The MFA Program in Fine Arts

The MFA course in Fine Arts offers an exciting, critically engaged 2-year program that is a combination of studio, theory and professional practices. Being a part of both Parsons and the New School University, the program is uniquely positioned within an educational environment that includes a wide spectrum of activity, ranging from rigorous formal and aesthetic investigations to a number of pressing social and political concerns. Our faculty are celebrated members of the New York art community who exhibit and publish world-wide and our students hail from numerous backgrounds and cultures and working with a variety of media and methods -- including painting, drawing, sculpture, video, performance, digital media, installation and photography.

To contact the Director of the MFA Program, Simone Douglas, please send an email to:

MFA Curricular Structure

Our curriculum unfolds around several central lines of study:

The Monday Core: Studio Visits in which you will have one to one meetings with our core faculty.

The Tuesday Core: Group Critique in which your work will be discussed with about 10-15 of fellow students lead by a core faculty member and a nominated student. A reading will be supplied by the student presenting her/his work one week in advance.

In your first year you will have the Critical Thinking courses, which will give you a cross section of critical theory and philosophy relevant to contemporary artists.

In your second year you will have the Thesis Writing and Research courses that will build on what you learned in the Critical Thinking courses and support you in your personal research surrounding your own work in the studio. These courses will culminate in the writing of your Thesis papers.

The Professional Practice classes sit in your first and last semester. In the first semester, the class will explore the politics and strategies of a wide variety of exhibition spaces that New York has to offer. In the fourth semester the course will address art administration, grant writing, web design, the photographic documentation of work and many other practical aspects that you will need in the field, as well as the production of the catalogue for the thesis show.

Additionally to these class lines, you can choose a set of electives within the Fine Arts Program and across AMT and the wider New School. In Fine Arts we offer Advanced Studio electives which cover areas from film and video, to advanced painting, installation, sculpture, performance and ecological literacy. We also offer a course called the Transdisciplinary Seminar, a class that looks at the way in which other fields are in dialogue with Fine Arts. Examples have been Art and Afro Futurism, Art and Poetry, Art and Science and Feminist Art Practices. These classes are geared to support our specific student body, please feel free to make suggestions for both Advanced Studio Practice and Transdisciplinary.

For additional graduate electives offered across The New School please consult the online course catalogues and/or contact Simone Douglas and/ or Paul Nicholson, your MFA advisor.