Advising & Support
Advising & Mentorship:
The open studio curriculum at SMFA allows students to take charge of their own personalized academic experience, but there is support every step of the way. Students receive essential academic support from the Academic Advising Team at SMFA at Tufts, which works in partnership with faculty to support you throughout your studies. Advisors help you track degree requirements, assist with course selection, and connect you to faculty and staff who will be important to your artistic and academic development.
In addition to your academic advisors, faculty and staff are here to help instruct, influence, and collaborate in the development of your professional practice and academic experience. This may come in the form of critiques with faculty, studio managers who help you learn how to use new tools and methods, or curatorial staff who help you prepare for an exhibition. Your classmates and peers will also play an important role in both supporting you and pushing you further.
The Review Board is one of the most valuable and unique features of the curriculum at SMFA. This important academic experience is in-line with the school's mission to cultivate artists as intellectuals who are informed by multi-disciplinary practice and, above all, are self-directed. A Review Board is like an end-of-semester solo exhibition, in which you present your work to a panel of faculty and students – you can also invite your friends! At Review Boards, you will have an opportunity to engage in an extended discussion about your work and receive valuable feedback. Your team of faculty and students will consider your work as a whole—as the product of your creative process—rather than as a set of isolated pieces created in different classes. The experience will help you to articulate your own artistic direction and questions, to evaluate your needs and achievements, and to plan your own development as an artist. In an academic environment where letter grades are not assigned for studio art courses, the Review Board process is an important tool for assessing student success.
Our Career Center has expansive resources available to all students, as well as a specialized team dedicated to helping students explore professional development opportunities in the arts. Special programming includes: job fairs and portfolio review events with gallerists, design firms, and other arts employers; trips to creative industry sites in Boston, New York, and Providence; lectures by visiting artists and industry professionals; prestigious internship programs like the “Winternship” which sends students to highly regarded film and media organizations around the country.
Students enjoy robust support in exploring professional pathways. By using the resources of our Career Center, as well as taking advantage of internships, travel opportunities, and collaborations with our working-artist faculty, our students build professional networks and gain practical skills. In addition, there are a number of awards, grants, and fellowship opportunities available to our students and the Career Center team is available to help you with your applications.
Students are given the support to navigate online resources like Handshake (a career services tool for current students and alumni to find job listings, internships, employer profiles, and career events), while also receiving specialized guidance for aspiring artists and creative professionals on essentials like artist statements, portfolios, and websites. Internships are common. You'll find our students in the studios of internationally-known artists, at galleries and museums, and at tech companies like Google and Apple.