The American University distinguishes itself by its proximity to and partnerships with cultural institutions, government, and arts organizations in the DC metro region and beyond. The Studio Art Program is deeply embedded in the cultural history of the city.

In the MFA Studio Art program, we are dedicated to advancing the creative scholarship and research of artists studying in a liberal arts environment. We prepare artists-scholars to participate in the arts ecosystem, not only as practicing artists, but as educators, collaborators, and thought-leaders. We cultivate a supportive community of students, staff, and faculty through courses-work, mentorship, co-curricular events, and a dynamic Visiting Artist Program that brings artists and art activators, both locally and nationally, to our campus. We encourage and support artists in a framework of solidarity, equity, and creativity. Artists, their practices, and their work, are changemakers in our ever-evolving world.


We are committed to building relationships with students, communities inside and outside of American University, and stakeholders through mutual understanding and reciprocal behaviors and attitudes

  1. Inclusion + Belonging
  2. Empathy + Respect
  3. Bridge Building + Access
  4. Accountability
  5. Stewardship/Mentorship