Parsons

Fine Arts (MFA)

  • Guided by the belief that artists perform an essential role in society, the MFA in Fine Arts program provides a dynamic, challenging environment in which students develop diverse studio-based practices and pursue interdisciplinary scholarship. Students come from many backgrounds and cultures and work in media including painting, drawing, sculpture, video, performance, digital media, installation, and photography.

    Explore the MFA Fine Arts community to see what students, faculty, and alumni are doing in NYC and around the world at amt.parsons.edu/finearts. This program is part of Parsons' School of Art, Media, and Technology (AMT).

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    Join the Global Discourse

    The program curriculum centers on one-on-one studio visits, group critiques, critical theory seminars, personalized classes, and writing and research for studio practice, as well as professional practice seminars. Graduate-level academic classes across the university expose students to global contemporary discourse on art and develop their critical abilities. Students can also add a graduate-level minor to their studies. Students interact with visiting artists of varied practices and cultural orientations. Recent visitors include Javier Tellez, Tschabalala Self, Laura Ortman, Carlos Motta, Derrick Adams, Nicole Eisenman, and Alfredo Jaar. Prominent contemporary art curators guide students in preparing for their thesis exhibitions.

     

    Resources for Growth

    Parsons’ industry and alumni connections yield abundant opportunities for collaboration and exhibition. Students have presented their work at the Pulse Art Fair, The Kitchen, and Sydney College of the Arts at the University of Sydney and have held residencies at Skowhegan Institute, MASS MoCA, and other institutions. MFA Fine Arts is housed in Parsons’ School of Art, Media, and Technology (AMT), alongside the Communication Design, Design and Technology, Illustration, and Photography programs. Shared faculty and collaborative projects allow students to explore the connections between art, technology, design, and social critique. Students can also draw on the extensive resources of The New School, a progressive urban university with a tradition of civic engagement and renowned graduate programs in the social sciences, media studies, and urban studies.

    Future Opportunities

    You graduate prepared for careers in fine art, arts administration, curatorship, museum management, art criticism, and teaching.

  • Student Work

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    Curriculum

    The Master of Fine Arts degree is awarded for completion of 60 credits. A maximum of six credits of graduate-level liberal arts coursework can be transferred from another institution. Students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average and fulfill all requirements in a timely manner.

    Faculty

    Program Contact

    Full-Time Faculty

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    Profiles

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    Admission Requirements

    Application and Financial Aid Deadlines

    Application Deadline

    The application deadline is January 2. To be most competitive for admission and merit scholarship consideration, please apply before the deadline. We will continue to review applications submitted after the deadline pending space availability in the program. The Admission Committee will make a decision on your application only after all the required materials have been received. Spring term admission is not offered for this program.

    Financial Aid Deadline

    Merit Scholarships:
    All admitted students are considered for merit scholarship awards determined by the strength of their applications. International students are eligible only for merit scholarships.

    Federal Student Aid:
    If you are a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, we encourage you to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which can be found at www.fafsa.gov. The FAFSA is available each year on October 1. The New School’s federal school code is 002780. You do not need to wait for an admission decision to apply for federal aid. Submit your FAFSA by our February 1 FAFSA Priority Deadline.

    Application Instructions

    All applicants are required to apply online. Save your work frequently and print a copy for your records. You must complete all required fields and uploads prior to submission.

    Any additional supporting documents that need to be sent by mail must include an Application Materials Cover Sheet. All supporting materials must be received before your application can be reviewed.

    See below for additional information regarding submission of transcripts and recommendations.

    Some of your required application materials will be submitted through SlideRoom:

    1. Finalize your portfolio at the time you submit your application. This will help prevent any delays in reviewing your application as we need all required materials to be received before we can place your application under review.
    2. Once you have submitted the required SlideRoom materials, a confirmation number will be emailed to you. Save this for your records and enter it on the online application when requested.

    Required Application Materials

    1. Application Form: Complete the online application. All applicants are required to apply online.
    2. Application Fee: The application fee is $50. The fee is paid through the online application and is non-refundable. There is also a $10 SlideRoom fee.
    3. Transcripts:
      Unofficial Transcripts: Applicants must upload an unofficial transcript, mark sheet, or academic record for each institution (even if you didn’t receive a degree) in the Educational Background section of the online application.
      • All transcript uploads must be accompanied by a key, a legend, or the back copy of the transcript.
      • Non-English transcripts must be accompanied by an English translation. Records from non-U.S. institutions must have grades or marks and contain a copy of diploma if the degree has been conferred.
      • Make sure your name appears on the transcript/record. Scans must be clear and legible.
      • If you experience trouble uploading your transcript, email enroll@newschool.edu and give a detailed description of the issue and attach the document in question.
      The New School reserves the right to require official transcripts at any time during the admission process. Any fraudulent activity or discrepancies found between uploaded and official transcripts will result in the immediate revocation of admission and/or dismissal from The New School. Transcripts uploaded with the online application are considered unofficial.

      Official Transcripts: Applicants offered admission will be required to submit official transcripts with proof of their degree conferral prior to enrollment. Admitted applicants must submit all official transcripts pertaining to their entire academic career. Transcripts uploaded with the online application do not satisfy this requirement.

