Mills offers a master of fine arts (MFA) degree in studio art led by a distinguished faculty of internationally known artists. The program focuses on painting, ceramics, sculpture (including installation), photography, intermedia, video, and electronic arts. Students are encouraged to work across media boundaries. The two-year graduate program is selective, limited to 12 new students each year, and is designed to meet the demanding standards of the profession.
The graduate program in studio art provides a combination of structure and freedom. Students receive individual attention that encourages personal and professional development. Each graduate student has a graduate committee consisting of three faculty members who are responsible for critiquing the student's independent work and progress. At the end of the first year of study, the work of each student is reviewed by all faculty members of the Art Department and, if passed successfully, the student is advanced to candidacy status in the second year. At the end of the second year, the program culminates in a public thesis exhibition held in the Mills College Art Museum, supplemented with a written thesis. All students must complete the graduate residency requirement of two years (four semesters) of full-time enrollment consecutively.
The Jane B. Aron Art Center houses excellent classroom studios for ceramics, painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, and intermedia/installation, in addition to the art museum and slide collection. Facilities also include an analog electronic and digital computer lab, video suites, and private graduate studios for each artist. Students are required to work in these campus studios to encourage interaction with fellow artists and faculty.