Students in video installation

MFA Art and Social Practice

MFA in Art and Social Practice

The Master of Fine Arts in Art and Social Practice is a three-year, 60-credit-hour program that provides a strong foundation for students to develop interdisciplinary projects that serve a meaningful purpose to surrounding communities. By collaborating with local organizations to produce works that require audience engagement, students generate awareness of social issues, unite communities, and become catalysts for change.

This MFA is open to applicants who hold an undergraduate degree in any art discipline including Photography, Digital Media, Animation, Graphic Design, 2D, 3D, and time-based Studio Art.

Read the Glasstire article about this program.

Facilities and Opportunities

Graduate students are provided with individual off-campus studio space in the newly renovated Natural Science and Art Research Center and have access to all facilities in the Dana G. Hoyt Fine Arts Building on campus, including public galleries, design studios, animation studios and computer labs, photography darkrooms, studio and digital photography labs, sculpture, ceramic, painting, and drawing studios.

Graduate assistantships are available in the university galleries, visual resource center, and undergraduate studios.  Second and third-year MFA students will have the opportunity to teach in the department’s foundation program Workshop in Art Studio and History (WASH).  These assistantships will provide MFA students with the opportunity to work alongside faculty and gain experience in gallery practices and operations. 

Students will work directly with local art centers, museums, galleries, advocates, non-profits, and visiting artists on community-based projects. Their work is displayed publicly at the end of their first year and at the conclusion of the program, including a collaborative publication and thesis exhibition featuring work from third-year students.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the MFA in Art and Social Practice requires a 3.0 GPA in undergraduate Art coursework and a bachelor’s degree in any art discipline including Photography, Digital Media, Animation, Graphic Design, and 2D, 3D, and time-based Studio.

Application materials include:

  • Graduate Admissions Application (submitted online through
  • Application fee
  • Official transcript from undergraduate degree granting institution
  • Supplemental materials specific to Art and Social Practice:
    • Resume or CV
    • 3 Letters of Recommendation including contact information
    • Digital portfolio provided via link(s) to Dropbox, Google Drive, Vimeo, or other website(s) where work can be viewed
    • Statement of Intent describing:
      • Your artistic background and experience
      • Your interest in art as a social practice
      • What you hope to achieve in this MFA program


After your application is received, you may upload your supplemental materials online at the SHSU Self Service Center. It may take up to 48 hours for your application information to become visible on your account.

The Department of Art will accept approximately six students per academic year into the program. Apply as early as possible to be considered for assistantships.

For questions and more information, contact Rebecca Finley (

Department of Art Box 2089, Sam Houston State University Huntsville, TX 77341-2089 Phone: 936.294.4311