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

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, Iñigo 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,  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 of 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 CulturesGender StudiesPerformance Studies and Critical Theory. Or they may make use of the excellent library, the advanced computer labs and the constant access to lectures by the most prestigious thinkers in a comprehensive range of fields.

at&p course schedule

422-0 Studio Art This course has a flexible structure emphasizing the development of the individual's studio practice.

425-0 Graduate Seminar This seminar is a forum for the discussion of issues in contemporary art.

499-0 Independent Study Students work one-on-one with a faculty advisor to develop their individual studio practice.

In addition, the majority of the advanced 300 level courses offered by the department are open to graduate students.