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Program Options

Photography (MFA, MA)

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Master of Fine Arts in Photography

Barry’s MFA degree can help you develop and refine your personal aesthetic, as well as obtain the skills and credentials you need to teach photography at the university level.

The program offers strong academics and experiential learning. During the course of your study, you will participate in Independent Study, Photography, and Art History courses, as well as prepare a written thesis and exhibition. In addition to fostering a mentoring relationship with our well-recognized faculty, the independent study most closely resembles the real-life scenario which working artists/photographers face, in that you will be involved in independent production of art. You will also prepare a written thesis and a thesis exhibition.

This 66 credit-hour program can be completed in six semesters and must be completed within seven years, including the written thesis and thesis exhibition.

Outline of the MFA curriculum:

Photography, Communication, and Art graduate coursesPHO,COM,ART33 cr.
Independent Study in PhotographyPHO 559/65915 cr.
Art History graduate coursesART/PHO9 cr.
MFA Grad. Thesis ExhibitionPHO 691A5 cr.
PHO 691B4 cr.
Total:66 cr. minimum
Minimum time to complete the MFA degree: 6 semesters (12 cr. max. per semester)

MFA Thesis Exhibition:

The most important component of your final studies for the MFA degree will be your Thesis Exhibition. As a graduating MFA, you must mount a substantial solo exhibition of your work illustrating the highest level of originality and professionalism.  Development of the MFA thesis exhibition can take up a year, and includes in-progress reviews with the Graduate Faculty Committee.

The second major component of the graduation requirement is a written thesis. The content of your written thesis must include an in-depth, critical examination of your own work, a biography, high-quality photographic reproductions of your images, as well as work by other artists whose influence may be of importance. Grammar and composition must be of graduate level.  Formal committee approval of the written thesis is required. The Learning Resource Center at Barry is available for help with writing the thesis.

The thesis and exhibition are allotted nine credits towards the degree. As this is the most important final requirement and requires formal faculty committee approval, it is not uncommon for a student to prolong his or her graduate study to help insure a successful exhibition and thesis.

If at some time during the course of your studies you should decide not to pursue the MFA, you may do so. You can switch to the MA program by formally giving notice, three months in advance, to the department chair and receiving formal approval.

Teaching Preparation for MFA Students

The terminal MFA degree is the standard academic credential to teach photography at the university level. With the permission of the Fine Art Graduate Committee, MFA students have the opportunity to take up to three semesters of College Teaching Prep (PHO 661 A&B and PHO 662 A&B) courses to provide teaching experience under the tutelage of knowledgeable photographic educators. In addition, students may elect to participate in the practical running and maintenance of a university photography facility (PHO 660 College Teaching Prep I).

 

Master of Arts in Photography

Barry's MA degree in Photography can help you develop your personal aesthetic. While in the program, you will work side-by-side with faculty members, whom are all recognized working artists.  The mentoring relationship in Independent Study courses closely resembles the real-life scenario which working artists/photographers face in the production of art.

In Barry’s MA program, you will take a minimum of 36 credit hours and a maximum of 48 credit hours. You may be able to complete your MA in as little as 3 semesters (9 credits per semester is considered full time).  The maximum length of time you can take to complete the MA is seven years, including a successful thesis exhibition.

Outline of the MA curriculum:

Photography, Communication, and Art graduate coursesPHO,COM,ART18 cr.
Independent Study in PhotographyPHO 559/6599 cr.
Art History graduate coursesART/PHO6 cr.
MA Grad. Thesis ExhibitionPHO 6903 cr.
Total:36 cr. minimum
48 cr. Maximum

Opportunity to pursue the MFA: If you as an MA student wish to pursue the more rigorous MFA, you will need to notify the Department, formally apply to the MFA program, submit a portfolio for committee review, and be officially accepted. If you are accepted, your coursework from the MA will transfer to the MFA. Since the coursework may be applied to only one degree, you must be accepted into the MFA prior to completing the MA degree.

Independent Studies

As part of the graduate photography curricula, you will be involved in directed independent study. In addition to fostering a mentoring relationship with the faculty, independent study most closely resembles the real-life scenario which working artists/photographers must face after graduation, in that you will be involved in independent production of art.

Program Standards

  • Full time study may not exceed 12 credits per semester.
  • Maximum length of time to complete the MFA degree is seven years, to include a successful written thesis and solo thesis exhibition.
  • Maximum length of time to complete the MA degree is seven years, to include a successful thesis exhibition.
  • Students wishing to change from the MA to the MFA program must notify the Department, formally apply, submit a portfolio for committee review, and be officially accepted.  Students changing from the MA program into the MFA must do so prior to receiving the MA degree. Coursework may be applied to only one degree.
  • Students wishing to change from the MFA to the MA program must give formal notice 3 months in advance and be formally approved.
  • Assessment of the MFA candidate’s creative and technical outcomes will be through faculty evaluation and approval of a substantial one-person thesis exhibition. The MA candidate will be similarly judged, but as part of a group exhibition.
  • MFA candidates should express their artistic intentions and philosophies in a written formal thesis.
  • If the graduate student’s work or performance is unsatisfactory, the University may remove the student from the graduate program.
  • Individuals with an undergraduate degree may take a maximum of nine graduate credits as non-degree-seeking students.

 

 

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