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Master of Fine Arts in Craft & Material Studies - Low Residency

Explore OCAC's MFA in Craft & Material Studies — Low Residency 

Master of Fine Arts in Craft and Material Studies — Low Residency
The Master of Fine Arts in Craft and Material Studies — Low Residency fosters the creative practice, materials knowledge, and academic achievement of independent, self-motivated artists, makers and designers, particularly those with commitments that present geographic challenges to furthering their careers through traditional curriculum. 

MFA in Craft and Material Studies students are in-residence on our wooded, Portland hills campus for 2 to 4 weeks each summer. Fall and Spring semesters are mentor–based in a student's home community.

Craft and Material Studies students are an integral part of the existing MFA in Craft program, alternating between immersion in the MFA in Craft curriculum on the OCAC campus and an autonomous, mentor-based studio practice within their home community. Graduates will leave with a confident studio practice, exhibition and public presentation successes, and the support of a dynamic network to extend their creative work.

How to Apply
Simply visit Admissions to learn more about graduate enrollment periods and apply online.

Contact the MFA in Craft — Low Res at 971.255.4192 or

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Courses and Requirements
Course Descriptions
Program Requirements


Creative Practice — 39 credits
Independent Studio: 6–12 credits, 2–4 classes
Working closely with a mentor, students expand on their creative processes, interest, and goals seeking depth and resolve. Mentors include prominent professionals in their creative practice who can advise students in the development and articulation of the their studio work throughout the semester.

Intensive Studio — 12 credits, 2 classes
In-resident studio practice on OCAC campus provides a two-week immersive creative environment with dedicated studio space and access to all studio facilities, expanding upon students’ creative inquiry and engaging other graduate cohorts. Students may choose to stay on campus to further develop their work for an additional two weeks.

Thesis Studio — 15 credits, 3 classes
Focusing on creating thesis work and research, students explore ideas and approaches from previous work developed and articulated through “Intensive Studio” and “Independent Studio.” Students work closely with a thesis committee through their final year, culminating in a studio project and presentation.

Integrated Practice — 6 credits, 2 classes
Led by the distinguished Instructor-in-Residence, the structure of Integrated Practice challenges students to consider key issues of craft and material studies within the context of their studio practice. Offered on-campus, this course provides dynamic, critical and collaborative activities to build relationships and contribute to versatile critical dialogues in the field.

Academic — 21 credits
Critical Studies — 9 credits, 4 classes
Developed as a foundational curricular component, Critical Studies examines diverse contemporary topics, encouraging students to address historical, theoretical, and cultural positions within an intellectual and artistic arena. Whether online or on campus, Critical Studies relies on an open critical exchange between students, faculty, and visiting artists.

Research Electives — 12 credits, 4 classes
Developed in 4 Core Components: Materials, Process, Writing, and Professional Practice, the research electives during Fall and Spring semesters broaden and deepen a student's knowledge through material investigation and exploration. Whether online or on campus, the course promotes diverse perspectives and generative research methodologies to create informed work.

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Seven semesters, including 2–3 summer semesters

Rolling enrollment — apply for Fall, Spring or Summer semester to join the program.

OCAC's studios are home to both traditional and cutting-edge equipment that allow students access to a large array of materials, processes and techniques. For more information on the specific equipment in each of our studios, please click here.

MFA in Craft and Material Studies, Low Residency students must possess or have the ability to access a computer (Mac or PC) with reliable internet access, and be able to use Gmail and Google-based programs.

Karl Burkheimer, MFA in Craft Chair
Courtney Kemp, MFA in Craft and Material Studies Lead Faculty
Seth Papac
Elizabeth Malaska
Amy Bernstein
Brian Shannon
Lisa Jarrett

Eva Speer, Fall 2013
Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Spring 2014
Ben Buswell, Summer 2014
Abra Ancliffe, Summer 2014
Bobbi Woods, Fall 2014
Don Crow, Spring 2015
Ariel Brice, Summer 2015
Jeannine Shinoda, Summer 2015
Kaila Farrell Smith, Fall 2015
John Motley, Fall 2015
Dan Attoe, Fall 2015
Josephine Zarkovich, Spring 2016
Jenene Nagy, Summer 2016
Joshua West Smith, Summer 2016
Lindsay Preston Zappas, Fall 2016
Amy Santoferraro, Spring 2017
Blair Saxon-Hill, Summer 2017
Cris Moss, Summer 2017
Kristin Cammermeyer, Fall 2017
Betany Porter, Spring 2018
Lisa Jarrett, Summer 2018
Stephanie Gervais, Fall 2018

More information about OCAC's faculty here.

Visit the Admissions page to learn more about graduate enrollment periods and to apply online. Contact us at or 971.255.4192 with questions.




Learn more about our programs of study:
Bachelor of Fine Arts
Master of Fine Arts in Craft
Master of Fine Arts in Industrial Design
Master of Fine Arts in Craft & Material Studies
Master of Fine Arts in Applied Craft + Design
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Craft (requires a bachelor's degree)
The Certificate in Craft

Learning Outcomes
Find information about learning outcomes by downloading MFA in Craft and Material Studies Learning Outcomes