist.

The metals studio complex is composed of eight rooms which house the following facilities and functions:

  • Main studio - 24 undergraduate benches with an oxygen/gas torch & flexible shaft at each bench, rubber mold making, vacuum investing, vibratory and mass finishing, wax injection, lapidary, enameling, anodizing of aluminum & refractory metals, photo booth, exposure station for photo-sensitized metal, 50 gal. copper electroforming system, two rolling mills, draw bench, drill press, display cases for student work and video instruction equipment.
  • Graduate studio - cubicles for each graduate student, bench work.

    Machine room - 2 lathes, spinning lathe, milling machine, shaper, roll former, tool grinder, drill grinder, drill press, squaring shears, power rolling mill, box and pan brake, pantograph engraving machine, computer numerical controlled milling machine (CNC) and fusion welder.

    Smithing room - vice and stake holder benches, arc/TIG/plasma welder, oxy-acetylene torch, 50 gallon heated pickle tanks, gas/air annealing stations, large acetylene soldering stations, hydraulic jack press, gas forge, automatic burn-out oven, 2 manual burn-out ovens, high frequency casting machine, motorized casting machine, vacuum casting machine, computerized acrylic casting autoclave, sand blast cabinet, band saw, jig saw, plastic vacuum forming station.

    Polishing room - 2 jewelry polishing machines, 2 small high speed polishing machines, 2 large industrial polishing machines, industrial belt grinder, air grinder station.

    Laboratory - copper, silver, gold, nickel, black nickel electroforming and electroplating, spray etching and acrylic casting.

    Tool-room - hand tools, supplies, materials dispensed to students.

    Computer Lab - 17 Windows/Intel (Pentium 3 & Pentium 4) computer workstations, all with 21" monitors. The software includes Rhino, Nu Graf, Magics RP, B view, Model Works & SURFCAM software.

3. How many graduate students are in the program and at what levels?

We generally enroll 3 first year grad. students and 3 second/third year grad students with a maximum of 8 total.

4. Will the metals studio be available to me at all times?

Yes. The studios are open to graduate students 24 hours a day, 7 days a week all year long.

5. Where can I buy supplies and materials?

Our studio tool-room stocks, for resale, many of the supplies needed by our students. There are also many excellent metals and tool suppliers in the jewelry district of Philadelphia.

6. Do graduate students have work areas away from undergraduates or do they share same studio?

As already stated the graduate students have their own, private work room.

7. Is housing for students available on campus or reasonably priced off campus?

While there is no on campus housing for graduate students there is a garden apartment complex across the street which rents 1, 2, and 3 bedroom apartments to our students at very attractive rates. As Tyler is located in a suburban residential neighborhood, there are numerous other rental opportunities in the immediate vicinity.

8. Is the program very structured?

We strike a balance between a defined curriculum and a flexible self-directed course of study. The structured component consists of graduate level activities such as technical research and limited seminar assignments, while allowing ample time for students to explore personal directions which are encouraged and supported by the faculty.

9. Are scholarships available?

We have graduate fellowships, teaching assistantships, technical assistantships, scholarships and part-time teaching assignments for our graduate students. Include a letter with your application expressing your interest in one or more of these areas of financial assistance, detailing your special skills and abilities.

10. What are the other study requirements besides metal?

Graduate students at Tyler are required to take the following courses each semester:

  • 2 courses in their major - Graduate Metals Seminar, Graduate Projects in Metal
  • 1 elective studio course - may be in metal or any other studio at Tyler
  • 1 Art History Course

11. What are the requirements for admission to your program?

A Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree or it's equivalent.

12. Is there a very competitive work atmosphere?

While the graduate students in metals at Tyler are very serious about their work and careers, you will find them to be co-operative, helpful and mutually supportive.

13. How well received are graduates of your program?

Graduates of the Tyler Metals and Jewelry program are teaching and showing in the most prestigious schools and galleries in this country and abroad.

14. Are there exhibition possibilities during the graduate years?

We have annual shows at the Tyler campus and in the Temple University Gallery, located in center city Philadelphia for our first year, second year and graduating M.F.A. students. Students are also encouraged and assisted in placing their work on the World Wide Web.

15. How many instructors teach metals at the graduate level? What are their names?

We have two full time senior faculty in metals, Professor Stanley Lechtzin , and Professor Vickie Sedman . They are assisted by three part time faculty and one graduate teaching assistant.

16. How many contact hours per week do graduate students have with their metals instructors?

Graduate students in metal are scheduled to work with the graduate faculty for 7 1/2 hours per week. This is time set aside for graduate students and is not in combined graduate/undergraduate sections.

17. What is the reputation of the faculty?

Both of the senior faculty have received N.E.A. grants. Professor Lechtzin is a Fellow of the American Crafts Council and has been recognized by the Governor of Pennsylvania with a distinguished artist award and by the State Arts Council. They show nationally and internationally. Stanley Lechtzin is a recognized authority on the applications of new technologies to the metals field and his work can be found pictured in most of the major metals and jewelry texts. Professor Sedman has been an officer of the Society of North American Goldsmiths and the Pennsylvania Society of Goldsmiths.