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The MFA Computer Art Department emphasizes creativity and a multidisciplinary approach to producing innovative animation, motion graphics and contemporary art within a state-of-the-art digital studio. The goal of the program is to develop individuals who will produce significant creative work throughout their careers and become leaders in their chosen field.

  • Graduates of the program have been recognized with eight Student Academy Awards
  • Internationally renowned artists, industry professionals, curators, critics and theorists—a who’s who of New York’s art world—comprise our faculty
  • The most advanced digital studio in the SVA graduate school with 75 networked computers and specialized digital video, audio and fine art workstations

Students come from around the world to study in our program, and the international representation provides unique perspectives that offer different cultural approaches to the creative process. First-year courses in studio, art history, computer systems and programming build the foundation for second-year thesis work, which is supported through weekly critiques and related advanced areas of study. The digital art seminar series, software workshops, guest lectures and visiting artist program provide in-depth exposure to all areas of digital art, animation and motion graphics. By combining creativity with academics, graduates have published books, scholarly writings, and chosen teaching careers at institutions like Harvard University, New York University, the University of California and others.

Founded in 1986, we were the first MFA program in the United States to focus on computer art and have a network of one thousand alumni who have created a tradition of excellence. Named one of the “Top Ten Digital Art Schools in the World” by ImagineFX magazine, the MFA Computer Art program is also highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report and the Animation Career Review. Graduates of the department are employed by the most prestigious companies and digital studios: Adobe, Google, Industrial Light & Magic, Pixar, DreamWorks, Disney, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Blue Sky Studios, The Mill, Charlex, MTV, Electronic Arts and others. Some alumni choose the entrepreneurship of their own businesses. Those who pursue fine art careers exhibit their work in museums and galleries, including: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, P.S.1/MoMA, Whitney Museum of American Art, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Digital Art Museum, Chelsea Art Museum and Tate Online.

Awards have been bestowed upon our students by major international competitions, including Student Academy Awards (2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2013 and 2014); Adobe Design Achievement Awards; YouTube Award; Prix Ars Electronica; SIGGRAPH Electronic Theater and Art Show; Webby Awards; ISEA; and the Leonardo Award for Excellence. Student works have appeared in such acclaimed film festivals as Cannes, Tribeca, Sundance, and animation film festivals in Annecy, Ottawa, Taiwan and New York, among dozens of others. Graduates have received grants and residencies from cultural institutions, such as the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, New York Foundation for the Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Creative Capital, Eyebeam, and the Experimental TV Center.


Bruce Wands
Chair, MFA Computer Art
Founding Chair, BFA Computer Art
Director of Computer Education

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