Frequently Asked Questions


Do I need to have an undergraduate degree in order to apply?
Yes. All applicants to the MFA Art Practice program must have an undergraduate degree, or be scheduled to receive a degree before the start of the Summer semester. However, your degree may be in a discipline other than fine arts.

Do I apply in a particular specialty or discipline?
No. MFA Art Practice is an interdisciplinary program, and as such, we take a holistic approach to art making, rather than compartmentalizing students into specific media-defined disciplines or genres.

How do I submit my portfolio?
Applicants to the Art Practice department must upload their portfolio to the Art Practice department’s SlideRoom account: We will not accept any cd's, dvd's, or images via email.

Must every image in my portfolio represent a unique project?
No. Multiple images in your portfolio may present details of the same project.


What is the cost of tuition for the program?
For the most up to date information about tuition and fees, please visit the Student Accounts Page.

What are my options for Financial Aid?
The SVA Office of Financial Aid coordinates the many sources of aid to meet as much of the students’ financial needs as funding permits. Contact the office for more information at 212.592.2030.

Are there any scholarships available?
The MFA Art Practice program is committed to forming strong and diverse cohorts of the most promising artists. To that end, we offer over $120,000 in departmental awards annually. Additionally, there are several university wide scholarships as well as outside scholarships that we encourage you to pursue.


Does SVA offer housing? What is the cost?
Yes. Information on available housing for MFA Art Practice participants can be found on the Student Life Summer Housing page.


What does low residency mean?
A low residency program combines Internet-based distance learning with a series of intensive on- campus residency periods. The MFA Art Practice program consists of three intensive summer residencies. In the intervening semesters, students engage in rich-media, non-studio online coursework, with supervision from course instructors and support from their chosen mentors. The Internet-component of the degree program will involve the online submission of written material as well as the completion of online-administered tests.

What are the dates of the summer residency?
The 2018 summer residency begins June 13 and goes through July 31.

What is the size of the program?
There will be approximately twelve to sixteen participants in each annual class.

Can I maintain a full-time or part-time job while pursuing the degree?
Yes, in fact the low residency program is designed with the working professional in mind. Students may have part time or full time jobs as they complete their coursework in the Fall and Spring semesters. All students must, however, attend each of the six week Summer semesters, and classes will be in session for 8-10 hours each day. In addition, other scheduled activities will take place off-campus making use of New York City's rich cultural resources.

How many hours will I be expected to devote to the spring and fall online sessions each week?
Expect to devote 15-30 hours per week to online coursework. You are also expected to continue your studio work while back in your home. This will be supported by email correspondence with your mentor.

How many hours will I spend in class each week in the summer?
During the six-week Summer semester, students will be in class or in their studios for 40-50 hours per week. Students will attend workshops each morning, and then be expected to be in their studios for an additional 6-8 hours each day, during which time, studio visits and individual and group critiques will also take place. Group visits to museums, galleries Artist's studios and the homes of private collectors will also be scheduled.


Can international students apply to this program?
Yes. This school is authorized under federal law to enroll nonimmigrant alien students. Please see the international applicant's section on the SVA web site for the application requirements specific to you.

Can I apply for the F-1 student visa?
Once you have received an offer of admission and submitted your enrollment fee, a sufficient and official (original) Declaration of Finance form (DOF) and Verification of Finances (VOF, a bank statement or letter), a SEVIS Form I-20 will be issued to you by mail. You must take these forms with other required documents to your local U.S. embassy or consulate. Required documents include a valid passport, the original letter of acceptance from SVA, evidence of financial support, proof of permanent residency outside of the U.S., the visa application form, two photographs in a specified format, and the receipt of your $200 SEVIS fee payment. You must repeat this procedure each summer in your home country before the start of the summer semester.

How long can I stay in the U.S.?
Students can be admitted to the U.S. 30-days before the summer semester begins, and stay for 60-days after the summer semester end date on a "grace period." Since MFA Art Practice students are not enrolled full time in the Fall and Spring semesters, students cannot stay in the U.S. on the F-1 visa during those times. This is because by law, full-time enrollment (minimum of 12-credits at SVA) is required to maintain a valid visa status. The Fall and Spring semesters of the MFA Art Practice program are offered online only and total less than full-time enrollment (total of 9 credits). By law, no more than one online course may count towards full-time enrollment. For this reason, we cannot sponsor the visa during the Fall and Spring semesters.

Am I eligible for F-1 visa benefits, such as employment eligibility?
Federal regulations are very strict about employment for F-1 students. MFA Art Practice students are only eligible to work on-campus during the summer semesters. They are not eligible for paid or unpaid off-campus employment or internships.

What are the English language requirements for the program?
A strong command of both spoken and written English is essential for success in the MFA Art Practice program. Participants must be comfortable reading and engaging with theoretical texts. A written thesis, between 15 and 50 pages is also a requirement for graduation. Therefore, MFA Art Practice applicants must obtain a minimum score of 100 (internet-based) or 250 (computer-based) TOEFL to be considered for admission to the program.