Photography (MFA) Program

The Master of Fine Arts degree is awarded for completion of 60 credits. No credits may be transferred. Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average and fulfill all requirements in a timely manner.

First Year / Summer

PGPH 5001 Major Studio 1 6
PGPH 5000 Graduate Seminar 1 3

First Year / Fall

PGPH 5003 Independent Studio 1 3
Studio Elective

First Year / Spring

PGPH 5006 Independent Studio 2 3
Academic Elective

Second Year / Summer

PGPH 5101 Major Studio 2 6
PGPH 5100 Graduate Seminar 2 3
PGPH 5103 Teaching Methods (Elective) 3

Second Year / Fall

PGPH 5110 Independent Studio 3 3
PGPH 5301 Thesis and Exhibition 1 2
Academic Elective

Second Year / Spring

PGPH 5113 Independent Studio 4 3
PGPH 5302 Thesis and Exhibition 2 2
Academic Elective

Third Year / Summer

PGPH 5202 Major Studio 3 6
PGPH 5200 Graduate Seminar 3 3
PGPH 5201 Thesis and Exhibition 3 2
Total Credits 60


Departing from the traditional semester format, the 60-credit program combines technical and academic studies with studio work. The program begins with an eight-week intensive summer session in residence at Parsons, the first of three. Fall and spring semesters complement the intensive summer sessions, in which students are engaged in independent study under the supervision of a faculty member. During the fall and spring semesters, students also fulfill course requirements, either in residence or via the latest distributed-learning technologies. Each fall and spring semester culminates in a five-day intensive residency in January and June respectively.


Major Studio allows students to explore personal direction under the supervision of a faculty advisor. Students meet twice a week with the advisor and attend regular critiques with their peers. The Graduate Advisory Committee assesses each student's progress at the end of each semester.

Graduate Seminar uses the artistic and intellectual resources of the city to explore contemporary issues in art and photography. Some semesters focus on a specific topic. In others, students meet with visiting professionals who critique their work and introduce critical and theoretical topics for discussion and research. Students' interactions with these visiting professionals exposes them to diverse viewpoints and provides networking opportunities.

Independent Studio continues the personal studio work initiated in Major Studio. Students maintain regular contact with their advisor through the online Cyber-Community Conference. Each semester's independent studio work culminates in a weeklong residency in January or June, during which group and individual critiques are conducted and the Graduate Advisory Committee assesses students' work.

Thesis and Exhibition prepares students for the thesis exhibition. Working closely with their advisors and graduate committee, students compose a written statement about their exhibits and complete an oral examination with the Graduate Advisory Committee.

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