The Visual Design MFA in Photography is a 60-credit, 2- to 3-year program of study.
Our program is based on the belief that photography has a unique ability to merge new technologies as well as cultural and historical influences with artistic production.
Placing our degree within the Design context allows the MFA Photo candidate to gain access to a broader array of faculty conversant with new technologies and design theory which in turn enables candidates to acquire and utilize a more professionally oriented degree and skill set.
MFA candidates develop a thesis project based on their own unique research. The thesis requires both visual and written components which are intellectually, formally, and technically rigorous. Students form a committee based on their thesis topic, choosing from faculty who provide a wide variety of viewpoints and expertise.
In addition to access to the photographic facilities on the main campus—which include a state of the art media lab with 48” Epson color printer, black and white darkrooms and professional lighting studio—MFA students are supplied with graduate studios at our Star Store campus in New Bedford. This downtown arts campus houses all disciplines in graduate study, fostering a communal artistic environment in which multi-discipline projects and collaborations are possible.
Opportunities both to exhibit and curate exhibitions are available at the Star Store's 244 Gallery for graduate students.
Artistic development, professional advancement
The Master of Fine Arts is generally recognized as the highest degree offered in the visual arts. It qualifies the recipient for professional work and positions in higher education within a variety of disciplines. There are also numerous allied career paths, such as curatorial work, arts administration, art direction, and publishing, which benefit from the level of accomplishment the Master of Fine Arts degree entails.
The faculty of the College of Visual and Performing Arts believe that the best graduate education is achieved through individualized attention to each student, and prides itself in the quality of the facilities and equipment.
If you wish to attain a higher level of personal artistic development, and aspire to advance in professional practice, then we invite you to apply. Visit us—to arrange a tour of our facilities please contact Spencer Ladd, 508-999-8048, or email@example.com.
Pursue your MFA at UMassD
- Art history: strong emphasis on the methods and theory of design
- Assistantships: provide stipends, tuition waivers and fee reductions
- Exhibition opportunities: local, regional, and on campus
- Facilities: labs, equipment, and tools for artistic exploration and production
- Faculty: involved in scholarly, creative, and professional projects
- Individualized attention extended to every student
- Interdisciplinary projects and committees are encouraged
- Location: an hour from Providence, Boston, and Cape Cod
- New Bedford: an active downtown arts community
- University education: access to faculty in other fields
- Visiting artists: enrich your artistic and professional development
- Visual Resources Center: more than 150,000 archived images
- Workspaces: assigned to each graduate student
Changes to Graduate Studies admission requirements
In response to the COVID‐19 pandemic, admission requirements for graduate degree and certificate programs may have changed.
Learn more about changes to requirements
In addition to your application and fee, you are required to provide the following:
Portfolio of 20 images representing your art work, process of thinking, implementation of concepts, and studio production. The portfolio is the equivalent of the entrance examinations which other academic areas often require.
Submit your portfolio to: SlideRoom
- statement of purpose (minimum 300 words)
- official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended (regardless if a credential is earned or not)
- 2 letters of recommendation
Email materials to: firstname.lastname@example.org