The MFA Computer Art program—the first of its kind in the United States—continuously redefines itself through creative experimentation and discovery of new uses for today’s technology. Our state-of-the-art facility, completely renovated in 2007, contains leading edge technology and software. A literal who’s who of the New York art world, our faculty is composed of internationally renowned artists, curators, critics and professionals. Students in our program come from around the world to study at SVA, and the international student body provides unique perspectives that offer different cultural approaches to the creative process.

Creativity and the development of a personal artistic style are the cornerstones of our program. Students follow a course of study that is individually tailored; the wide range of courses provides for specializations that include animation, digital video, installation and digital fine art, or one can choose a multi-disciplinary track. First-year courses in studio, art history, computer systems and programming build the foundation for secondyear thesis work, which is also supported through weekly critiques and related advanced areas of study. Our digital art seminar series, software workshops, guest lectures and visiting artists’ program provide in-depth exposure to all areas of digital art.

The success of our program is best described as a “tradition of excellence.” The department was recently named one of the “Top Ten Digital Arts Schools in the World,” by ImagineFX magazine (United Kingdom) and U.S. News & World Report has ranked us seventh in Multimedia/Visual Communications. Many of our graduates are employed by the most prestigious digital studios—Industrial Light & Magic, Pixar, Disney, DreamWorks, Blue Sky, Pacific Data Images, Rhythm & Hues, Digital Domain, MTV, Electronic Arts and Eyebeam—while others choose the entrepreneurship of their own businesses. Those who pursue fine art careers have exhibited their work in galleries and museums—the 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, European Media Art Festival, Tate Online, and the Beijing Millennium Museum.

Awards that have been bestowed upon our students by major international competitions include the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Student Academy Awards; the 2006 Adobe Design Achievement Award; 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. The goal of the program is to develop digital artists who will produce significant creative work throughout their careers and become leaders in their chosen field.

— Bruce Wands
Chair, MFA Computer Art
Director of Computer Education