Grad School


Questions to ask yourself. 
Making the decision to go to graduate school in photography and related fields is a very different one than deciding to go to college.Why do you want to go to graduate school? In what field? What type of program do you want? What are you goals for when you graduate? Is having a studio important? Is teaching experience a priority? What are your financial considerations. What type of program do you want? What are you goals for when you graduate? Is having a studio important? Is teaching experience a priority? What are your financial considerations?

Taking time off after receiving your BFA is recommended to be able to answer some of these questions.  In my opinion, you need some distance after college to know what you really want to do. To quote one alumnus who recently received her MFA:  My biggest advice would be for students to wait. I am so glad I waited 4 years before going back to school. I was able to learn how to balance working full-time and make work. And when I got to school, I felt like I was able then to appreciate and fully take advantage of graduate student.

Another alumnus wrote that since you develop a strong peer group and make connections in graduate school, where you go to school might be something to consider. Another brought up the issue of cost. Many programs have good funding, many don’t. Some offer teacher assistantships. Some give you a studio.

Talk to students who have gone through the programs, visiting before you apply is important. Below are s
uggestions for where to start your search for MFA programs. More schools are can be found on our list where DPI recent grads have gone.

Interdisciplinary Programs where students working in all mediums work together.
Columbia University,  California College of the Arts (CCA), Cal Arts, UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Riverside, UC Irvine, USC,  University of Pennsylvania, Bard Summer MFA, SUNY Purchase, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC)Hunter College, Tulane University, Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts, Brooklyn College, and Whitney Independent Study Program (non degree granting),

Independent Photography Departments
Yale, School of Visual Arts, ICP/Bard,  University of New Mexico, Columbia College Chicago, Mass College of Art, RISD, Hartford Art School limited residency

Photography Concentrations that are separate but students interact with students and faculty in other mediums and departments
School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC),  Cal Arts, Syracuse

Documentary Focus
Duke MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts,
UC Santa Cruz MA in Social Documentary

New Media Focus
MIT, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), UCLA Media Arts, ITP, SAIC Art & Technology and Film, Video, New Media , Cal Arts, Hunter Integrated Media Arts

Related Programs of Interest
California College of the Arts (CCA) has a wide range of MFA Programs – Social Practice, Curatorial Practice, Design, etc.
Maryland Institute of the Arts (MICA) also has a wide range of programs including Community Arts, Critical Studies, etc.
Certificate in Culture and Media at NYU (for Ph.D. students in Anthropology or Cinema Studies.)

There is a constantly growing number of low residency and summer MFAs programs. I would really do your research . There are also many great programs outside of the US, but they offer no funding for foreign students.