Table of Contents » Chapter 2 : Post Graduation » Chapter 2: Attending Graduate School

Chapter 2: Attending Graduate School

Congratulations, you made it through the all consuming process of applying to graduate school. And now you get to do it! Here are a few articles from accomplished artist and educators sharing some tips on how to fully engage with the process.

Some Thoughts on Making Pottery in Graduate School

By Margaret Bohls

Graduate school isn’t for everyone. There are plenty of good and successful potters who never went to graduate school. With a commitment to a dedicated and continuous studio practice and the right choice of community, you can cultivate the evolution of your work and build a clientele.  If your ultimate goal is to be a studio potter, there are excellent apprenticeships, residencies, and certificate programs that can help you to do this. Read More

How to Do Grad School Well

By Andrew Casto

This fantastic essay is part of the Graduate Handbook from Iowa University Ceramics Department, written by Andrew Castro. It has been modestly edited.

– Andrew Casto

There are lots of ways to approach your time as a graduate student with us. Every artist is different, and we thrive on that diversity. That being said, here are a few thoughts about how you might structure your three years:


Try everything you can during your first year. It’s a great opportunity for exploration, and you’ll have significantly less pressure than later on. In year two, try to evaluate what worked well and what didn’t during your first year. Critically assess your efforts, and narrow your focus to a few ideas and techniques worthy of deep studio time. Year three needs to be full-tilt focused effort toward your MFA show. You should know what your work is about, how to make it well, and be able to execute a museum quality solo exhibition by spring semester. Read More