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If you’re looking for an MFA photography program, studying in NYC at SVA is the right choice.

  • Extensive and innovative courses in all aspects of the lens arts—still and moving
  • Understanding the need to create new technologies, new histories, new criticism and professional practices for success in a changing world
  • New York City is the creative hub of a worldwide network from which we readily draw our mentors, faculty and lecturers

The MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Department is the premiere program for the study of Lens and Screen Arts. For over 24 years, this fine art program has produced remarkable graduates who have flourished as exhibiting artists, journalists and commercial artists, as well as curators, scholars and teachers. Noted as a top-tier program in U.S. News & World Report, our educational goals attract fine art students with diverse backgrounds from all corners of the world.

The camera is a universal matrix for documenting, exploring and interpreting the ever-changing world around us. From the traditional practices of both still photography and video to the virtual realm of the circuit, we offer students the opportunity to pursue their specific interests. We then provide the intense critique and historical context necessary to foster the exploration of new methods in these genres. The department’s celebrated faculty actively engages students in contemporary and responsible creative initiatives, including experimental, narrative or documentary video, installation and conceptual art, tableau and real-world-witness photography.

This program has pioneered digital imagery education since its inception in 1988. We look to the future and push our students to challenge the old aesthetics. Our students are encouraged to rethink their own assumptions and engage an enlightened audience, not only visually, but also contextually; critical and theoretical discourse is all part of the mix. Foremost, we want to challenge students to define their work by bearing witness, giving testament and observing the creative and social concerns of our times. We provide the critical thinking necessary for students to expand their ideas and make notable contributions to the larger visual arts culture.

Our expansive curriculum is tailored to each individual student to allow for the appropriate understanding of technology, history, criticism and professional practices in this competitive field. Graduate students are allowed to choose from a number of tracks that best suit their previous experience and future goals. We also offer a three-year program for exceptional non-fine-arts baccalaureates who want to change course and engage in the lens and screen arts.

New York City is the hub of a creative network that reaches throughout the world. Our program draws on the energy of the city and offers as a resource all the opportunities available therein. We enlist some of the world’s greatest talents as members of our faculty, as well as advisors, mentors and lecturers. The New York City network is invaluable for its creative and professional support, which students will require upon graduation, and long after, as they continue to pursue their goals.

Charles H. Traub, Chair


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  • Monday, September 15, 2014

    10/16: “Chain Gang” at NYC Independent Film Festival

    Directed by alum Scott Houston and edited by alum Hilary Basing, “Chain Gang” is a documentary film that takes the viewer into the real life experiences of five main characters on the chain gangs...

  • Monday, September 8, 2014

    9/8: Corinne Schulze “25 Years” at Wexford Arts Centre

    Alum Corinne Schulze’s latest series, “25 Years,” which documents the reforestation of Ireland, will be exhibited at the Wexford Arts Center in Ireland September 8-October 4. From her artist...

  • Thursday, September 4, 2014

    9/4: Shai Kremer at Julie Saul Gallery

    13 years after the tragedy at the World Trade Center, alum Shai Kremer’s series, “World Trade Center: Concrete Abstract” opens at Julie Saul Gallery on September 4, with a reception on September...

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