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One of the first graduate programs to incorporate digital practice, the MFA in Photography, Video and Related Media at SVA is dedicated to the creative practice of both traditional and digital lens-based arts and to the integration of new theories, contexts and techniques of these ever-evolving media. Emphasizing the expansion of the photographic vocabulary, the department encourages students to challenge the current boundaries of their media, and to look at the ways in which design, video, social media, telecommunications and other electronic components are impacting contemporary work in the field.

The 60-credit, two- or three-year MFA degree program explores contemporary lens and screen arts through a rigorous curriculum in the culture, history, theory and practice of photography and video. First-year MFA Photography, Video and Related Media students take courses in digital imaging, along with studio courses and a selection of academic courses dealing with historical perspectives, criticism and theory, and contemporary issues. A key component of the curriculum is the Master Critique, a required series of courses in which students engage in group critique seminars as they refine their talents and concentrate on producing a body of professional work. For students selected for the three-year program, their first year is geared toward supplementing their education with fundamental studio and history courses, along with the Master Critique sessions. The last year of the program is geared to the development and completion of the thesis project.

2016 – 2017 student population

72 matriculated students

Department chair

Charles H. Traub (photographer, author and editor)

Some notable faculty members

Shimon Attie, Ed Bowes, Phong Bui, Elinor Carucci, Liz Deschenes, Marvin Heiferman, Collier Schorr, Amy Taubin, Penelope Umbrico, Sara VanDerBeek, Grahame Weinbren, Randy West, Bonnie Yochelson

Some notable lecturers, mentors, and thesis advisors

Cory Arcangel, Tina Barney, Elisabeth Biondi, James Casebere, Paul Chan, Omer Fast, Duane Michals, Alfredo Jaar, Miranda Lichtenstein, Eileen Quinlan, Andres Serrano, Lorna Simpson, Joel Sternfeld, Deborah Willis

Some notable alumni

Adam Ames, Alison Brady, Renée Cox, Stuart Hawkins, Shai Kremer, Dinh Q. Lê, Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao, Vera Lutter, Brian Palmer, Rachel Papo, Matthew Pillsbury, Aïda Ruilova, Lynn Shelton, Sarah Silver, Shen Wei

Student exhibitions

Graduating students unveil their thesis projects in a group exhibition at the Visual Arts Gallery, or at a group screening at the SVA Theatre, both located in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.

Department website

More information

SVA Admissions: 212.592.2107 | [email protected]

Media requests

SVA Communication: 212.592.2010 | [email protected]


209 East 23 Street, New York, NY 10010-3994 | Tel 212.592.2010 | sva.edu

School of Visual Arts | 209 East 23 Street, NY, NY 10010-3994 | Tel: 212.592.2000 | Fax: 212.725.3587