How do I apply?

All applications are required to submit an online application and $80 application fee to Graduate Admissions. Please visit the “Application Requirements” section on the SVA website for detailed instructions. Before applying, you may also schedule a tour and Q&A session with the staff by contacting via our message forum. Completed applications are reviewed by the department after the deadline of January 15. After the deadline has passed, applications will only be accepted and processed on a first-come, first-served basis, as space remains available.

What is the personal introduction video?

This is a one-minute self-portrait video letting us know who you are, what you are doing right now, your background and why you want to attend the SVA MFA Computer Art department. It gives us a chance to get to know you quickly and meet you. It does not have to be a professionally produced video.

Do applicants need to have a background in computers to apply?

Students come from such diverse backgrounds as animation, traditional fine art, dance, performance, music, computer science, various engineering specialties, and even entomology. Most applicants do exhibit at least intermediate digital art making experience along with a passion for making art. Evidence of strong creative practice and skill as exhibited in an applicant’s portfolio is the main consideration for acceptance. Accepted applicants that exhibit strong creative skill and practice but little computer experience are strongly advised to take software courses relevant to their creative interests before applying for the program. SVA and many other colleges offer software courses on Photoshop, Maya, video editing and other relevant software in their Continuing Education departments. Accepted applicants in this situation are encouraged to contact the department for assistance with choosing preparatory classes.

How long is the program?

The program takes a minimum of 2 years (4 semesters) and a maximum of 4 years to complete. The program cannot be completed in less than 4 semesters.

How many students are in the department?

Currently there are 86 students in the MFA Computer Art department.

Are transfer students accepted? If so, how do I apply as a transfer student?

All standard application requirements apply to students wishing to transfer from another accredited MFA, MA or MS program. The minimum length of the program for transfer students is 2 years (4 semesters) due to required curriculum. Transfer credits are determined on a case-by-case basis. After acceptance, the official course descriptions from the applicant’s previous graduate program are required for consideration of transfer credits.

How important is my English proficiency for application review?

Applicants whose English proficiency is below the required score are not considered for admissions and are encouraged to continue to improve their ESL skills and apply for the following academic year. Applicants may continue to submit updated scores until February 15. International applicants should submit all application materials, including updated proof of English proficiency, by this deadline in order to allow time for the processing of a student visa. Completed international applications received after February deadline will not be reviewed. Our courses are taught in English and ESL skills (speaking and writing) are vital to taking full advantage of your educational experience at SVA.

Is the GRE required for application?

No. GRE scores are not required for application to the program.

Is part-time enrollment possible? Can students work full-time and study in the program part time?

All students are required to take a full-time 15-credit course schedule during the first semester. After the first semester, students can reduce the number of credits to part-time. However, some required courses are scheduled to meet in the afternoon and part-time attendance may actually increase the overall amount of tuition over time due to fees. Full time employment is not recommended due to the amount of course work. However, many students do work part-time or freelance. International students on most visas are required by law to attend full-time.

Are scholarships awarded?

A limited number of partial scholarships are awarded based on academic and creative merit as exhibited in the application portfolio and university transcripts.

Are there other opportunities for non-federal financial aid or student employment?

Lab Assistantships are awarded each semester. Lab Assistants work 15 or 20 hours per week in the MFA Computer Art Lab and are supervised by the MFA Computer Art Staff. Assistantships awarded at 15 hours are given a tuition credit rebate equal to 1/3 of tuition cost for that semester. Assistantships awarded at 20 hours are given a tuition credit rebate equal to 1/2 of tuition cost for that semester. Because the award is given as a tuition credit rebate, international students and Federal Financial Aid students are eligible. Students in their first semester or fourth semester are generally not awarded Assistantships due to their academic workload. In addition, Library Assistant positions are available. Library Assistants work in the MFA Computer Art Library and Equipment Cage. The pay is hourly, but as an on campus student job, the positions are open to both federal financial aid students and students not eligible for federal financial aid such as international students.

Is the MFA Computer Art Lab shared with other graduate or undergraduate departments?

No. The Lab is only open to students that are enrolled in the MFA Computer Art program along with staff and faculty which form a very strong, supportive and friendly community.

Can I take courses in other graduate departments?

There are a few courses open to MFA Computer Art students from the MFA Photo department. The course listing can be found in the current Registration Book. However, due to the varied nature of the graduate programs at SVA, opportunities to take classes in other graduate programs are extremely rare and need approval of both chairs. Please note that all SVA graduate students may audit two undergraduate or continuing education course per academic year. Audit course tuition is waived but students will be charged for all applicable fees (material fees, model fees, equipment fees, etc).

What is the MFA Computer Art Lab?

The MFA Computer Art Lab occupies the entire 8,500 square foot 10th floor of SVA’s 133-141 West 21 St building. The Lab features 5 classrooms, a recording studio, a video studio, three state-of-the-art audio/video edit suites, a PC based render farm, and a kitchenette and student lounge. Please see the Resources section for pictures and full information. All MFA Computer Art courses, with the exception of the Touch and Tech Art Lab and 3D Design and Fabrication courses, are taught within the MFA Computer Art Lab. In addition, the MFA Computer Art Digital Fabrication Lab and Studio Space are located on the 12th floor of 133-141 West 21 St .

What are the MFA Computer Art Lab hours?

The MFA Computer Art Lab is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week except for major holidays. For security purposes, the building is locked 11:00pm – 8:00am. Students must enter the building before 11:00pm for overnight access. Students can leave, but cannot re-enter 11:00pm – 8:00am.

How many computers does the department have?

There are total of 30 Windows workstations, 30 Mac workstations and 4 iMacs shared among the entire MFA Computer Art community. In addition, there are 25 MacBook Pro laptops and 10 Windows laptops available for check out from the MFA Computer Art library.

How much help is available for students in the Lab?

Lab Assistants are available to answer questions and to help trouble shoot any problems. Also, three on site Systems Administrators are available during weekday office hours to answer any questions and to respond to computer problems.

Are students required to purchase a workstation or laptop computer after admission to the program?

No. It is strongly advised that students work on the computers and equipment in the MFA Computer Art Lab, rather than work isolated at home. The benefits include learning/working with other students and instructors and establishing the friendships that also emerge within the MFA Computer Art community which continues after graduation.