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The MFA programs, offered with concentrations in Painting or in Sculpture, continue the ethos of the teaching methods defined by the School’s history within a recognized degree program.

The MFA is based on maintaining a full-time, rigorous studio practice. Students are engaged in their work for a minimum of 40 hours per week for the duration of their two years at the School.

In their first year, students choose a core faculty member with whom they will work closely during each semester. Faculty are present in the atelier two days each week. Students are expected to continue working on the objectives set by faculty throughout the week. In the second year, faculty contact hours are reduced as students work in semi-private or private studios towards the completion of their individual thesis project.

Studio practice is balanced with Critical Studies courses, in addition to peer and instructed critiques. Lectures and seminars are held throughout the semester, as well as small group discussion with current and visiting faculty. The Critical Studies courses provide the groundwork for students to compose the statements that support their final thesis project.

Degree candidates will be assessed on a continual basis throughout their time at the School. Courses are graded by faculty in accordance with School policy.

Students must complete 60 credits to successfully achieve the title of Master of Fine Arts, and credits must include all required courses. A residency of at least two academic years is necessary to complete the degree.

MFA Program Tuition

MFA – $13,250 per semester

Sample Curriculum

Year 1, Fall

Year 1, Spring

Marathon (2)  Marathon (2)
Painting/Sculpture I (5)  Painting/Sculpture II (4)
Drawing I (4)  Drawing II (4)
Critical Studies I (3)  Critical Studies II (3)
Independent Practice (1)  Independent Practice II (2)

Year 2, Fall

Year 2, Spring

Marathon (2)  Marathon (2)
Painting/Sculpture III (3)  Painting/Sculpture IV (3)
Critical Studies III (3)  Critical Studies IV (3)
Elective (2)  Thesis Project (7)
Thesis Practice (5) Total Credits (60)

Degree-Granting Status

The New York Studio School has been granted an Absolute Charter by the Board of Regents of The University of the State of New York to award the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree. The School’s MFA program is registered by the New York State Education Department under the quality standards in the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.

New York State Education Department
Office of College and University Evaluation
89 Washington Avenue-969 EBA Albany, N.Y. 12234
P: 518-474-1551

Higher Education General Information Code

HEGIS code: 1002.00

HEGIS title: Art (Painting, Drawing Sculpture)

Since the first graduating class in 2005, New York Studio School has awarded 154 Master of Fine Arts degrees, with an 84% average retention rate. Please visit our Alumni News for live updates on how our graduates are continuing their engagement with painting, drawing and sculpture.

Application Priority Deadline is January 15.

Complete applications will include: Application Form; Two required essays; a $70 non-refundable Application Fee; Two Letters of Recommendation; Twenty jpeg images of work samples; Image information to accompany the images; and Official Transcripts from all previous institutions which confirm the applicant’s undergraduate degree.

For full consideration for Admission and Financial Aid, applicants must apply by January 15. The School will continue to accept and review applications received after January 15, pending available space, on a case-by-case basis. 

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