MFA in Print Media & Photography

The Print Media & Photography MFA emphasizes photographic and printmaking practices within a contemporary art context and is an ideal incubator for artists that engage multiple studio disciplines in the development of their work. Interdisciplinary by its nature, it reinvents conventional methods and represents diverse strategies with a critical approach to inquiry grounded in contemporary issues, theory, and aesthetics.

Linking historical and contemporary art practices, the program prepares students technically, aesthetically, and professionally for a future in the visual arts. Utilizing printmaking and photography, while also availing themselves of the rich opportunities in a major research university—including collaborations that span the humanities, sciences, and fine art—students are exposed to a range of perspectives and approaches to making and understanding images in the 21st century. The Master of Fine Arts experience is about deeply questioning artists’ assumptions about themselves, their work, and their world, leading to strong artistic growth. The interdisciplinary exploration of printmaking and photography prizes experimentation and emphasizes the research and discovery needed to bring ideas to fruition.

Learning Outcomes

Students in the MFA in Print Media & Photography program are expected to:

  • Display exemplary professional-level knowledge and technical virtuosity in their area of focus.
  • Develop a distinct personal vision evident in studio work.
  • Display conceptual acuity and creative virtuosity at multiple levels of complexity in a body of work.
  • Develop conceptual and technical command of integration and synthesis.
  • Develop a command of appropriate professional-level studio protocols and professional practice.
  • Display exceptional understanding of the history of the art form (the disciplines of photo and print and their historical contexts) in Western and other civilizations.
  • Demonstrate a coherent set of artistic/intellectual goals and the ability to achieve these goals as an independent professional.
  • Demonstrate the ability to form and defend defined judgments of one’s own work and others’.
  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate persuasively about one’s and others’ artwork in spoken and written language.

Program of Study

The MFA in Print Media & Photography is a 60-unit program that requires an average of four terms to complete. Students may only enter in September.

The College of Fine Arts Policies for Graduate Students apply to this program. Students must earn a minimum of 60 course units in graduate-level coursework (500 or above). A thesis is required. Thesis requirements for the MFA in Print Media & Photography are completed as part of CFA AR 859 MFA PMP Critique IV and CFA AR 837 Print Media and Photo Thesis Seminar, shown in the chart below. The thesis requirements are as follows:

  • Produce and exhibit a thesis exhibition that represents a culmination of the MFA program.
  • Complete a written thesis, 15–20 pages, with additional images, that represents artistic practice, studio research areas and theory, and process.
  • Participate in a collaborative project that reaches beyond SVA with a partnering institution.
CFA AR 806, 807, 808, 809 MFA PMP Directed Studio (6 units each) 24 units
CFA AR 856, 857, 858, 859 MFA PMP Critique I, II, III, IV (3 units each) 12 units
CFA AR 834, 835, 836 Print Media and Photo Special Topics Seminar I, II, III (2 units each) 6 units
CFA AR 837 Print Media and Photo Thesis Seminar 2 units
CFA AR 838 Grad Print/Photo Professional Practice 2 units
Liberal arts or Art History electives; select from any CAS course numbered 500 level or above in consultation with advisor; course choices must total 6 units 6 units
Studio electives; select from CFA AR 500 level or above in consultation with advisor; course choices must total 8 units 8 units
Total units for MFA in Print Media & Photography 60 units