The MFA program in imaging arts emphasizes a broad interpretation of photography as a conceptual art form, with the intention of inspiring and nurturing the individuality of each student as a creative, productive artist. The program encourages graduate study in photography and related media as a means to personal, aesthetic, intellectual, and career development.
The curriculum provides a flexible focus of study that is continually sensitive to the needs of each student, building upon the strengths each individual brings to the program. Successful completion of the program enables students to seek careers in many fields including education, museum or gallery work, or as self-employed visual artists.
The program provides students with the opportunity to use the still and moving image as a means to:
- pursue a professional career and earn a livelihood,
- enrich their personal lives and society as a whole, and
- create a community of creativity, scholarship, and purpose.
Plan of study
Distribution of work within these guidelines is subject to modification based upon the candidate’s background, abilities, and interests. An individualized course of study is prepared with the advice of the graduate faculty and made a matter of record. Modifications in this prescribed program thereafter must be approved and recorded.
Elective courses are available throughout the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences in areas such as but not limited to: video, printmaking, painting, sculpture, communication design, crafts, bookmaking, graphic design, new media, computer graphics, art history, and archival preservation and conservation. A complete list of graduate electives offered in the college is available through the student's adviser. There are also graduate electives offered throughout the university. Students also have opportunities to enhance their studies through independent studies and internships.
Matriculation from the MFA program is obtained when the student has completed and mounted their graduate thesis exhibition, successfully passed their thesis defense, and completed and submitted their thesis publication. The thesis must be an original body of work appropriate to the major commitment of the degree. The thesis publication is a professional, published presentation of the thesis project, which must be submitted, in both print and digital form. It must contain an extended artist statement and a presentation of the majority of thesis artwork. It is prepared for inclusion in the Wallace Library, the School's Archive, and the Graduate Annex Space. The verbal defense requires a public address by the student, discussion of the thesis project, and exhibition in a digital presentation format.
The MFA program in imaging arts and the BFA program in photographic and imaging arts are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).
International students whose native language is not English must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language. Minimum scores of 550 (paper-based) or 80 (Internet-based) are required. Scores from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) are accepted in place of the TOEFL. A minimum score of 6.5 is required.