Currently accepting applications for MFA, MA, and Dual Degree MA/MFA programs

Currently accepting applications for MFA, MA, and Dual Degree MA/MFA programs

San Francisco Art Institute

Samira Hashemi (MFA 2014) and Maya Smira (MFA 2014), Iran–Israel (performance still), 2013. Performance. Diego Rivera Gallery at SFAI. Photograph: Joshua Band.
September 25, 2014
Currently accepting applications for MFA, MA, and Dual Degree MA/MFA programs


San Francisco Art Institute
Graduate Center
2565 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

[email protected]
T 1+ 800 345 SFAI / +1 415 749 4500

Graduate study at SFAI is about changing the world through art and ideas. SFAI challenges convention, embraces risk, and pushes students to discover uncharted artistic terrain. The programs provide intensive studio time, immersive theory and history courses, collaborative exhibition opportunities, one-on-one dialogue with practicing artists, an ever-changing roster of esteemed visitors, and professional opportunities in the field.

Graduate programs
MFA in Studio Art (optional emphasis in one of seven disciplines)
MA in Exhibition and Museum Studies
MA in History and Theory of Contemporary Art
Low-Residency MFA in Studio Art
Dual Degree MA/MFA in History and Theory of Contemporary Art/Studio Art


MFA in Studio Art
Questions, curiosity, dialogue, and invention drive the philosophy of SFAI’s MFA program. The graduate community is a diverse group of 200 artists sharing space, context, and ideas—across disciplines—to expand their individual practices.

SFAI’s accomplished faculty of boundary-breaking artists works closely with graduate students to catalyze—and personalize—a multidisciplinary learning experience. Through studio work, one-on-one tutorials, critique seminars, and art history and critical studies courses, students become a part of a community enlivened by critical and creative exchange.

SFAI’s optional emphasis enables students to focus their disciplinary interests without being exclusively tied to one medium.

The culmination of the MFA degree is the MFA Exhibition—a prestigious show acclaimed for its cutting-edge creative output.


MA programs
The MA programs provide a generative context for advanced scholarly inquiry into the ideas, institutions, and discourses of contemporary art. MA students participate in art history and critical theory seminars; research and writing colloquia; and have opportunities for curating, internships, and travel.

MA scholars are creative practitioners who work side by side with MFA candidates with one difference—their creative materials are ideas and words. SFAI’s MA students are uniquely positioned to respond to contemporary art practices through their work with the MFA cohort, as students in both programs exchange ideas in courses, exhibitions, collaborations, publications, and research projects.

The culmination of the MA degree is completion of a written thesis and participation in the MA Collaborative Project—a publicly presented exhibition, symposium, or site-responsive work.


SFAI’s graduate faculty are accomplished cultural producers. They have received awards from NEA, Guggenheim, and MacArthur Foundations; they exhibit internationally in museums, galleries, and biennials; and they are widely published in monographs and journals.

Notable faculty: Nicole Archer, Robin Balliger, Linda Connor, Christopher Coppola, Dewey Crumpler, Claire Daigle, Maria Elena González, Paul Klein, Tony Labat, Reagan Louie, Bruce McGaw, Asuka Ohsawa, Brett Reichman, John Roloff


Visiting artists and scholars
Graduate students at SFAI have unparalleled access to international figures in art and culture through robust lecture series and exhibition programming in the Walter and McBean Galleries.

Recent guests: John Divola, Isaac Julien, Nina Katchadourian, Lucy Lippard, Kerry James Marshall, Carol Mavor, Jill Magid, Wangechi Mutu, Shirin Neshat, Allan Sekula, Mickalene Thomas, Andrea Zittel


About San Francisco Art Institute
San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI), founded in 1871, is one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious institutions of higher education in the practice and study of contemporary art. As a diverse community of working artists and scholars, SFAI provides students with a rigorous education in the arts and preparation for a life in the arts through an immersive studio environment, an integrated liberal arts and art history curriculum, and critical engagement with the world. Committed to educating artists who will shape the future of art, culture, and society, SFAI fosters creativity and original thinking in an open, experimental, and interdisciplinary context.

SFAI offers BFA, BA, MFA, and MA degrees, a dual MA/MFA degree, a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate, and a range of continuing education and public programs. SFAI enrolls approximately 680 students in the degree programs. Notable past faculty and alumni include Lance Acord, Ansel Adams, Kathryn Bigelow, Enrique Chagoya, Angela Davis, Richard Diebenkorn, Paul Kos, George Kuchar, Annie Leibovitz, Barry McGee, Catherine Opie, Peter Pau, and Kehinde Wiley.

San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI): call for graduate applications

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San Francisco Art Institute
September 25, 2014

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