May 21, 2024  
Ohio University Graduate Catalog 2015-2017 
Ohio University Graduate Catalog 2015-2017 [Archived Catalog]

Photography - MFA

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Degree Title: Master of Fine Arts

Program Name and Number: Photography - MF5171

Department/Unit: School of Art + Design

Delivery Mode: Athens

Program Mission: The Photography + Integrated Media Area offers an innovative M.F.A. curriculum that defines photographic practice in its most inclusive and experimental manifestations. Through strong technical and conceptual training, the program stresses the development of the photographer as an artist and the use of lens-based technologies as vital tools of creative expression, preparing students for rewarding careers in the field.

Program Learning Objectives: Students will

  • Demonstrate mastery in skills, techniques and material germane to the student’s research focus, evidenced through a mature body of creative work
  • Identify key figures, works and sources, both historical and contemporary, as evidence to support a clearly stated thesis contextualizing the student’s work
  • Generate documents appropriate to professional practice in the student’s field of focus, and be prepared for participation in the professional world of Art
  • Execute a public exhibit of the student’s creative work

Program Overview:  The program builds upon the legacy of the historically renowned Clarence White School of Photography in New York, which was re-established at Ohio University in 1948 by his son, Clarence White, Jr., creating the first degree-granting program in photography at a major university in the country.

The strength of the Photography + Integrated Media program lies in its leadership in innovative teaching, its use of the latest technology, and providing modern and spacious facilities. Its faculty encourages a diverse range of artistic practice founded upon a rigorous intellectual base. The curriculum encourages experimentation with a wide variety of processes and platforms ranging from black and white photography, to digital imaging and video, to interdisciplinary practice.

The Master of Fine Art in Photography and Integrated Media is an intensive three-year program. The first and second years are primarily devoted to studio, seminar, art history, and elective coursework. During the third year, the emphasis is an intensive commitment to studio time in preparation for the thesis exhibition. As part of this 3-year studio experience, the student will have individual and group meetings with faculty, interaction with peers in and outside of the area, and will participate in graduate critiques. A normal full-time academic load is 15 credit-hours per semester, and progress toward the degree is guided by the student’s graduate review committee members to the successful completion of 90 credit hours.

Opportunities for Graduates: The program has trained many successful alumni who are leaders in the field, and whose honors include Guggenheim Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships. The program trains students for rewarding careers in the fields of art, commercial practice, journalism, and education.

Link to Program:

Link to Program Handbook:

Graduation Requirements:

  1.  Credit-Hour Requirements Summary: 90 minimum credit hours
    • 40 studio (28 in photography and 12 in studio elective hours)
    • 12 art history/academic studies
    • 6 seminars
    • 25 thesis credits
  2. Thesis review requirements:
    • Students will have a series of formal reviews throughout the 3 years for the program with the members of their thesis committee.
    • The First-Year Progress Review Occurs toward the end of fall semester and constitutes a progress assessment of the student’s work by his/her committee members.
    • The First-Year M.F.A. Candidacy Review occurs toward the end of spring semester and admits the student to full candidacy for the degree by the student’s committee members.
    • The Thesis Proposal Review occurs during spring semester of the second year and establishes the goals and guidelines of the student’s thesis exhibition.
    • The Oral defense occurs before the public presentation of the Thesis work at the end of the 3rd year of study.
  3. A thesis exhibition and oral thesis defense is required at the conclusion of the program. A written thesis is not required.
  4. Expected time to degree if studying full time is 3 years.

Admission Requirements: Admission to the MFA program requires a bachelors degree or equivalent, and the submission of a portfolio of 20 images through slideroom, a CV, artist statement, letter of intent, and three letters of recommendation (through the online request service). You must also submit an application to Ohio University online.

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