Research in the Intermedia Programs

The Intermedia Program is grounded in the principle that art is research. While in the program students engage in a variety of research and creative practices that are fundamental to their work and study.

Such research work takes a variety of forms drawn from traditional research areas including from the humanities, natural sciences and social sciences. Students directly explore and create new forms of hybrid research and creative activity in the program that grounds the development of their creative practices.


mArt Lab

View of diagram of site work in Detriot
MFA students present research findings after site work in Detroit
The mArt Lab is a shared research and creative space that expands the opportunities for graduate students and faculty in experimental processes, multiple production, and individual or collaborative project work.
Integrating community, faculty and student-led initiatives focusing on socio-political and entrepreneurial work. Projects and research have been conducted in conjunction with: Duke University, Emerson College and the local community. The combination of physical exploration of processes, combined with academic research in collaboration with community and students are at the core of the mArt Lab work, and the space has accommodated all the above, while becoming a source for community development.

MFA Thesis Requirements

View of MFA thesis exhibition
2013 MFA Thesis Exhibition in Lord Hall Gallery

The student’s thesis will be a body of work growing from the entirety of their research and creative production while at the University of Maine. The nature, scope and breadth of this body of work will be agreed upon between the student and his or her committee in consultation with the Program Director. In general this work must be presented in two forms: a written thesis statement and documentation of research, and a presentation of creative thesis work at the MFA thesis festival, Without Borders.

Written Thesis Statement

The thesis statement is a formal presentation, prepared by the candidate, as a portion of the requirements for the Masters of Fine Arts degree in Intermedia. The thesis topic should be based directly on the candidate’s historical and critical research as well as their creative studio work and should include references to other artists that are relevant to, or have influenced, the candidate’s creative work.

The thesis statement must:

  1. Provide evidence of scholarly research and thought through direct reference to influences, concepts and principles.
  2. Be presented as a competent, written discourse.
  3. Reveal the ability to select, organize and demonstrate, in writing, the independent thought and originality reflected in the candidate’s studio work (thesis exhibition).
  4. Examine and discuss appropriate historical, philosophical and aesthetic issues.

The thesis must be presented in the format required by the graduate school as well as in a digital format suitable for archiving and presentation on the web.

Thesis Exhibit

View of Eleanor Kippings thesis installation from 2018
Eleanor Kipping Thesis performance installation, 2018

Every summer there is an exhibition and festival, the Without Borders Festival (started in 2004), at which all third year students exhibit a thesis work/project as part of their final completion of their work in the program. This work was developed in the year specifically for this exhibition/presentation and  reflects the culmination of their work in the MFA program. During this thesis exhibition an oral examination will be conducted by their faculty committee.

This exhibition showcases the intermedial work of advanced students in the Intermedia Program, preparing them for their ongoing careers. The MFA Thesis Exhibition is intended to be part of an endeavor by the Intermedia Masters Program to extend the relationship between creativity and research into a public forum. This presentation will culminate the students’ experiences in the program as well as and demonstrate the program’s commitment to Intermedia research, collaboration, education and the development of successful creative professionals as evidenced by the work of the students.