Difference Between MA and MFA in Arts

What is the difference between MA and MFA in Arts?

Which one is best, MA (Master of Arts) or MFA (Masters of Fine Arts)? It is the most common question that appears on the minds’ of students when planning for post graduation in Arts. Even their abbreviations appear confusing with a difference of only one word between these degree programs. However, both courses are strenuous, made to bring proficiency and expertise in art students and to make them able to perform in professional work. 

Seemingly, Both programs don’t appear much different. But, there are many worth-considering differences between the two degrees. Here in this article, we will provide you with all the necessary information about the MA and MFA courses, their scope, and their importance.

Difference between MA and MFA

Both degrees are different from each other in various aspects. MA degree is mainly focused on the enhancement of artistic skills of students through academic study. Moreover, MA students can pick an MFA degree for advanced education. On the other hand, an MFA degree makes the students expert and proficient in their art. MFA degree is also known as the most progressive qualification one can acquire in arts. 

Course details

MA includes the programs that lead to the scholarly and critical academic study of the field. Furthermore, MA disciplines are regarded as academic arts such as linguistics, languages, geography, and music. 

Whereas, MFA is generally known as the highest degree for the students of visual art, creative writings, dance, designing, etc. It is considered as the terminal degree in its field because the succeeding individual becomes a professor at the university level after MFA. Some fields in MFA are mentioned. 

Visual Arts: paining, sculpting

Performing Arts: acting, directing

Design: Graphical illustration

Creative Writing; Fiction or non-fiction. 

Length of Degrees

MA course takes 1.5-2 years for completion. It is divided into four semesters and most of the institutions offer the MA course with a specialization. After the completion of the degree, MA students can take an MFA course to bring proficiency in them. 

The MFA degree is a more advanced type of qualification. Due to detailed researched work and thorough study of programs. it takes about three years to complete the MFA course and collect the certificate. 

Career Opportunities

As an MFA you can offer more services than a master in arts graduate. You have a more profound set of skills that have been trained, refined, and practiced. Master of Fine Arts allows the student to grow as an artist with an inclusive range of performance potentials. You could start your graphic designing firm, work as an executive of your art, you can offer to teach, or you can establish a freelance business. 

On the other hand, the MA course is strongly focused on academics. Students can work under the supervision of professors and enhance their skills through their work. Students can also perform individual research for their thesis projects. 

Amount of Recognition for MA and MFA

Both courses are among the special education accomplishments that few people reach. The professionals of MFA and MA courses earn gratitude in their respective fields for their dedication and knowledge of their skill. But if we compare the two, MFA stands higher. Because of its precision and more selective admission criteria than MA graduates. 

Becoming an MFA provides distinctive appreciation in the artistic community that offers a career benefit. For example, your reviews and assessments may appear worthy if you have graduated from a respected MFA program. Your illustrations and artwork would also receive more acclamation and acknowledgement because of your identification as an MFA.

Final note

There are several discrete differences between a Master of Fine Arts and a Master of Arts. We have given important and useful information about the two degrees that may appear helpful for you when deciding between MA or MFA. If you are still confused and trying to pick one from MA and MFA, start knowing your priorities, goals, and interests in the light of the above-given information. Moreover, keep that in mind what is suitable for one person may not be good for others. Arm yourself with all the information first then make a decision. 

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