Learn about the MFA in Photography program.
How do I apply and what do I need to include in my application?Applicants must submit the following:
Forms and more information can be found here.Application materials should be sent to:MFA Program in PhotographyGraduate Admissions, Lesley University29 Everett St.Cambridge, MA 02138March 1: Postmark deadline for application for Fall Semester.[ back to top ]How do you evaluate a candidate for the MFA program in Photography? What is the process?An admissions committee will review all applications for admission to the MFA program. Applicants will be required to hold a BFA, BA, BS, or other comparable degree from a recognized college or university, preferably in the field of the visual arts. Waivers will be considered for candidates with exceptional portfolios demonstrating their promise for success in the program. The primary component of a candidate's application will be a representative portfolio of 15-20 works. It is expected that a candidate for the MFA in Photography will have strong technical skills, coherent syntax, and the ability to discuss their work on a conceptual and historical level.Applicants will be asked to submit a personal and concise essay, discussing their art and relevant autobiographical influences that have contributed to its creation. This essay, incorporating a short statement of purpose describing their intentions during the degree program, and transcripts, are also instrumental in defining the applicant to the admissions committee.Finalists will be invited to Boston and should bring actual work to the interview.
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What are the MFA in Photography portfolio requirements?The primary component of a candidate's application will be a representative portfolio of 15-20 works that demonstrates a clear photographic vision. All images should be in jpeg/png format at 150 pixels per inch (PPI) and at 900 pixels or 6” on the longest dimension.As you upload each image you will also be asked to submit the title, size, date, and medium for each image and this is required.Portfolios should be submitted electronically through Slide Room. The link to upload images is lesley.slideroom.com.
We strongly suggest that your portfolio submission be made through Slide Room. However, you can also mail in a Mac Compatible CD/DVD with images to:Office of Graduate and Adult Bachelor’s AdmissionsAdmissions Services29 Everett StreetCambridge, MA 02138How many students will be in the MFA in Photography program?12-14 students will be accepted into the program each year.
[ back to top ]Is having a BFA essential to be considered for the MFA program?Not at all. Successful graduate candidates come from a great variety of backgrounds and may have developed a working sophistication with photography without a BFA degree. We welcome applicants from a variety of artistic backgrounds and experiences.
Do I need to take the GRE?No, GRE scores are not a component of the application process.Is the program accredited?Yes. The MFA in Photography program is fully accredited by both NEASC and NASAD.
[ back to top ]What is the general structure of the program?A full two year, fall admission only, four semester resident program with a blend of graduate studio seminars, featuring collaborative teaching with core MFA faculty and Visiting Artists, in addition to critical studies/art history electives and studio electives every semester. Beginning the second semester, students take professional studies electives that can incorporate an internship, teaching fellowship, and independent study. The final semester, in conjunction with Graduate Studio Seminar IV, will include a written thesis and exhibition.Is there graduate studio space?In addition to many resources of the department, including a full inventory of photography equipment, graduate candidates get exclusive use of the graduate studio located in the photography complex.
[ back to top ]Can I visit?Please contact the Photography Department for information on arranging a visit to the University for an appointment with the Director of the MFA Photography Program, Christopher James, at 800.773.0494 ext. 6684.What if I am an international student?The program works no differently for International students than it does for U.S. residents with the exception of Visa and TOEFL requirements. Please read the information relevant to international students in the paper application, or refer to our International Students information page. Once you are ready to apply, more detailed information and forms can be found at the Lesley International Graduate and Adult Bachelor’s Admissions page. Please note that according to U.S. regulations, international students enrolled in this program are not permitted to work off campus while in the United States, but may participate in on-campus work-study programs through Lesley Work.
[ back to top ]What does the program cost?See the total approximate cost for this 60-credit program.Are there teaching fellowships available?Every semester two to four graduate candidates will be selected for teaching fellowships.Is housing provided?There are no graduate dormitories. Graduate candidates are responsible for their own housing.
Sunanda K Sanyal
Professor of Art History and Critical Studies
Professor, Director of MFA in Photography Program
MFA in Photography
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Amanda King '14 was featured in The Boston Globe among the most promising master's of fine arts degree candidates in Greater Boston.