Welcome to the Department of Art Theory & Practice (AT&P) at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Northwestern University. The department has both an undergraduate program, offering a baccalaureate degree, and a graduate program, offering a Masters of Fine Arts degree.

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degree requirements | courses | resources | prospective students | graduate study trip | campus visits

director of graduate studies: Judy Ledgerwood

Our two-year graduate program is best suited to students looking to pursue intense and prolonged periods of studio work in addition to academic study. The program's small size, averaging 10 students, ensures a continuous intensive exchange among faculty and graduates, resulting in a rigorous critical atmosphere in which a range of theoretical perspectives and diverse ways of making and talking about art are valued and encouraged. The backbone of the program is independent study with the core graduate faculty: Jeanne Dunning, Judy Ledgerwood, IƱigo Manglano-Ovalle, Michael Rakowitz, Steve Reinke, and Lane Relyea. The periodic addition of visiting lecturers supplements the faculty, adding further dimension and depth. Recent visiting faculty have included Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Irena Knezevic, Molly Zuckerman-Hartung, William Pope L., Emily Jacir, Patrick Killoran, Temporary Services, Robert A. Pruitt, Jesal Kapadia and Max Goldfarb. Visiting artists and speakers play an important role as well. In addition to giving lectures that are open to all, visitors meet with every graduate student for one-on-one studio critiques.

This emphasis on independent study is complemented by seminars, group critique courses and electives. Furthermore, every other year the department funds a graduate student study trip; most recently, graduate students have visited the iconic earthworks in the southwest, including Spiral Jetty and Lightning Field. We strive to equip our graduates for professional careers as artists and college-level teachers and to place them on the forefront of contemporary cultural production.

We believe that opportunities to interact with Northwestern's greater research community are one of our program's greatest assets. Students may take advantage of the course offerings in related areas such as the Art History, Radio/TV/Film, Screen Cultures, Performance Studies and Critical Theory. Or they may take advantage of the excellent library, the advanced computer labs and the constant access to lectures by prestigious thinkers in a comprehensive range of fields.


2014 Graduate Critiques | Work of Nicole Wilson

2014 Graduate Critiques | Work of Rambod Vala

2014 Graduate Critiques | Work of Angela Lopez

2014 Graduate Critiques | Work of TJ Proechel

2014 Graduate Critiques | Work of Emily Nowell

2014 Graduate Critiques | Work of Caroline Carlsmith

2013 Graduate Critiques | Work of Esau McGhee