Students who are interested in earning an MFA degree in photography at a university or school in New York have a number of options to choose from. Below, we will highlight photography MFA programs at five different universities in New York in order to provide interested students with more information about these programs and give them insight into what is necessary to gain admission to these programs.
Overview of the MFA in Photography Programs in New York
The New School - Parson School of Design
Students may be interested in the MFA program in photography that is offered at Parsons School of Design at The New School. In this program, students must complete a total of 60 credit hours over the span of 26 months. Of these 60 credits, students can earn 12 of them through the completion of elective courses, which they can select according to the study plan they set up with their academic advisor. The other program credits are completed through studio courses and graduate seminars, as well as the master's thesis that each student must complete.
New York Film Academy
The two-year MFA program in photography offered at the New York Film Academy is another option for students looking for graduate programs in this field. In this program, students will work more closely with teachers during the first year and gain valuable classroom experience; the second year is designed to foster greater independence in students, ultimately leading to the final thesis project that students plan, design, and implement themselves. This program is designed for students who have previously completed courses in photography or have professional experience, though it is open to novice photographers who opt to complete the one-year photography program at the school before beginning the MFA program.
School of Visual Arts - New York City
Another option is the MFA program in photography, video and related media offered by the School of Visual Arts - New York City. This program is offered in two-year and three-year formats, with the two-year program requiring the completion of 60 credits and the three-year program requiring the completion of 72 credits. In each format, students will take courses in critique, theory, and history, though the three-year program requires the completion of more history-oriented courses. Students also complete studio courses in which they will further develop their photography skills. Each program also requires the completion of a master's thesis.
University of Buffalo
The University of Buffalo offers an MFA program in studio art in which students can pursue the study of photography. This program requires that students complete a total of 60 credit hours over the course of two years. The curriculum of this program is split among studio courses, electives, critique, theory and history courses, and seminars. Additionally, students have the option of participating in an international exchange at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, China. Students in the program are able to access the various art labs in the program's facilities at any time of the day, in addition to having their own personal studio space. The school's photography lab has a variety of advanced pieces of equipment to facilitate student work, including various lighting set-ups, enlargers, and printers.
Syracuse University offers an MFA program in art photography that may be of interest to students. In this program, students must complete a total of 60 credit hours: 24 through major studio courses, 12 through studio elective courses, and 12 through other art history and related academic courses. Students then can choose six-credits worth of elective courses, in addition to earning three credits through a graduate seminar and three credits through a final presentation. This program takes a total of three years to complete, during which time students can also choose to participate in a number of global study opportunities in Florence, Italy or the Czech Republic, among other options.
Admissions Standards for MFA Programs in Photography in New York
In order to be admitted to an MFA program in photography in New York, students will need to supply each school they are interested in applying to with a number of documents in order to be considered. This generally includes past academic transcripts, a personal statement, letters of recommendation, and a completed application form. Due to the nature of these programs, it is a common requirement that students also submit a portfolio of their photographic work so that admissions committees can assess a student's ability and whether they are a good fit for the program.
In summary, students seeking MFA programs in photography in New York can choose from a variety of programs. These programs differ in terms of their requirements and structure, as well as their location in the state, all of which are factors that students will likely want to take into consideration.