Program Details

The Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts (MFAIA) engages artists from a variety of practices, including visual arts, dance, music, theater, performance art, social practice, design, digital media, and the literary arts, to study in a rigorou
Plainfield, United States
Program Type:
Full Degree
Degree Level:
Fine Art

Program Overview

Program Description:

The Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts (MFAIA) engages artists from a variety of practices, including visual arts, dance, music, theater, performance art, social practice, design, digital media, and the literary arts, to study in a rigorous interdisciplinary context. Students not only have the opportunity to work across artistic disciplines both individually and in collaboration with peers, but the MFAIA also encourages broader interdisciplinary inquiry, enabling dialogue among art and science, social science, humanities, and other systems of knowledge.

One of the only graduate programs in the world committed to art as a transformational practice, the MFAIA is designed to support artists with diverse life experiences and goals ranging from the social, political, to the aesthetic, spiritual or autobiographical. Our learning community supports the development of a robust lifelong art practice. We envision artmaking as a form of critical thinking, that integrates research and interdisciplinary problem-solving and engages ethically in public contexts.


No two artists are alike and no other MFA program places you – the artist – truly at the center of your education. Based on your unique interests, intentions, and professional goals, you will design and pursue an individualized course of study. Faculty advisors — themselves accomplished and evolving artists — work with you one-to-one, challenging you to develop your vision while providing personalized feedback, guidance, and support. Additionally, because learning is a social process, the MFAIA provides opportunities to engage in faculty- and student-facilitated group studies, artistic collaborations, and projects.

The dialogue that emerges with your advisor and through collaborative learning opportunities allows you to explore the creative possibility that exists between fields of knowledge and artistic traditions. Interdisciplinary work undertaken in the program, such as recent student projects that combine art and ecology, spiritual and aesthetic practices, and traditional artisan techniques with community development, not only introduce you to currents in contemporary art, but also provide examples of how the arts can be woven into public life.


In the 21st century, every community needs to be a center of creative transformation and aesthetic engagement. Our low-residency program enables you to be part of a supportive academic community while also advancing your creative practice where you live and work.

Each semester begins with an intensive eight-day residency focused on developing your academic plan, expanding your perspective, and learning within a community of artists. Informed by philosophies of participatory, democratic education, our educational approach not only accommodates the complexity of your life, but also expands the scope of your practice to include new colleagues, opportunities for showing work, and networks of practice across the world.

The MFAIA program is designed to help you articulate and engage with an original vision, discover new creative opportunities, and refine your critical and expressive skills. As you work to develop your personal practice, the program supports you in understanding a broad range of strategies and dialogues that inform contemporary art at this historic moment.


Students pursuing the Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts may also choose the following concentrations:

The Performance Creation concentration is designed to provide a learning context that blurs lines between authored, collaborative, and interpretive models of performance. Goddard’s approach to performance creation is unique. By assembling a learning community of artists working in theater, dance, music and sound, spoken word and other oral forms, hybrid performance practices, digital performance, and the intersection of performance and technology (including film making), we’ve established a context in which students can work across boundaries that too often limit an artist’s practice.

The Indigenous and Decolonial Art concentration is one of the first academic initiatives in the United States designed to bring together Indigenous, settler, and forcibly displaced non-indigenous artists expressly to expand practices of Indigenous resurgence and solidarity practices. Both Native and non-Native students alike  will be encouraged and guided to deepen the traditional practices grounded in their cultures, explore the many complex ways that living traditions intersect with contemporary art practices, hone their craft, and/or expand their audiences.

Concentrations predefine inter- and trans-disciplinary areas of study through a core set of readings and resources, learning areas and key concepts, and specify the way in which students must complete an identity statement and engage with the community through practicum, internship, fieldwork, or engaged practice. Concentrations within the program are highly individualized, guided by a unique study plan, developed by each student, to address learning needs and professional goals.


The Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts (MFAIA) is offered in Goddard’s unique low-residency model, which removes the barriers between living your life and learning. In our low-residency model, each semester begins with an eight-day residency in either Plainfield, Vermont or Port Townsend, Washington. Following the residency, there are 16 weeks of independent work and self-reflection in close collaboration with a faculty advisor and course mentors.


Additional Program Information

Goddard College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.Goddard College is authorized by the Washington Student Achievement Council and meets the requirements and minimum educational standards established for degree granting institutions under the Degree-Granting Institutions Act.
Financial Aid:
When applying for admission, you will be asked to submit 1. Artistic/Creative Resume (up to 3 pages) which specifically addresses experience relevant to your creative practice, demonstrating the various ways in which you have developed your art practice, including how you have been actively involved in art and art-making over time. This may include traditional work experience in arts or arts-related fields; formal educational background; exhibitions, performances, screenings, showings and publications; teaching, residencies and guest artist experiences; as well as non-traditional, alternative modes of presentation, art practice and learning such as art interventions and actions, experiments with art and everyday life, etc. 2. Portfolio consisting of artist statement, creative work samples with context statement, and a critical writing sample.

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