      Submitting Transcripts By Mail: Applicants should make arrangements to have their college/university send transcripts directly to The New School at the mailing address for Supplemental Materials. All transcripts must be received in a sealed envelope with the institutional seal and signature of the registrar. All documents not written in English must be accompanied by a certified English translation.

      Submitting Electronic Transcripts (U.S./Domestic Institutions Only): The New School accepts electronic transcripts only from our approved vendors:
      • National Student Clearinghouse
      • Parchment Exchange
      • SCRIP-SAFE International
      We do not accept electronic transcripts sent directly by a student or school offices. All international academic credentials must be submitted as indicated in the International Academic Credentials sections below.

      International Academic Credentials: All transcripts not written in English must be accompanied by a certified English translation.

      International Academic Credentials with Transfer Credits: Applicants who attended postsecondary institutions outside of the United States are required to have their transcript(s) evaluated by World Education Services (WES), Education Credential Evaluators (ECE), or by another member of the National Association of Credit Evaluation Services (NACES). A course-by-course evaluation must be prepared for each transcript.

      Follow all document requirements as outlined on the evaluation service providers’ websites. Evaluations completed by WES or ECE will be sent directly to us electronically by the vendor.

      All other NACES provider evaluation should be mailed directly by the vendor to the address for Supplemental Materials. A copy of the transcript which was evaluated should accompany the evaluation in the same sealed envelope or the official transcript should be sent directly to The New School by the issuing college/university.
    4. Résumé: Submit a brief résumé/curriculum vitae summarizing your academic qualifications, relevant work experience, volunteer/community work, travel, exhibitions, public speaking, or any other relevant experiences as they may relate to your field of study, including dates and positions held. Please also note any special language or computer skills that you have.
    5. Statement of Purpose: Please outline your reasons for applying to this program. In what ways will you contribute to the subject matter of the program? You should include a thoughtful description of your background, tentative plan of study or area of inquiry in the field as you now envision it, your professional goals, and how this graduate program will help you realize those goals. If you have not been enrolled as a student in the past five years, please address anticipated opportunities and challenges in pursuing the degree, and future career expectations upon completion of the program. (500-750 word limit.)
    6. Recommendation Letters: Two letters of recommendation are required. Recommenders may submit recommendations online. Instructions are included in the online application. If preferred, the recommendation forms may be sent by mail in signed, sealed envelopes. To send by mail, download the PDF recommendation form found in the online application, complete the Applicant Information section, and save the form. Forward the saved form to the recommenders to complete the remaining sections and submit. Applicants may also send signed and sealed recommendations to the Office of Admission using an Application Materials Cover Sheet.
    7. Portfolio: The portfolio must be completed in SlideRoom only. Submit 20 images of fine art work, which may include painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, photography, video, installation, or performance. You can also submit up to four three-minute clips of time-based work in any medium. Be prepared to provide title, medium, dimensions (height first), date, and description for each image.
    8. Test Scores:
      TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, and Duolingo: All applicants whose first language is not English must submit valid TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, or Duolingo scores. The minimum score required for TOEFL (IB) is 92, for IELTS is 7.0, for PTE is 63, and for Duolingo is 115. Our TOEFL institution code is 2638.

      The New School does not require TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, or Duolingo scores for applicants who have earned a four-year degree from a U.S. college/university or from a university where English is the primary language of instruction (minimum of three years attendance). After reviewing your application, the Office of Admission may require you to submit an English Language Proficiency test score to evaluate your candidacy.

      We accept test scores taken within the past two years. If your scores are older, you must retake the test.

      Applicants also have the option of enrolling in The New School English as a Second Language (ESL) program. Students must pass Level 6 to waive the TOEFL/IELTS/PTE/Duolingo requirement. Visit the ESL website for more information.
    9. Interview: All finalists for the Fine Arts MFA program must be interviewed by the graduate faculty.

    Additional Information and Instructions

    1. Applying to More Than One Program: In any given term, a student can apply to only one department or program within The New School. Applicants who file more than one application in a given semester will be required to withdraw one of the applications, and application fees will not be refunded.
    2. Application Materials: All materials submitted in association with The New School application become the property of The New School and cannot be returned to you or transmitted to a third party.
    3. Application Status: Applications become complete and ready for review once all required items have been received by the Office of Admission. You can check your application status online at the Admission Hub.

      Allow at least 14 days from the date you submitted your application for items to be matched and shown as received on the Hub. Applicants are responsible for following up with schools and recommenders to confirm that items have been sent.

      The Office of Admission will periodically notify applicants by email if their file is missing any documents and again when their file is complete for review. These notifications are sent to the email address provided in the online application.
    4. Readmission:
      The Application for Readmission should be completed by students who wish to return after an absence of four semesters (fall and spring). If you would like to apply for readmission, review the readmission deadlines and requirements in the Readmission section of our How to Apply information.
    5. Mailing Address for Supplemental Materials:
      Parsons School of Design
      Office of Admission (PS 300)
      79 Fifth Avenue, 5th floor
      New York, NY 10003
     

    Program News

    Learn more about what Parsons students, faculty, and alumni are doing throughout the city and around the world.
    Explore the Fine Arts Community

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