Each year I visit our Business of Art Course to talk about attending graduate school. Here are some notes and links:
Making the decision to go to graduate school in photography and related fields is a very different one than deciding to go to college.Why do you want to go to graduate school? In what field? What type of program do you want? What are you goals for when you graduate?
Taking time off after receiving your BFA is recommended to be able to answer some of these questions. In my opinion, you need some distance after college to know what you really want to do. To quote one alumnus who recently received her MFA: My biggest advice would be for students to wait. I am so glad I waited 4 years before going back to school. I was able to learn how to balance working full-time and make work. And when I got to school, I felt like I was able then to appreciate and fully take advantage of graduate student.
Another alumnus wrote that since you develop a strong peer group and make connections in graduate school, where you go to school might be something to consider. Another brought up the issue of cost. Many programs have good funding, many don’t. Some offer teacher assistantships. Some give you a studio.
DPI Alumni have attended a wide range of graduate programs in photography, imaging and related fields. Here is a list
If you are thinking of applying for a MFA/Masters/PhD Programs in the Arts, here are some helpful links:
College Art Education (CAA) Graduate Programs in the Arts Directories
>> You can now browse the directory online.
Art & Education > www.artandeducation.net
(Great list serv to learn about graduate programs nationally and internationally)
Tips for those considering MFA Programs
DO YOUR RESEARCH. Talk to students who have gone through the programs, visit if you can.
Here are some suggestions for where to start your search for MFA programs.
Interdisciplinary Programs where students working in all mediums work together.
Columbia University, California College of the Arts (CCA), Cal Arts, UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Riverside, UC Irvine, USC, University of Pennsylvania, Bard Summer MFA, SUNY Purchase, Whitney Independent Study Program (non degree granting), School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), Hunter College, Tulane University, Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts
Independent Photography Departments
Yale, School of Visual Arts, ICP/Bard, University of New Mexico, Columbia College Chicago, Mass College of Art, RISD, Hartford Art School limited residency
Photography Concentrations that are separate but students interact with students and faculty in other mediums and departments
School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), Hunter College, Cal Arts, Syracuse
Duke MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts, UC Santa Cruz MA in Social Documentary
New Media Focus
MIT, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), UCLA Media Arts, ITP, SAIC Art & Technology and Film, Video, New Media , Cal Arts, Hunter Integrated Media Arts (new)
Related Programs of Interest
California College of the Arts (CCA) has a wide range of MFA Programs – Social Practice, Curatorial Practice, Design, etc.
Maryland Institute of the Arts (MICA) also has a wide range of programs including Community Arts, Critical Studies, etc.
More schools are can be found on our list where DPI recent grads have gone.
There is an constantly growing number of low residency and summer MFAs programs. I would really do your research about these. There are also many great programs outside of the US, but they offer no funding for foreign students.
NOTE: If you are interested in a degree in order to teach, a MFA is the terminal degree needed to teach studio art at the college level. A MA in Education is needed to teach K-12 though private schools often accept and want MFAs.
****Tips for asking for Letters of Recommendation****