MFA in Art Photography, Department of Film and Media Arts

MFA in Art Photography, Department of Film and Media Arts

Syracuse University

Lily LaGrange, Self-Portrait As David Blaine, 2022, pigmented inkjet print, 20” x 25”

January 3, 2023
MFA in Art Photography, Department of Film and Media Arts

Application deadline: February 1, 2023
Syracuse University
Office of Research and Graduate Studies College of Visual and Performing Arts
222 Smith Hall
Syracuse, New York 13244
United States

The art photography program at Syracuse University is now accepting applications for its MFA degree. This dynamic program appreciates the ways in which photography as a contemporary art has transformed in the past two decades. The dramatic expansion of the parameters of photographic practices and increasingly global nature of the contemporary art world necessitates an educational environment that prepares students for entirely new challenges and opportunities. Our MFA students are offered access to professional residencies in Los Angeles and Berlin; interdisciplinary courses that braid diverse ideas and practices; state-of-the-art equipment and media production studios; and significant investments in curriculum and facilities to ensure students are able to pursue their creative passions. 

We are acutely aware of the financial burdens of graduate education and have generous tuition discounts, scholarships, and teaching positions available. Graduate students admitted to the program benefit from substantial financial assistance and can receive up to 20,000 USD per year of study. Many of our students also receive teaching assistantships and hourly paid positions. 

Our faculty (Yasser Aggour, Doug DuBois, Laura Heyman, and Susannah Sayler) is a diverse group of working artists who have a comprehensive knowledge of contemporary photography and are experienced in documentary, video, conceptual, and performance art, as well as curatorial practices. Together with our students, we have created an academic environment that is intellectually rigorous yet supportive. Recent graduates of the program have participated in numerous exhibitions and received awards, residencies, and academic appointments, including a Guggenheim fellowship and a MacArthur “genius” grant. Students benefit from our close partnership with Light Work, housed on the Syracuse University campus. As one of the world’s leading photo institutes, Light Work organizes exhibitions, residencies, lectures, and workshops and publishes Contact Sheet. Our graduate students are granted membership access to one of the nation’s leading photo production facilities and on any given day may be working alongside major international artists. Light Work is an invaluable intellectual, professional, and technical resource unique to Syracuse University. 

Between the contemporary programing at Light Work and our visiting artist program, our students receive mentoring from some of the art world’s leading artists and curators. Recent visitors include Tyler Mitchell and Yto Barrada, Hito Steryl, Wendy Redstar, Allison Janae Hamilton, Joiri Minaya, Collier Schorr, Farah Al Qasimi, Rahim Fortune, William Camargo, Danielle Bowman, Deana Lawson, Dana Lixenberg, Laurel Ptak, Zora Murff, Ryan MacNamara, Zoe Strauss, Leigh Ledare, Carrie Mae Weems, Elinor Carucci, Penelope Umbrico, Susan Meiselas, Alec Soth, Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa, Cauleen Smith, Shimon Attie, Denise Markonish, Sam Falls, Arnold Kemp, An-My Lê, Justine Kurland, Liz Cohen, Kelly Reichardt, Kim Bourus and Jesse Darling. 

In addition to artist studios and access to a full range of media production equipment and facilities, MFA candidates have the opportunity to visit and participate in exhibitions at a number of internationally recognized venues, including the Everson Museum, Syracuse University Art Museum, and Urban Video Project

Alumni: La Toya Ruby Frazier (MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellow); Rose Marie Cromwell (Vice, Harper’s Magazine, Calvin Klein, FADER, MACK first book finalist ), Widline Cadet (The New Yorker, Time Magazine, FOAM, NYFA Fellow, Studio Museum in Harlem AIR, Deli Gallery, Fotografiska, Milwaukee Art Museum, PS1); Nydia Blas (Over the Influence, Los Angeles, CA, Paris Photo, The New York Times, Vogue, Dazed and Confused, Lensculture, Assistant Professor of Art & Visual Culture at Spelman College ); Courtney Asztalos (Fort Wayne Museum of Art, The Front, New Orleans, Meinblau, Berlin, Post, LA, The New Yorker, Paper Journal, Der Greif, New York Times);  D’Angelo Lovell Williams (Higher Pictures Generation, The Mint Museum, Yale University Art Gallery, W magazine, Out Magazine, New York Times Magazine, The Ones We Love, Vice); David Politzer (Cabinet, Eyebeam, El Paso Museum of Art, Director, School of Art, University of Houston); Shawn Records (Vice, New York Times Magazine, MOCP, Portland Art Museum, Blue Sky Gallery).

Applications are now online. The final deadline for fall 2023 admission is February 1. 

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Syracuse University
January 3, 2023

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