Friday, March 18, 2016

Ceramic art degree tops in U.S. News' 2017 best grad schools

Alfred University’s (AU) master of fine arts degree in ceramic art is once again number one in the nation as ranked by U.S. News & World Report in its “Best Graduate Schools 2017” guidebook. All of AU’s School of Art and Design master of fine arts (MFA) programs combined are ranked ninth in the publication, out of 229 institutions surveyed. The School of Art and Design, in the College of Ceramics, offers MFA degrees in ceramic art, sculpture/dimensional studies, and electronic integrated arts. The School has offered a MFA degree in ceramic art since 1943. “We all recognize and admire the continuing excellence of the graduate programs in the School of Art and Design,” said University President Dr. Charles M. Edmondson. “It is gratifying to see U.S. News confirm our assessment,” he added. “I am excited to learn that our knowledgeable peers polled by the U. S. News and World Report, administrators and faculty in art schools across the nation, continue to acknowledge the excellence of the MFA programs in the School of Art and Design at Alfred University,” said Dr. Gerar Edizel, professor and interim dean, School of Art and Design. “To be ranked ninth in the top 200 among the 900 MFA programs in the country is an achievement that rests on the accomplishments of our dedicated faculty and diligent students who uphold innovative and experimental engagement as the hallmarks of the Alfred art education,” he noted, adding, “I am also delighted that Alfred continues to lead and inspire as the highest ranked MFA program in ceramic art.” “This testifies both to AU’s long-standing commitments to quality in the arts as well as the creativity required to be relevant in such rapidly changing times,” maintained Dr. Rick Stevens, provost and vice president for academic affairs. The AU School of Art and Design also offers undergraduate degrees including the bachelor of science degree in art history and theory and the bachelor of fine arts degree with studies in ceramic art; drawing, painting, and photography; expanded media; and sculpture/dimensional studies. U.S. News and World Report’s master of fine arts rankings are based solely on the results of a peer assessment survey conducted in fall 2015. Art school deans or department chairs at 229 MFA programs in art and design were surveyed; one survey was sent to each school. Respondents were asked to rate the academic quality of programs on a scale of 1 (marginal) to 5 (outstanding). Scores for each school were totaled and divided by the number of respondents who rated that school and sorted in descending order. The response rate was 20 percent. The lists of schools and individuals surveyed and specialty concentrations spotlights were developed in cooperation with the Department of Art and Visual Technology at the College of Visual and Performing Arts, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA. Institutions listed in the specialty rankings – in this case ceramics for AU – received the most nominations from respondents at peer institutions for excellence in the specialty. Assessment surveys were conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs.