Why pursue a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Arts, Photography?
Artistic photography moves beyond mere representation to convey an image in accordance with the artist’s vision. Photographs can manifest emotions, dispute societal narratives or provide alternative views of reality. Now more than ever, we need practicing and emerging artist-researchers to produce bodies of work that value the importance of critical inquiry and rely heavily on intellectual exchange.
The MFA in Studio Arts, Photography concentration, enables you to expand your skills in fine art photography and develop your voice as an artist. Our acclaimed faculty of researchers and photographic artists will provide critical feedback on your work and guidance on how to navigate the art world. These hands-on experiences effectively prepare all third-year graduate students to create their own professional-level exhibition within a public forum.
Benefit from cutting-edge facilities that promote both analogue and digital processes. Our resources and individualized technical support allow students to work across specialties and sizes, including large-scale photographic prints. Past students have developed expertise in colour photography, black and white photography, installation and photography, sculpture and photography, and documentary.
Since our department is comprised of seven disciplinary programs, you’ll be in the company of students working in fibres and material practices, film production, intermedia, painting and drawing, print media and sculpture. This dynamic learning environment, as well as the larger university community, will encourage you to consider interdisciplinary approaches as you develop your artwork.
Admission Requirements. A Bachelor of Fine Arts or a Bachelor of Arts with a Fine Arts or Fine Arts and Art History major, or an approved equivalent, from a recognized institution and with at least a B average in the major area is required. Applicants to the Film Production concentration are expected to have a Bachelor of Fine Arts or Bachelor of Arts degree in cinema or an approved equivalent with at least a B average in the major area. In all cases the students' undergraduate experience and proficiency must be relevant to the area in which they plan to specialize at the graduate level.
Note: Students with a BFA from Concordia University must wait two (2) years before being considered for admission into the MFA program.
Proficiency in English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate that their knowledge of English is sufficient to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field. Please refer to the Graduate Admission page for further information on the Language Proficiency requirements and exemptions.
Credits. A fully-qualified candidate is required to complete a minimum of 60 credits.
Courses. Candidates for the degree are normally required to complete a minimum of 24 credits in their studio concentration and 3 credits of DISP 615 - Directed Studio Practice; 21 credits from ASEM 620, ASEM 641, ASEM 642, ASEM 643, ASEM 644, ASEM 645, ASEM 646, ASEM 651, ASEM 652, ASEM 653, ASEM 654, INTP 660, INTP 661, INTP 662, INDS 670, INDS 671, INDS 672; 9 credits in PROJ 691 - Studio Project and 3 credits in PROJ 692 - Exhibition or Film Project.
Studio Project and Exhibition or Film Project. In the third or fourth year and no less than six (6) months following the successful completion of the second year of course work, students may present their studio project and complete the exhibition or film project. Approval by both the student's advisor and the graduate program director is required prior to the examination. Students are also required to submit documentation of their exhibition or film project to be kept on file in the office of the graduate program director.
Our graduate students are guaranteed a three-credit teaching assistantship in their first year of studies and a six-credit assistantship in their second year. TAs receive $1,000 in year one and $2,000 in year two.
Third-year students can apply to teach a three- or six-credit course, valued at $8,606 and $17,212 respectively. These positions are awarded on a competitive basis.
Graduate students work in studios on the 3rd and 4th floors of the EV Building and have access to a large print finishing area and two fully equipped shooting studios. A wide range of portable photographic equipment is also available, including digital, 4x5 and 6x7 cameras, electronic flash kits, soft boxes, tripods, light meters and other accessories. Students should have their own 35mm camera for basic courses.
Our digital facilities include:
a drum scanner
two virtual drum scanners
negative and flatbed scanners
44-inch inkjet printers and other smaller printers.
The facilities also include a colour darkroom equipped with the following analogue equipment:
20 colour enlargers
30 and 40-inch colour processors with print viewing area
Our alumni find success in a wide range of professional art careers. Many operate as independent artists who exhibit and publish their work around the world. Others work in galleries as directors, assistant directors, administrators and attendants. Several graduates have opened their own galleries or businesses.
A number of our graduates also pursue careers as educators. Our alumni can be found teaching in institutions like OCAD University, George Brown College, the University of Ottawa, Champlain College, the University of British Columbia, and California State University, Long Beach.