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Graduate Programs in Photography

“Our programs seek individuals who approach the medium of photography from diverse angles yet wish to participate in a community of artists. We want to foster each students’ best abilities, visual, verbal, critical.” - Laura McPhee

MFA: Photography

MassArt's 60 credit, full-time MFA in Photography guides students through extensive study of the practice of photography, critical theory, and the contemporary multi-disciplinary environment. Over the course of the program’s thirty year history, we have cultivated an intellectual environment in which graduate students refine methods of visual communication and arrive at shared meaning.

Faculty in the Graduate Photography Program are dedicated to supporting students as they produce rigorously considered and visually accomplished bodies of work conveying new observations regarding perceptions of art and our complex world. Straight photography, mixed and new media, material explorations, and moving image are all encouraged.


Massachusetts College of Art and Design is pleased to announce the MassArt Scholarship for Graduate Study in Photography, established with a seed gift of $500,000 from an anonymous donor. This new fund will expand access to the prestigious MFA in Photography program by offering scholarships to all accepted MFA Photography students starting in the fall of 2023.

Unique to MassArt

The welcoming atmosphere in our department, in combination with our first-rate facilities available to graduate students, provides an environment where students converse and experiment as they strive to produce work that is meaningful both to the individual and to others.

Visiting artists are an integral part of our curriculum, often under the auspices of our exceptional Photography Lecture Series. Graduate students frequently meet individually with the prominent photographers, critics, and curators who visit our department each semester.

Learning Outcomes

  • Experiment with formal and conceptual invention as you develop a coherent body of work of depth and integrity on a personally chosen topic which may or may not extend over the two year program
  • Refine technical expertise in photography and acquire new skills in other media
  • Bridge the visual language of photography with the written word and public speaking
  • Understand one’s work in relation to contemporary art and art history by incorporating scholarly research, critical theory and analysis, and an awareness of historical and contemporary practices.
  • Develop the ability to critique peers’ work across disciplines to speak thoughtfully about the work of others
  • Develop awareness and understanding of the diverse cultural, historical, and experiential issues expressed and inherent in one’s own artwork and in that of one’s peers
  • Exhibit one’s work in a professional manner in the thesis exhibition. Students may also participate in other exhibitions and curatorial opportunities at the college.
  • Understand a range of professional pathways for careers in the arts.
  • Collaborate with artists in other disciplines

Courses  MFA Requirements

How to Apply  Schedule a Tour


MassArt’s intensive Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Photography is a full-time, one-year course of study for aspiring photographers seeking an advanced level of discourse, both technical and theoretical, about the medium as contemporary practice. The program provides an individualized curriculum for students who wish to develop their portfolios and their skills to prepare for future graduate school or as an end in itself. It is an opportunity for students of diverse ages and academic backgrounds to explore the medium in a concentrated manner.

In the first semester, students participate in a weekly seminar in which they collaborate with their instructor to critique one another’s work and consider methods of visual story-telling. They also attend a required technical course in which they update and perfect their knowledge of digital image-making. In addition, Photography Post-Baccalaureate students choose from a stimulating selection of electives, including technical courses, art history electives, and topic-based studio courses. In the Spring semester, emphasis is placed on a student’s portfolio and written statements.

Certificate Requirements

Apply to the Post-Bacc Program