Department of Visual and Media Arts
Media Art (MFA) Curriculum
First-semester courses provide foundational knowledge in media studies and an introduction to writing and production skills. Students entering the program with an undergraduate degree in media production or a related field will be evaluated to determine if they can waive foundation or introductory courses in the first semester. In such cases, additional course selections will be made in consultation with the graduate program director to fulfill the degree requirements.
Beginning in the second semester, each student will devise a plan of study in consultation with his or her faculty advisor, which will provide a course schedule intended to prepare him or her for the final project. Areas of study include computer animation, documentary, experimental media, fiction narrative, installation, interactive art, and sound design. (For example, a student pursuing professional and artistic development as a documentary filmmaker will take the History of Documentary seminar and Documentary Workshop courses.)
In the second year, students will complete the required courses Business of Modern Media and MFA Production Workshop.
Students have a variety of lab options.
All MFA students meet monthly for the MFA Colloquium. This is an opportunity to interact with industry professionals, media artists, and faculty in formal and informal settings. The colloquium is vital to the development of media artists.
MFA Production Workshop
During the fall and spring of the second year and the fall of the final year, students will focus on advanced production training and experimentation in the MFA Production Workshop. Specific course content is determined by the needs and interests of the class.
In the workshop, students will concentrate on the main body of artistic output, presenting work and critiquing that of others, following a self-directed production schedule and the collaborative nature of critique typical of an MFA program. A key component of the MFA curriculum, the workshop will support students in producing an ongoing body of work within a collaborative, creative community.
At the end of each year in the program, students participate in a formal portfolio review of their works or works-in-progress by the graduate program director and a committee of department faculty members who teach in the MFA program.
Students will craft a response to their portfolio review, noting strengths and weaknesses in their work. And in consultation with the graduate program director, they will plan the coming year’s coursework to address weaknesses.
After completion of the thesis project, students will take part in a public screening of MFA works for the year, the last MFA requirement and a celebration of student achievements.
Media Art (MFA) AT A GLANCE
Fall admission only
Deadline: February 15
Full-time, three-year program
Class size: 30 incoming students each year
AREAS OF STUDY
Jan Roberts-Breslin, Media Art (MFA) Graduate Program Director and Associate Professor, is an independent media artist whose work has been broadcast on PBS and has received national and international festival awards. She is also the author of Making Media: Foundations of Sound and Image Production. Learn more »
At Emerson, when there’s a will, there’s a way. Some inventive Visual and Media Arts students have found a new means to raise funds to film and produce their work. It’s something called crowdfunding, through the online platform Kickstarter.com.