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MA Art: Social Practice

Portland State University Art: Social Practice MFA is composed of a unique combination of individual research, group work, and experiential learning. The program’s blend of critical and professional practice, collaborative social engagement, and transdisciplinary exploration produce an immersive educational environment.

Quick Facts

Full-time Duration: 3 years
Starting in: September
Tuition Fee: $671 per credit
Location: Portland Campus (Portland, United States)

Based in Portland, Oregon, the program operates on the Portland State University campus, and in our space at the King School in Northeast Portland. The programs’ flexible residency model allows for travel and even the ability for students to reside outside of Portland during their course of study. A weekly conversation series on KPSU Radio promotes the understanding of a wide range of approaches and methodologies.

The 90 credit, three-year course leans toward a democratic approach that encourages students to shape the direction of their own education, and continually redefine and develop the program as a whole. Students connect their art practice to research in the field through electives and community partnerships, promoting cross-disciplinary. Student work and research are presented publicly, culminating in final graduate projects presented in the third and final year of the program. Each student also produces a book for the Social Practice Reference Points series on a prominent theme or person or a workbook.

The Art: Social Practice program produces an annual gathering called Assembly and has exhibited work and created projects for the Whitney Museum of American Art, Betsonsalon in Paris, apexart in New York, and Smack Mellon in Brooklyn, among other venues and locations.

Mission Statement

Driven by a belief in the power of art to shape society, the School of Art + Design and its dynamic faculty provide a place where emerging artists, designers and art historians can question, create, reflect and learn.


Courses Included

  • Directed Studies + Workshops
  • Visiting Artist Seminar
  • Contemporary Art History/Theory
  • Electives (outside the department)
  • Graduate Seminars
  • Graduate Project