The entire 2016 graduate class in fine arts at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles has dropped out of the program, citing changes in curriculum, staff and funding opportunities.
The seven students who made up the 2016 class of USC’s Roski School of Art and Design posted an online letter on Friday saying they were dissolving their candidacies for masters degrees “due to the University’s unethical treatment of its students.”
The students, who enrolled in the small but highly respected two-year program in 2014, said over the past two semesters they had seen promised teaching experience and funding opportunities reneged, as well as changes to the curriculum and staff.
Students also complained they had lost studio visits to work on their craft.
“We were presented with a different curriculum, one in which entire semesters would occur without studio visits, a bizarre choice for a studio-art MFA,” the letter said.
The withdrawing students also cited “unproductive” meetings with the program’s dean, Erica Muhl, who was appointed in 2013.
Dean Muhl said in a statement posted on the school’s website that she had been made aware of the students’ decision
“I regret that several of our MFA students have stated they will leave the program over issues that were presented to us, and that we considered to have been resolved, specifically having to do with financial aid and curriculum.”