Established in 1986, the MFA Computer Art department was the first graduate program in the United States to focus on art making with computers and other technological advancements. We are continuously redefining ourselves through creative experimentation, and the discovery of new uses for today’s technology. MFA Computer Art is dedicated to producing digital artists of the highest caliber. This is accomplished through a progressive curriculum; a faculty comprised of well-known industry professionals, artists, curators and art historians; the most advanced digital studio in SVA’s graduate school and our location in New York City. Students follow a broad curriculum, including studio, art history and programming classes. Each student’s course of study is individually tailored in consultation with the department advisor from over forty class offerings per semester. While multidisciplinary in nature, areas of specialization include animation, motion graphics, and fine art. Please take a moment to browse through our course offerings. One of our strengths is the academic and creative freedom we offer our students. A typical week in the life of our students includes five classes for 10-15 hours per week; 20-30 hours working in the lab on their assignments; and participating in guest lectures, workshops, screenings and art openings on their free nights and weekends. Many of our first year students take advantage of our internship program and spend the summer between their first and second year at studios like Disney, Blue Sky Studios and several New York City production studios, gaining valuable industry experience. All of this aids in the development of creativity, a unique individual artistic style, the acquisition of a broad range of knowledge and skills that makes our students sought after by top studios, museums, galleries and non-profit agencies. Students come from around the world and bring with them their diverse cultural heritages and artistic influences into our program. It is expected that graduates of this program will become leaders in redefining the computer art field and be instrumental in charting its future course.
Chair Emeritus, MFA Computer Art
Founding Chair, BFA Computer Art
Director of Computer Education
Chair, MFA Computer Art
Frequently Asked Questions – Video Answers
(videos by Rota6)
How would you describe the MFA Computer Art program?
What do you look for in a prospective student?
Could you talk about a student’s experience when they go through the program?
How does the program incorporate SVA’s philosophy of artistic development?
Could you tell us about the faculty?
What technology do you have in the lab?
What is it like to study in New York City?
Where do students work after they graduate?
Who are some of your notable alumni?
How would you define the success of the program?
MFA Computer Art Graduate Placement and Professional Recognition:
The success of our program is best described as a “tradition of excellence.” The department was named one of the “Top Ten Digital Arts Schools in the World,” by ImagineFX magazine (United Kingdom), U.S. News & World Report has ranked us seventh in Multimedia/Visual Communications and the Animation Career Review wrote “SVA is widely considered one of the top art colleges in the country with a formidable roster of who’s who alumni.” Graduates of the department are employed by the most prestigious companies and digital studios: Adobe, Google, Microsoft, Industrial Light & Magic, Pixar, DreamWorks, Disney, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Blue Sky Studios, The Mill, MPC, Charlex, MTV, Electronic Arts, The American Museum of Natural History-Rose Planetarium and others. Awards that have been bestowed upon our students by major international competitions include eight Student Academy Awards; Adobe Design Achievement Awards; SIGGRAPH Electronic Theater and Art Show; Prix Ars Electronica; Smithsonian American Art Museum; YouTube; Webby Awards; ISEA and the Leonardo Award for Excellence. Student works have appeared in such acclaimed international film festivals as the Cannes Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Annecy Animation Festival, Sundance Online Film Festival, New York Animation Festival, among dozens of others. Some alumni choose the entrepreneurship of their own businesses and have opened studios in New York City, Los Angeles and overseas, for example, Thailand. Those who pursue fine art careers exhibit their work in museums and galleries, including: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, P.S.1/MoMA, Whitney Museum of American Art, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Digital Art Museum, Chelsea Art Museum and Tate Online. Graduates have received grants and residencies from cultural institutions, such as the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, New York Foundation for the Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Creative Capital, Eyebeam, and the Experimental TV Center. By combining creativity with academics, graduates have published books, scholarly writings, and chosen teaching careers at institutions like Harvard University, New York University, the University of California and others.