MFA and MA applications

San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI)

Currently accepting applications for summer 2014 Low-Residency MFA program (led byAziz + Cucher),
and fall 2014 MFA, MA, and dual-degree MA/MFA programs

Apply online:

San Francisco Art Institute
Graduate Center
2565 Third Street
(between 22nd and 23rd streets)
San Francisco, CA 94107
T 1+ 800 345 SFAI | +1 415 749 4500

SFAI is an educational experience for artists and scholars ready to become leaders in contemporary art and to engage and transform society through creative practice. A hub for innovative artists and thinkers for over 140 years, SFAI has been home to such world-renowned cultural figures as Kathryn Bigelow, Paul Pfeiffer, Kehinde Wiley, Catherine Opie, and Barry McGee. Today, SFAI continues to expand upon this legacy by fostering a learning environment centered on the creative pursuits of the individual.

Graduate Programs
MFA in Studio Art (optional emphasis in one of seven major disciplines)
MA in Exhibition and Museum Studies, History and Theory of Contemporary Art, or Urban Studies
Low-Residency MFA in Studio Art
Dual degree MA/MFA in History and Theory of Contemporary Art/Studio Art

MFA in Studio Art
Founded on the conviction that inquiry and experimentation are at the forefront of art-making, the MFA in Studio Art program encourages students to use their own questioning to direct a sustaining and vital creative practice. The program strikes a balance between academy and atelier that is remarkably generative for creative production: students maintain independent studio practices; work one-on-one with faculty; participate in small, discussion-based critiques; and take interdisciplinary critical studies and art history seminars. Graduate Electives—such as Creating Eccentric ArchivesVideo Production;Bodies as Sonic Messengers; and Sculpture in Context—prepare emerging artists to engage pressing issues of contemporary practice.

The culmination of the MFA degree is the highly anticipated MFA exhibition, which annually generates critical attention and is renowned for its groundbreaking creative output.

MA programs
SFAI’s Master of Arts (MA) programs provide a generative context for advanced scholarly inquiry into the major ideas, institutions, and discourses of contemporary art and the conditions of its production. Working with artists, historians, theorists, curators, and thinkers from diverse disciplines, MA students participate in academic seminars, research and writing colloquia, and have opportunities for curating, internships, and travel. These interdisciplinary offerings prepare students to identify and pursue an individualized course of study that will culminate in the final research thesis.

Essential to SFAI’s MA programs is their location within an art school. MA students pursue research and study in a laboratory of contemporary art, taking classes alongside, and often working directly with, MFA students. Exhibitions, public programs, and SFAI’s unique dual capstone requirement—an individual written thesis and a multifaceted collaborative project—allow MA scholars to further intertwine academic research and professional experience.

SFAI’s graduate faculty are accomplished cultural producers. They are recipients of awards from the NEA, Guggenheim, and MacArthur foundations; they exhibit internationally in museums, galleries, and biennials; and they are widely published in monographs and journals the world over.

Notable faculty: Nicole Archer / Linda Connor / Christopher Coppola / Claire Daigle / Tony Labat / Jennifer Locke / Reagan Louie / Bruce McGaw / Rigo 23 / Will Rogan / Clare Rojas / John Roloff / Henry Wessel

Visiting Artists and Scholars
Graduate students at SFAI have unparalleled access to international figures in art and culture through various lecture series, as well as exhibition programming at the Walter and McBean Galleries.

Recent guests: Thomas Demand / Isaac Julien / Nina Katchadourian / Annie Leibovitz / Kerry James Marshall / Carol Mavor / Richard Misrach / Wangechi Mutu / Shirin Neshat / Allan Sekula / Mickalene Thomas / Andrea Zittel

About the San Francisco Art Institute
Founded in 1871, the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) 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 its students with a rigorous education in the fine 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.

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