Graduate study of the book is interdisciplinary. It focuses on book arts as hands-on practice as well as a historical and cultural phenomenon. Its principal objectives are to provide scholarly and aesthetic contexts for the study of book history, arts, and technologies; and to offer a structured program in book-related disciplines for graduate students with a serious interest in book studies.

The Master of Fine Arts program in book arts requires a minimum of 60 s.h. of graduate credit, including a thesis. Students complete core courses and work with a faculty advisor to design an individualized curriculum spanning several studio practice disciplines: artist book work, bookbinding, lettering arts, digital book work, papermaking, or letterpress printing. The degree culminates with the successful completion of a thesis.

The program requires the following coursework.

Studio Requirements

Courses from the areas below should be selected in consultation with an advisor.

Required Core Electives

Three of these (9 s.h.):
UICB:4205/BKAT:4205Bookbinding I: Materials and Techniques3
UICB:4300/ARTS:4300Letterpress I3
UICB:4400/ARTS:4400History of Western Letterforms3
UICB:4415/ARTS:4415Calligraphy I: Foundational Hands3
UICB:5110/BKAT:5110Islamic/Asian Papermaking History and Technique3
UICB:5130/BKAT:5120European Papermaking History and Technique3

Graduate Book Arts Workshop

UICB:6520Graduate Book Arts Workshop (must be taken three times for a total of 9 s.h.)9

Book Art Seminar

This course:
UICB:6510Book Art Seminar: History, Practice, and Critique3

Studio Practice Electives

Studio practice courses15

Scholarly Inquiry Requirement

Two of the following, or students may request to use related courses approved by the head of the scholarly inquiry area (6 s.h.):
UICB:3140/ENGL:3140Literature and the Book3
UICB:3142/ENGL:3142Topics in Book History3
UICB:3980/ARTH:3980American Print Culture3
UICB:4150/ENGL:4150/SLIS:4150Introduction to Book Studies3
UICB:4910/HIST:4910/SLIS:4910The Book in the Middle Ages3
UICB:4920/HIST:4920/SLIS:4920The Transition from Manuscript to Print3
UICB:5600/SLIS:5600History of Readers and Reading3
UICB:6100Book Studies Proseminar3

Material Analysis Requirement

This course:
UICB:4930/HIST:4430Topics in Material Analysis3

Additional Electives

Elective courses (may include 0–6 s.h. of thesis credit; see below)15

Thesis

Can be taken for a maximum of 6 s.h.:
UICB:6540M.F.A. Thesis Hoursarr.

M.F.A./M.A. in Library and Information Science

The Center for the Book and the School of Library and Information Science offer a combined Master of Fine Arts in book arts/Master of Arts in library and information science. The combined degree program allows students with strong interests in the book arts, book history, and material book studies to also gain expertise in library and information science. The degrees provide book artists and librarians with credentials reflecting a depth of skills and knowledge that have been used to secure positions in special collections libraries and archives. Students in the combined program earn both degrees by completing fewer semester hours than if each degree was completed separately.

Separate application to each degree program is required. Applicants must be admitted to both programs before they may be admitted to the combined degree program. For more information, see the M.A. in library and information science in the Catalog.

Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College; see Manual of Rules and Regulations of the Graduate College. Visit Admissions on the Center for the Book website for more information.