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As one of the most comprehensive glass studio BFA and MFA programs in the nation, we make it our goal to provide you with the resources and training you need to excel at a professional level. You will have creative freedom to develop your individual voice, while also learning unique techniques and styles from our world-renowned faculty and visiting artists.

Our interdisciplinary curriculum covers glass from an artist perspective as well as a craft discipline. We have multiple funding opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, and offer individual studio and exhibition space. We encourage a progressive spirit of aesthetic exploration, providing you with training from field trips, internships and extracurricular workshops.

Program Information

glass-floral-square.jpgThe glass curriculum incorporates a broad range of traditional and unique techniques. Instructional trainings, independent activities and interactive groups in the program are designed to prepare students for a variety of professions and interests.

Prior to entry into the glass program, students must complete the required foundation studies: beginning coursework in art history, drawing, and two- and three-dimensional design. In addition, students must have successfully completed a portfolio review of work from previous art studies, from either SIU or another institution.

Student Organizations

Students broaden their experiences and artistic views through a variety of interdisciplinary student organizations. In addition to the general groups, glass students may also join Southern Glass Works, an organization focused on furthering cultural and educational experiences of those active in glass.

Members often hold discussion of techniques and aesthetics in hot and cold glassworking; collect information, books, periodicals, slides, etc. for study; visit glass studios and gallery exhibits; sponsor guest lecturers; and host shows and sales of membership work.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (Glass)

The undergraduate major in glass can be accomplished by fulfilling the requirements for the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree.

  • Total Degree Requirements: 120 credit hours
  • University Core Curriculum: 39 credit hours
  • Foundation Requirements: 9 credit hours
  • Major Requirements: 54 credit hours
  • Art and Design History Electives: 6 credit hours
  • Studio Art Electives: 12 credit hours
  • Art and Design Requirements: 88 credit hours

Compass IconCheck out the undergraduate Curricular Guide which helps you outline what courses you would want to take each semester for all four years. View all related undergraduate courses.

Master of Fine Arts (Glass)

A minimum of 60 credit hours is required for the Master of Fine Arts degree in art.

  • Total Degree Requirements: 60 credit hours
  • Primary Studio emphasis: 27 credit hours
  • Art History or related subjects: 9 credit hours
  • Studio Electives: 12 credit hours
  • Thesis or terminal project work: 6 credit hours
  • Other Electives: 6 credit hours

View all related masters courses.

Student shaping glass

Contact Information

Jiyong Lee
Professor & Head of Glass
1100 S. Normal Ave.
Carbondale, IL 62901
Phone: 618-453-7772

Karen Wolf
Academic Adviser
Communications Building 1121G
1100 Lincoln Dr
Carbondale, IL 62901
Phone: 618-453-6751


Our students have 24-hour access to excellent facilities, with individual studio and exhibition space. Facilities include equipment for a wide variety of creative hot-glass use, including glass blowing, hot-glass sculpting, sand casting and mold casting.

Our kiln-working and cold-working studios allow you to fuse, cast, wax and sculpt, while our flame working bench and mobile glassblowing studio give you more options for individual expression.  

Our 4,000-square-foot Surplus Gallery also includes BFA and MFA thesis exhibitions, the “Rickert-Ziebold Trust Award Exhibition,” several student-organized juried exhibitions, and annual fundraising events, such as “Art Over Easy“ and “Love at the Glove.”

Visit our facilities.

Special Equipment

students grinding glass
  • Two Invested crucible furnaces
  • Garage
  • Color bar box kiln
  • Front-loading kilns
  • Sandcasting equipment
  • Blowing equipment and hand tools
  • Glass molds
  • Drill press machine
  • Kurt Merker cutting lathe and sintered diamond cutting wheels
  • Engraving lathe and wheels
  • Flame working bench with midrange torch
  • Photography setup
  • Two reheating chambers: 16”d and 23”d

Projects, Competitions & Trips

students blowing glassAlong with the multiple study abroad options made possible through the overall Art and Design program, SIU glass students have the additional opportunity to participate in an International Student Exchange Program at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, Ireland. This unique program provides students with specialized training to enhance their professional skills and marketability.

Meanwhile, back in Southern Illinois each autumn, our glass students celebrate Carbondale's magnificent seasonal colors by hosting the “Great Glass Pumpkin Patch.” Students create hand-blown glass pumpkins to be sold at the annual fundraiser, which supports the education environment.


Students in our glass program have foundational skills in glass blowing, cold working and kiln forming, along with training in studio and facilities management. Our graduates go on to work in variety of artistic and craft fields.

Additionally, we offer a one-semester-long professional artist residency, inviting the artist to participate in all aspects of our program’s academic activities including reviews, critiques, demonstrations, and collaborations, as well as working side-by-side with students in the glass studio. Towards the end of the residency, the artist is awarded a solo exhibition presenting the outcome of this SIU campus experience.

Several popular career choices include:

  • Art director
  • Independent Studio artist
  • Glass studio facilities manager & technician
  • Community arts director
  • Instructor for public glass education
  • Glass studio director
  • Academia
  • Artist-in-resident
  • Art production manager & craftsman
  • Glass designer

Funding Opportunities for Glass Artists

Students in the program have extensive records of receiving scholarships, research grants and awards from Pilchuck Glass School, Corning Museum of Glass, Penland School of Crafts, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Pittsburgh Glass Center, Glass Art Society, Windgate fellowship Award, SIU Windgate research grant program and annual Rickert-Ziebold Trust Award.

Undergraduate Funding

Many of our undergraduate students receive financial support from our art and design specific scholarships and fellowships. We offer academic scholarship opportunities for incoming students with exceptional ACT scores and/or rank top 10% of high school class, talent scholarships based on portfolio review, research scholarships to offset material costs and much more.

Graduate Funding

Additionally, nearly all of our MFA students receive funding through assistantships, fellowships, grants, federal work-study programs, special awards and scholarships. Information on assistantships is specific to each area of study, while the tuition scholarship program is available from the Graduate School office. Information regarding the federal work-study program and loans is available by contacting the SIU Financial Aid Office.

The CAA (College Art Association) awards five Professional Development Fellowships in the Visual Arts of $5,000 each to outstanding students who will receive MFA degrees. Eligibility requirements and application guidelines will be available on the CAA website. These are annual awards with deadlines typically in early October.