College of Fine Arts

Curatorial Studies

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What is creative curation? The M.F.A. in Curatorial Studies prepares students for careers in that expanded field. As the first three-year hybrid M.F.A. in Curatorial Studies in the United States, this practice-based terminal degree uniquely equips graduates for positions in a wide variety of arts and cultural organizations, as well as teaching positions at the college level. Contemporary curatorial practice has expanded to embrace creative modes of selecting, presenting, and framing a vast array of cultural products, including artworks.   Through internships, online courses, and residential seminars, students gain direct experience in exhibition development and design, art event planning, catalogue design and writing, fundraising, grant writing, conducting studio visits, promotion and marketing, community-based programming, and similar activities related to careers in visual arts organizations.  With courses in art history, art studio, art education, and arts administration, among others, the M.F.A. offers a dynamic interdisciplinary degree that prepares students to be highly competitive in a diverse job market. 

Why Study Here?

  • Individual mentorship by distinguished faculty 
  • Opportunities for local, national, and international internships
  • Dynamic visiting artist, curator, and critic series 
  • State-of-the-art facilities in an historic building 
  • Urban campus in the heart of the Bluegrass 
  • Central location within driving distance of Cincinnati, Louisville, Indianapolis, Nashville, Chicago, Atlanta 
  • Accessible network of partners for independent projects: 21C Museum Hotels, Parachute Factory, Lexington Art League, Living Arts & Science Center, Institute 193, Lyric Theatre, among others.  
  • Funding available for research projects 
  • Financial aid available, including tuition-waivers & paid teaching assistantships

Application Requirements

  • A strong writing sample (along with optional examples of curatorial work or a digital portfolio)
  • A statement of purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • An undergraduate transcript (with GPA of at least 3.3)
  • The GRE is not required for admission into this program

Applicants must meet the Graduate School admission requirements.

Application Deadlines

Fall: July 22 (domestic students) April 15 (international students)

Spring: December 9 (domestic students) September 15 (international students)


International students must be able to demonstrate English language proficiency (with Graduate College’s minimum TOEFL score requirements met).


headshot of dr. bryzski

Anna Brzyski

Director of Graduate Studies

Professor of Art History

College of Fine Arts