CURRICULUM

The MFA program in Photography, Video and Related Media is dedicated to the creative practice of the lens-based arts. We encourage diversity in our student body, and welcome applicants from a wide range of educational and professional backgrounds.

The program is designed for full-time study over a two- or three-year period. Candidates for the Master of Fine Arts degree must complete at least 60 credits and all course requirements, maintain a 3.3 grade point average and produce a successful thesis project to be eligible for degree conferral. Students are approved to proceed to each successive level of study based on yearly faculty assessments.

Students personalize their program from a wide variety of electives. Certain courses in other SVA undergraduate or continuing education departments are also available as electives via the audit program.

Fulbright, DAAD Scholars, and other students on similar scholarships or grants are encouraged to apply.


Two-Year Program

Applicants accepted to the two-year program have met specific artistic standards and academic prerequisites for graduate study. The focus of the two-year curriculum is a required Master Critique class in each semester. Other first-year requirements include: Introduction to Digital Imaging, and at least three other academic courses chosen out of four subject categories: historical perspectives, criticism and theory, studio, and contemporary issues. Students in the two-year program will take Master Critique and Thesis Forms I in the fall of their Thesis (final) year, and focus on completing the thesis in the spring during Thesis Project and Thesis Forms II classes. Entry to the second year is based on successful completion of all first-year requirements and a portfolio review.


Three-Year Program

This unparalleled three-year program is designed to give exceptional students with baccalaureate degrees in fields other than photography or video an opportunity to pursue the lens and screen arts at the graduate level. Their first year course of study is tailored for each student allowing him or her to engage in coursework such as history, theory and criticism, as well as studio practice, which may not have been studied in his or her undergraduate education. With the successful completion of the first year of the three-year program, students automatically continue through the MFA Photography, Video and Related Media program. These students are given the time and exposure to develop as fully matured artists and practitioners. Many of our most renowned graduates have matriculated in this manner. The curriculum is tailored particularly to those who may not have concentrated in photography during their undergraduate studies, adults interested in pursuing a career change, and international students with the desire to refine their English language skills.

Course requirements

Two-Year PROGram:

FIRST YEAR

Course #                Title                                              Semester

PHG-5025              Studio: Related Media                   fall

PHG-5030-5032     Critique                                          fall

PHG-5035-5039     Critique                                          spring

PHG-5051-5056     Historical Perspectives                  fall or spring

PHG-5071-5078     Criticism and Theory                     fall or spring

PHG-5091-5099*    Contemporary Issues                    spring

PHG-5402*             Studio: Imaging I                           fall

PHG-5406*             Studio: Imaging II                          spring


* Note: Students working in video must register for PHG-5404, Studio: Digital Imaging I—Moving Image, PHG-5610, Studio: Video Projects I, and PHG-5615, Studio: Video Projects II. It is recommended that video specialists also register for PHG-5093-A, Contemporary Issues: Video Culture. 

 

 

Second Year

Course #                   Title                                             Semester

PHG-6030                 Master Critique                            fall

PHG-6050                 Thesis Forms I                             fall

PHG-6070                 Thesis Forms II                            spring

PHG-6200                 Thesis Project                              spring         

PHG-6210                 Thesis Project: Presentation        spring

Professional Series:

The Scheimpflug Lecture Series features artists, curators, critics and creatives from the fields of the lens-based arts. A schedule of lectures and screenings will be announced at the start of each semester and attendance is mandatory for all students throughout their matriculation. The lecture series is a required component for graduation from the program.

 

Three-Year Program:

first year

Course #                 Title                                                  Semester

PHG-5010                Bases of Critique                                  fall

PHG-5041                The Social History of Photography       fall

or  AHG-5302           History of Video Art: 1965 to 1985        fall

PHG-5042                The Aesthetic History of Photography  spring

or  AHG-5303           History of Video Art: 1985 to Present   spring

PHG-5035-5039       Critique                                                 spring

PHG-5402*               Studio: Imaging I                                  fall

PHG-5406*               Studio: Imaging II                                 spring

PHG-5046                 Modern Art I                                         fall

PHG-5047                 Modern Art II                                        spring

PHG-5413*                Studio: The Laws of Light
                                   and How to Break Them                     fall

* Note: Students working in video must contact their department advisor to see which studio courses are best suited to their practice.

Second year

Course #                     Title                                              Semester

PHG-5025                   Studio: Related Media                           fall

PHG-5030-5032          Critique                                                  fall

PHG-5051-5056          Historical Perspectives             fall or spring

PHG-5071-5078           Criticism and Theory                fall or spring

PHG-5035-5038           Critique                                              spring

PHG-5091-5099*          Contemporary Issues                        spring

* Note: It is recommended that video specialists register for PHG-5093-A, Contemporary Issues: Video Culture.

Third-year 

Course #                        Title                                           Semester

PHG-6030                     Master Critique                                     fall

PHG-6050                     Thesis Forms I                                      fall

PHG-6070                     Thesis Forms II                                 spring

PHG-6200                     Thesis Project                                   spring

PHG-6210                     Thesis Project Presentation              spring

Professional Series:

The Scheimpflug Lecture Series features artists, curators, critics and creatives from the fields of the lens-based arts. A schedule of lectures and screenings will be announced at the start of each semester and attendance is mandatory for all students throughout their matriculation. The lecture series is a required component for graduation from the program.