Master of Fine Arts in Fibers and Material Studies

Cultivate a rigorous studio practice with the Master of Fine Arts in Fibers and Material Studies in the Tyler School of Art and Architecture at Temple University. This interdisciplinary two-year, 60-credit graduate program attracts students who interrogate materiality through a historic, social and political lens and define their work with fibers and materials broadly, often experimenting with sound, installation and performance.

With guidance from an influential and diverse faculty, Fibers and Material Studies Master of Fine Arts students work independently to augment a practice grounded in conceptual awareness of key discourses within the critical study of fibers and material. Discourses include

  • cultural appropriation,
  • DIY and sustainability,
  • economy,
  • feminism,
  • globalization,
  • labor,
  • race,
  • Queer studies and
  • the historic role of women and people of color in textile production.

Explore your chosen discipline while broadly investigating a diversity of art-making practices. Spend extensive studio time in your core area of practice and engage with colleagues in weekly critiques and critical discourse within a boundary-pushing community that values a robust exchange of ideas. The Fibers and Material Studies MFA curriculum emphasizes mentorship, interdisciplinarity, inquiry and research to enrich practices and create theoretical, philosophical and concrete links between art and society. 

Select a committee of advisors from disciplines across the university, working with them one on one to receive critical feedback. Students take art history classes and seminars that engage emerging topics in the field, the broader art world, and social and political inquiry. 

Students can apply for teaching assistantships and participate in our artist-in-residence program. Under the mentorship of engaged faculty and visiting artists on the cutting-edge of creative practice and critical inquiry, students find a compassionate, inclusive environment primed for experimentation, interdisciplinary collaboration and independent study. 

Many Tyler MFA students choose to pursue summer study abroad opportunities at Temple University Rome, a home base for immersive artistic, academic and cultural exploration for Tyler students since 1966. 

A person with glasses stands next to a sewing machine with a backwards neon sign behind them.

Natural Dye Garden & Queer Materials Lab 

Fibers & Material Studies Master of Fine Arts students collaborate across the school through projects like Tyler’s Natural Dye Garden, which produces plant and flower materials to make dyes, as well as leverage Philadelphia’s landscape and vibrant DIY art scene to conduct community-based projects; study social and political issues; and examine the relationship between materials, processes, and concepts. Launched by fibers program head Jesse Harrod—renowned for their manipulation and transformation of materials—the Queer Materials Lab opens up opportunities for students to work with visiting artists and join a broader LGBTQIA+ discourse. 

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. 

The Fibers & Material Studies MFA curriculum deeply considers the historic and political lineage of materials and how it influences both the creators and their creative output. Students explore issues around BIPOC and Queer identity, power, sustainability and more. Art history classes, electives and seminars engage them in emerging topics in the field and the broader art world. Influential visiting artists and programs are matched to each cohort to accelerate their growth.  

Examples of the Master of Fine Arts in Fibers & Material Studies coursework include the following classes. 

  • Art History Seminar (5000, 8000 or 9000 level) 
  • Critique and Critical Discourse I and II 
  • Directed Studio Practice 
  • Graduate Projects, Fibers 
  • Master of Fine Arts Thesis 

Learn more about the coursework for the Fibers & Material Studies MFA.

Related Graduate Degrees  

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