M.F.A. in Ceramics

Program Overview

The Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A) degree in Ceramics is a concentrated three-year program devoted to studio, seminar, art history, and elective coursework. Our program emphasizes diversity, rigorous conceptual investigation, and contemporary critical discourse to develop individuals who challenge existing norms while producing compelling artwork. Through individual research, students develop skills, techniques and use of material as evidenced through a mature body of creative artwork.

Program Highlights

  • Morean Spring Residency: Each spring, graduates have the opportunity to participate in a funded, short-term residency through the Morean Workshop Space (MWS) in St. Petersburg, Florida. While at the MWS, students interact with visiting artists and curators and participate in the vibrant art scene of St. Petersburg-Tampa through professional learning and exhibition opportunities. As part of the residency, students also travel to Miami, FL for a 2-day trip filled with museum tours and gallery visits. 
  • Morean Center for Clay at Western Michigan University Summer Workshop Series: Each summer, graduate students take part in an intensive on-campus workshop series working alongside and connecting with visiting artists, designers and curators.
  • FundingAll prospective graduate students who apply by the April 15, 2023 deadline are eligible for the Audrey Morean Petersen Graduate Fellowships. Graduate Fellowship awards include full or 78% tuition coverage, a generous material budget and stipend. Once enrolled, the Graduate College offers a variety of additional funding opportunities for travel and research.
  • Paid teaching opportunities which provide valuable classroom experience. 
  • 170 sq.ft. private studio space.



  • Applying to the Program

    Please prepare the following items as part of your application. All information must be uploaded and received by April 15, 2023.

    1. Online Application - WMU Graduate College.

    Within this application you will be required to submit the following:

    • Application Fee - $50: Domestic Students, $100: International Students
    • Official set of transcripts sent to:
      Western Michigan University
      Office of Admissions
      1903 W Michigan Ave
      Kalamazoo MI 49008-5211
      or sent electronically to graduate-transcripts@wmich.edu from the institution.

    2. Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV).  

    3. Written Statement - Please submit a personal statement outlining your goals for graduate study, your interest in the media(s) you plan to study, the thematic concerns and form(s) present in your current artwork, and the artists or theories that have been influential. (1-2 pages)

    4. Portfolio - 20 examples of artistic work with size and material descriptions submitted as a single PDF.  Detail slides are acceptable where necessary. (10MB size limit)

    5. Three Academic or Professional References - References should be a person who is familiar with your artistic abilities who can discuss your artwork, critical and conceptual thinking capabilities, work habits, and potential for graduate study in art. References will be contacted via email with a questionnaire regard the applicants’ qualifications for graduate study. Optional: References may also upload a reference letter.

    International Student please visit the International Admissions and Services site for assistance.   

  • Curriculum

Visiting Artists

The mission of Frostic School of Art’s Visiting Artist program is tri-fold: to provide students direct, meaningful contact with working artists, both established and emerging; to elevate the regional, national, and international profile of the Frostic School of Art and Richmond Center for Visual Arts; and to nurture a sense of community among students, faculty and staff within WMU’s College of Fine Arts. Recent visiting artists and scholars that have enriched the ceramics curriculum include; Kyle JohnsChandra DeBuseJamie Bates SloneLars ZoltzGustav HamiltonKristen CliffelMichael LorsungJenn ColeAkeylah Imani WellingtonSavanna LaBauve, & Eric Zohn


The 8,000 sq. ft. studio, supervised by a full-time technician, includes: wheel throwing and hand building areas, a well-stocked glaze lab with spray booth, plaster lab. 

Tools and Equipment 

30 electric pottery wheels, 7 computer-controlled electric kilns, 32 cu. ft. gas-fired downdraft kiln, 90 cu. ft. gas-fired downdraft car kiln, and 180 cu. ft. gas-fired downdraft car kiln, 300 cu. ft. wood-fired barrel-arched anagama kiln, 80 cu. ft. gas-fired downdraft salt kiln, 6 cu. feet gas-fired drum/cantilevered raku kiln, 40 cu. ft gas-fired updraft kiln, 2 Heated Plaster Dryers, 2 Brent Slab Rollers, Laguna Spray Booth, Soldner and Bluebird Clay Mixers, Bluebird and Shimpo Pugmills and a Shimpo Ballmill.

Career Opportunities 

Graduates have several avenues for employment across multiple industries including:

  • Professional Artist or Designer
  • University or Secondary Educator
  • Entrepreneur
  • Fabricator or Studio Assistant
  • Art Handler or Preparator
  • Artist-in-Residence
  • Arts Administration, Museum and/or Non-Profit Positions
  • Gallery Manager, Owner, Curator, Exhibition Designer
  • Art Writer, Librarian, or Consultant