2008 - 2009 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

Photography, M.F.A.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall: January 15

Applications are evaluated together after the deadline date.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 3

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from college/university faculty members and gallery directors/curators familiar with the applicant's academic and artistic competence.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:

40 undergraduate studio credits and 12 art history credits are required.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A baccalaureate degree and a portfolio in Photography are required.

Statement of Goals:

The Statement of Goals should be approximately 500-1,000 words and should include the following elements: your specific interest in Tyler's program; your research goals; your future career goals; and your academic and artistic achievements.

Standardized Test Scores:

Minimum TOEFL score needed to be accepted: 550 paper-based, 213 computer-based, or 79 internet-based.


As a Master of Fine Arts applicant, you must submit a portfolio consisting of twenty 35mm color slides or a CD-ROM of 20 images representative of the immediate direction of your work.  Please place work in chronological order.  If you are applying with a slide portfolio, you should label each slide with your name and indicate "top."  Submit your slides in a slide sheet, not in a box.  An accompanying description list should indicate title, date completed, medium, and dimensions.  Images on a CD-ROM must be in .jpeg or .tiff format and should not exceed 1024 X 768 pixels at 72 dpi.  Include instructions for viewing your work.  You must also submit 10 pages of printouts on 8.5" x 11" paper, two images per page (20 images total).  Larger paper will be folded or trimmed to size.  An accompanying description list for the CD-ROM images should include title, date completed, medium, and dimensions.  In addition to still images, a DVD may be submitted for time-based work.  Include viewing instructions.  Quick Time is the preferred file format.  Please limit the total time-based media selection to five minutes.  Original work, slide carousels, catalogs, photographs, zip disks, floppy disks, books, and/or large binders cannot be accepted and will not be returned.  Please provide a sturdy self-addressed envelope with sufficient U.S. postage for the return of your slides, CD-ROM, or DVD.  Materials that are not accompanied by return postage will be discarded after review.


A resume is required.

Transfer Credit:

Upon approval of the department chairperson and the Associate Dean, up to 9 credits of graduate work may be transferred into the M.F.A. program as Art History or studio electives. Only credits received within five years of the transfer request are eligible. No decisions are made until students have successfully completed 15 matriculated semester hours of the degree. The maximum number of credits a student may transfer is 9.

Program Requirements
General Program Requirements:

Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 60, including 33 credits in Projects and Seminar Classes, 12 credits in Art History, and 12-15 credits in Studio Electives.

Projects and Seminar Classes (33 credits):

GAD 8201:  Digital Projects (1 semester)


GAD 8255:  Graduate Photo Workshop: Digital Photography (1 semester)

GAD 8211:  Graduate Seminar in Photography (4 semesters)

GAD 8255:  Graduate Photo Workshop: Digital Photography (1 semester)

GAD 8283:  Graduate Projects, Photography (4 semesters)

TYLER 8000:  Interdisciplinary Seminar (1 semester)

Art History (12 credits):

Of the four required courses, two must be Art History Seminar classes chosen from a range of graduate offerings (5000 to 5800 or 8000 to 9980).  Please visit the Art History course listing for more information.

Studio Electives (12-15 credits):

Course descriptions can be viewed on the Graduate School website and in the Undergraduate Bulletin. Please note that taking any course under the 5000 level for graduate credit requires prior approval from the studio area head.

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.

Culminating Events:

Thesis Exhibition:

An approved thesis exhibition, written statement of working philosophy, and slide and/or CD portfolio are required at the final review in order to meet the M.F.A. requirements. The thesis exhibition should be the fruit of the two years' studio research and practice in which the student engaged.

The student defends her/his thesis exhibition to the review committee. The committee then evaluates the exhibition as pass with distinction, pass, or fail.

Program Contact Information:


Department Information:

Graduate Admissions Office

Tyler School of Art
2001 N. 13th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19122


Department Contacts:


Carmina Cianciulli


Program Coordinator:

Michael Becotte


Graduate Chairperson:

Martha Madigan



Stephanie Knopp


About the Program

The graduate program in Photography is a two-year, 60-credit program leading to the Master of Fine Arts degree. The Photography program offers a variety of specialized workshops focusing on current cultural and personal issues. Within the M.F.A. program, we encourage the development of an intimate and productive working environment utilizing a variety of photographic and digital media, resulting in an individual thesis exhibition.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 4 years

Campus Location:


Full-Time/Part-Time Status:

Full-time status is required.

Department Information:

Graduate Admissions Office

Tyler School of Art
2001 N. 13th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19122


Interdisciplinary Study:

The focus in Photography is augmented and balanced by specially designed graduate-level Art History courses and seminars; a required interdisciplinary seminar; and studio electives that ensure cross-disciplinary contact among students.


Not applicable.

Study Abroad:

Tyler students may elect to spend a semester or year in the Rome program, subject to the approval of the Photography faculty.


This degree program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

Areas of Specialization:

The Photography area houses studios that facilitate the use of various creative approaches to the medium, including handmade cameras, large format photography, offset production, experimental and digital imaging, historical processes, critical theory, professional digital color, black-and-white printmaking, and career options for artists.

Job Placement:

The M.F.A. program prepares graduates for careers as professional photographers and educators. M.F.A. graduates also explore the many fields of applied art and act as curators, critics, and researchers.


Not applicable.

Non-Degree Student Policy:

M.F.A. courses are restricted to matriculated students.

Financing Opportunities

The principal duties of the Teaching Assistant (TA) or Academic Intern (AI) include assisting faculty members in preparing apparatus or materials for demonstrations and maintenance and/or monitoring of studio and exhibition areas and equipment.

Updated 3.18.09