MFA Thesis


degrees offered: mfa or ms / phd

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Electronic Visualization (EV) is a highly individualized experience rather than strict curriculum-based program. MFA candidates independently design their educational paths to match goals with faculty expertise and equipment resources.

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Electronic Visualization (EV) is a highly competitive international program that accepts new students in the Fall of each year. Graduate catalogues are available online: or for purchase through the UIC Bookstore.

The program is technically rigorous and emphasizes computer programming. Students are encouraged to become competent programmers in order best visualize their aesthetic, while taking full advantage of the latest technology. Although software applications and support are widely and readily available as a resource for student use, proficiency in the software is not the focus of coursework or training.

An undergraduate degree is required for all potential EVL students. Applicants of any educational discipline are reviewed, though background in art / design with an emphasis on technology and computer graphics is preferred. Experience in any programming language including C, C++, GL, OpenGL is extremely helpful. A portfolio of visual work is required and is the most important factor in determining acceptance into the program. Although the portfolio may include slides or print representations, electronic and digital media (video, CD, DVD, HTML) submissions are preferred. A statement of purpose defines student goals and helps determine compatibility with the direction of the program.

How To Apply

The Moving Image and Electronic Visualization programs both address Time-Based Media. If you would like assistance to determine which program best suits your interests, please contact:

Mara Krueger, Graduate Advisor

If you would like to schedule a meeting to discuss the Electronic Visualization (EV) program, please contact:

Jennifer Reeder, Director of Graduate Studies

You may also visit the Art & Design Department’s website for more information:

The School of Art and Design accepts all of the official forms published by the UIC Graduate College. The Application for Graduate Appointment may be downloaded from the following Graduate College website:

The UIC School of Art and Design Graduate Program is self-managed. Please send all materials, including transcripts, directly to the mailing address of the School, rather than the University Admissions Office.

University of Illinois at Chicago
School of Art and Design M/C 036
929 W. Harrison Street
Room 106 Jefferson Hall
Chicago IL 60607-7038
312.413.2333 fax

We strongly encourage application by our December 15 priority deadline. Our final application deadline is February 1.

Please Note: This is earlier than most Graduate College deadlines and includes International applicants.


The choice of courses that incoming students make depends very heavily on their individual backgrounds. Introductory Art & Design graduate level courses are available in computer graphics and programming, as well as animation, video, multi-media production, and photography. Human / computer interaction, computer graphics, multi-media design and introductory programming courses offered through the Computer Science Department are also alternatives for students with existing programming and technical experience.

Four semester enrollments in the Art & Design Seminar in Contemporary Theory are required. A broad range of artists, technologists, and professionals are solicited as lectures to engage in varying aspects of critical theory and its relationship to art practice.

Participation in a weekly EV seminar is also required throughout an MFA candidate’s enrollment in the program. The seminar serves as a forum for the students to present technical or aesthetic research topics, and is also a pivotal organizational meeting for the program.

A large portion of an MFA candidate’s graduate study is devoted to project-oriented independent studies, which focuses upon the development of personal artwork, software systems for art production or experiments with technical and aesthetic issues.

The EV experience culminates in an MFA thesis exhibition - a public display of a significant body of visual work. MFA candidates freely determine the content and venue of their thesis show with the guidance of an advisory committee of their selection. The final product is the result of student and committee consultation and negotiation.

The 2008 EVL MFA Thesis Documentation Requirements can be found in a downloadable PDF format here.


EVL graduates find career opportunities as educators, designers and programmers for virtual reality, games, interactive media and web development, animators, and special effects designers among a host of other related jobs in video, film and electronic media in museums, government agencies, private firms, industry, and academia.