Graduate Program

Photography and Related Media MFA

The Photography and Related Media MFA fosters conceptual, technical, and professional growth of its graduate students by emphasizing creative research and an expanded critical discourse as the foundation of a personal visual language within a shifting cultural environment. We are committed to embracing socially and environmentally conscious dialogue and strive to integrate sustainable practices in all aspects of the program.

The photography faculty, Francois Deschamps, Andrea Frank, and Nadia Sablin, are exhibiting artists with a broad range of expertise and involvement in the contemporary art world, providing students with a multifaceted group of mentors. Students also benefit from an ongoing interdisciplinary dialogue with faculty and graduate students across the Art Department.

Location: SUNY New Paltz is located in the Hudson Valley with its diverse community of artists and art institutions, and is just a 90 minute bus ride from NYC. Frequent field trips and other special events connect students to both historical and contemporary art. New Paltz is a leader in sustainability with strong traditions in the LGBTQ, civil rights, labor and environmental movements. We foster a learning community that engenders critical thinking and a profound appreciation for difference and dialogue.

Facilities: MFA students are housed in a generous graduate studio space and have access to a wide range of cameras, lighting tools, and other photographic equipment. Our facilities feature a variety of studios and digital labs with Imacon scanners and large-format printers, a black-and-white darkroom, and a lighting studio. In addition, through elective courses, students can gain access to facilities in other areas in the Art Department and beyond to produce work across media. Department wide resources include a wood studio, sculpture, ceramics, and printmaking facilities, the MakerBot Innovation Center and Digital Fabrication Lab including 3D printers, scanners, laser cutters, and a large format CNC router.

CURRICULUM: The Photography and Related Media MFA is a 2-year degree program culminating in a thesis exhibition in the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art. Courses balance studio work with critical dialogue, elective courses, and internship/fieldwork opportunities.

Affordability: SUNY New Paltz’s graduate program is considered one of the best, most affordable, high-quality programs on the East Coast. All non-resident and international students receive our MFA scholarship allowing them to pay our low in-state tuition rates of approximately $11,000 per year. A number of competitive graduate teaching assistantships are available that offer students approximately $5,000 a semester in combined tuition waivers and stipends. The Sojourner Truth Diversity Fellowship is open to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet specific diversity criteria. Numerous research and travel grants are also available.

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Student Success: Our graduates are innovative thinkers and cultural practitioners who have entered into and have sustained a broad range of successful careers. Many are actively exhibiting artists who show their work prestigious venues such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, and Yossi Milo Gallery in NYC.

Visiting Artists: Recent visiting artists include Alfredo Jaar, David Levi Strauss, Tanya Marcuse, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Stephen Shore, Irina Rozovsky, Pixy Liao, David Maisel, Reiner Leist, and Ariel Shanberg.

Online Application

Click here to download our MFA Brochure (PDF)

Please feel free to contact Andrea Frank at if you have further questions about the MFA in Photography and Related Media program.