AU Press Releases

U.S. News & World Report publication ranks Alfred University's ceramic art master's program number one in the nation

Alfred University’s (AU) master of fine arts degree program in ceramic art once again heads the national rankings list of similar curriculums, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 edition of “Best Graduate Schools.”  

All of AU’s School of Art and Design master of fine arts (MFA) programs combined are ranked 11th in the nation in the U.S. News publication while the sculpture program comes in at 15th in its category. The School of Art and Design offers MFA degrees in ceramic art, sculpture/dimensional studies, and electronic integrated arts. The School has offered a MFA degree in ceramic art since 1943.

 “I’m very pleased to see the innovative MFA programs in the School of Art and Design at Alfred University acknowledged by the U. S. News and World Report rankings. To be ranked 11th overall out of 200 ranked programs and nearly 900 MFA programs nationally is an honor and a testament to the quality of the programs and the accomplishments of the students and faculty,” said Leslie Bellavance, dean of the School of Art and Design. “I am thrilled to see that ceramics continues at the top MFA program in the field and that sculpture continues to be ranked 15th,” she added.

“This ranking reaffirms the quality of our students, alumni, and, most of all, the continuing excellence of our faculty,” said Dr. Charles M. Edmondson, AU president.

The lists of schools, individuals surveyed at each school, and specialty concentrations were developed in cooperation with the Department of Art and Visual Technology at the College of Visual and Performing Arts at George Mason University, Fairfax, VA.

The specialty fine arts rankings are based solely on ratings by educators at peer schools. Art school deans and other top art school academics, two per school, were asked to nominate up to 10 programs noted for their excellence in each specialty. Those receiving the most nominations in ceramic art, following AU, are Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI; Rhode Island School of Design, Providence; Ohio State University, Columbus; California College of the Arts, Oakland; and Ohio University, Athens.

The MFA program rankings are based solely on the results of a peer assessment survey. Art school deans and other top art school academics, two per school, at 230 MFA programs in art and design participate in the survey.

Respondents were asked to rate the academic quality of programs on a scale of 1 (marginal) to 5 (outstanding). Scores for each school were totaled and divided by the number of respondents who rated that school. The response rate was 31 percent; the assessment surveys were conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs.

The AU School of Art and Design also offers undergraduate degrees including the bachelor of science degree in art history and theory and the bachelor of fine arts degree with studies in ceramic art; drawing, painting, and photography; expanded media; and sculpture/dimensional studies.