2012 - 2013 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

Photography, M.F.A.

Center for the Arts / TYLER SCHOOL OF ART

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: 79 iBT or 550 PBT.


As a Master of Fine Arts applicant, you must submit a portfolio that consists of 20 images representative of the immediate direction of your work. Portfolios are to be uploaded at https://temple.slideroom.com/, as instructed at the website. SlideRoom requires an additional fee for this service. Original work, slides, CD-ROMs, catalogs, photographs, books, and/or binders are not acceptable substitutes for the SlideRoom portfolio and will not be reviewed or returned.


A resume is required.

Transfer Credit:

Upon approval of the department chairperson and the Vice 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 concerning transfer credits until students have successfully completed 15 matriculated semester hours at Tyler. 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)

TYLE 8001:  Graduate Professional Practices (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).

Studio Electives (12-15 credits):

Course descriptions can be viewed on the Class Schedule. 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:


Nicole Howard

Program Coordinator:

Martha Madigan


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-Matriculated 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 5.9.13