Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics

Explore the expansive practices of clay as both a historic and contemporary material with the Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics program at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple. Through an engaged presence in the field, a supportive community of students and alumni, and a critical pedagogy, the two-year, 60-credit master's degree program offers a multitude of perspectives, approaches and possibilities. Our internationally recognized faculty, state-of-the-art facilities and Philadelphia’s diverse clay culture offer a generative space to imagine and expand oneself and one’s work.  

The close-knit Ceramics MFA community is connected to the extended Tyler MFA cohort through mentorship from a faculty of socially conscious artists, technologists, designers and art historians. The ceramics faculty engage one-on-one with students to develop individual direction and encourage the exchange of ideas—in the studio and across Philadelphia—supported by the resources of Temple, a large public research university. 

Using a studio-based approach complemented by art history seminars, the program’s curriculum empowers students to engage deeply and develop a holistic practice with supportive research and interdisciplinary exploration. 

As members of the region’s preeminent ceramics program, students partner with organizations in Philadelphia—a city with an established clay tradition and a thriving contemporary art scene—as well as other major cultural centers nearby, including New York. Philadelphia also offers opportunities for students to join a flourishing arts and culture community and work as practicing artists and professionals. 

Hands-on Learning and Experiences 

Tyler's graduate ceramics curriculum places a strong emphasis on hands-on, interdisciplinary learning, as well as encouraging MFA students to take advantage of Philadelphia's art resources and institutions. With a wide range of tools and equipment, the program supports wheel work, mold-making and slip-casting projects, and digital fabrication. Large kilns are available for hand-building and sculpture. Students are expected to demonstrate both conceptual and technical excellence, as well as a profound interest in research and experimentation. Students are encouraged to investigate a wide range of processes as they develop their own personal visions. 

Thesis Exhibition

An approved thesis exhibition, written statement of working philosophy, and a digital portfolio are required at the final review in order to meet the MFA requirements. The thesis exhibition should be the fruit of the two years' studio research and practice in which the student engaged. The student defends their thesis exhibition to the review committee. The committee then evaluates the exhibition as pass with distinction, pass or fail. 

student works on their ceramics project in the studio.

Program Format & Curriculum    

With core courses aligned over two weekdays, students have considerable flexibility and choice when selecting art history, elective and seminar classes, either within Tyler’s graduate curriculum or across the university. Courses in critique and critical discourse are foundational to the first year of study. Under the mentorship of a faculty member, students also participate in directed studio research and an MFA thesis gallery exhibition in their final semester of study. 

Other courses students in the Ceramics MFA program can expect to take include the following.

  • Art History Seminar  

  • Critique and Critical Discourse I and II 

  • Directed Studio Practice 

  • Graduate Projects, Ceramics 

  • Master of Fine Arts Thesis 

Learn more about the Ceramics MFA program curriculum.

Related Graduate Certificates

Tuition & Fees

In keeping with Temple’s commitment to access and affordability, this Master of Fine Arts offers a competitive level of tuition with multiple opportunities for financial support.

Tuition rates are set annually by the university and are affected by multiple factors, including program degree level (undergraduate or graduate), course load (full- or part-time), in-state or out-of-state residency, and more. These tuition costs apply to the 2023–2024 academic year.

Pennsylvania resident: $1,266.00 per credit
Out-of-state: $1,682.00 per credit

Learn more about our tuition and fees.


Additional Program Information