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2017 Thesis Install shot.
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We aim to provide a stimulating and supportive environment where students can thrive and develop as artists.
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Mark Tribe

The MFA Fine Arts program reflects the diversity of New York’s many art worlds. Together, the faculty and students form a community of established and emerging artists from many backgrounds who work across disciplines and modes of practice.

Our students are given multiple opportunities for professional exposure, including studio visits with visiting artists, curators and critics, open studios, curated exhibitions in SVA’s galleries and our annual MFA Thesis Exhibition. Many students also find opportunities to exhibit their work off-campus in galleries and other venues. Students often work on-campus at SVA’s galleries, Sculpture Center, Library and Writing Center.

Why We Stand Out:
  • Interdisciplinary studio program emphasizes exploration and experimentation

  • Faculty comprised of internationally renowned artists

  • Visiting artists, curators, and critics give lectures and visit students’ studios

  • Ranked #5 Best Master’s Fine Arts Degrees (Source: GradReports)

Student Work

More About the Department

MFA Fine Arts is a full-time, interdisciplinary graduate program in the practice of contemporary art. The normal course of study is two years of full-time enrollment. Our curriculum is designed to ensure that students form strong connections with faculty through multiple one-on-one meetings, usually in the student’s studio. Each student selects a faculty mentor at the start of the program, and may continue with the same mentor for the duration of the program. In group critiques, students develop their ability to receive critical feedback and to offer constructive criticism by describing, analyzing and evaluating the work of their peers.

The MFA Fine Arts program attracts ambitious emerging artists from many countries and backgrounds. In their commitment to art, and to one another, they provide a foundation for artistic growth that extends beyond graduation and forms an ongoing platform of professional support.

Students deepen their knowledge of contemporary art, theory and art history in elective seminars, and develop the skills necessary to build sustainable careers in professional development workshops. Fieldwork courses take students to artists’ studios and galleries, and our weekly Talks course features lectures by artists, curators and art historians and presentations by our own students. (Students often find employment as assistants in artists’ studios.) The MFA Thesis includes an ambitious art project or body of work, a presentation and a catalog.

Each student is given a private studio with 24-hour access. MFA Fine Arts has an equipment library with cameras, lights, sound recorders, projectors, screens and other media gear used by students to make and show their work. Our media studio features Mac Pro workstations, a scanner and free printing on large-format Epson inkjet printers. Students also have access to extensive digital fabrication resources—such as 3D printing, CNC routing, laser cutting and digital embroidery—at the Visible Futures Lab, in addition to many other facilities at SVA, including the Bio Art Lab, Printmaking Studio, RisoLab and Sculpture Center.