University at Buffalo

College of Arts and Sciences

M.F.A. Visual Studies


408 Capen Hall

Buffalo, NY 14260

United States



Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Ph.D. in Visual Studies

Format: Campus

Program Description:

Research that redefines parameters and confronts contemporary issues is encouraged. Unique abilities and potential are developed in a community of students and faculty engaged in intensive discourse, investigation, and production of challenging new work. Critical interactions with resident faculty, visiting artists, designers and critics form the core of graduate level involvement. MFA students each work with three graduate faculty who serve on their Thesis Advisory Committee. Individually and collectively, the members of this committee are responsible for critical analysis of the student’s progress. The degree culminates in an MFA thesis exhibition or alternative public presentation, a written thesis research paper, and an oral defense. Other requirements include seminars, courses in critical theory, art history and academic electives. The program is rigorous, requiring a serious work ethic and the ability to chart a course of personal development. Students have private or semi-private secure studios with 24-7 access and may use all departmental facilities and communal labs. Shared labs support photography (digital and black-and-white non-silver), print media (lithography, intaglio, screen, digital, relief and letterpress), sculpture (full wood and metal shops, bronze foundry and digital lab with laser cutter), graphic design, video/sound recording and editing, electronics/physical computing, specialized digital output, painting, installation, performance, drawing and biological art. All studios and labs have state of the art high-speed connections. A joint MFA venture with the Department of Media Study focusing on Emerging Practices (EP) is committed to exploring the interdisciplinary space between emerging technologies and the arts. EP students are focused on exploring the technical, tactical, cultural and communicative potential of emerging technologies such as interactive multimedia, electronic installation, networked telematic communication, robotics, biotechnology and algorithmic image synthesis. In addition to graduate research and project supervision, Visual Studies seminars provide the MFA student with a context for both art practice and current trends in visual arts and design. During the two year residential graduate program, academic requirements include: Introduction to Critical Theory in the fall and a critique-based Graduate Seminar in the spring semester. In addition to this, 12 credits of academic electives (which can be art history or visual studies) and 3 credits of an open elective are required. Visit our website for complete information and links.


Middle States Commission on Higher Education

International Student Requirements:

English proficiency and proof of financial support. Details can be found on our website.

Facts & Figures

# of Credits Required: 60

Average Cost per Credit (Graduate): 390 USD

In State Tuition (per year): 9370 USD

Out State Tuition (per year): 16680 USD

Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Intensive

Locale: Midsize City

Size & Settings: 20,000-39,999

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