An interdisciplinary and rigorous approach

SFAI’s two-year Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program provides a dynamic interdisciplinary context for students to advance their work, while being exposed to the current theoretical, and sociopolitical context for contemporary art. Questions, dialogue, and invention drive students through the curriculum, which instructs in the skills and practices needed to sustain a lifelong practice in the arts. Concept is emphasized alongside technical proficiency and skill, and artists are encouraged to experiment widely across media. Students may choose an area of emphasis, or maintain breadth in their studies.

Throughout the program, students work independently in the studio or in the field; meet with faculty one-on-one in graduate tutorials; participate in small, rigorous, faculty-led critique seminars in addition to Topic Seminars (studio electives exclusive to Graduate students); and study critical theory and art history. An additional core component to the curriculum is the Graduate Lecture Series, which puts students in direct dialogue with major thought-leaders from the international community, who give public talks and give studio visits with MFA students. The series relies on the critical exchange between guest and audience to promote a diverse and robust learning environment. Students also create numerous collaborative projects on their own through the relationships they forge during their course of study — off-site exhibitions, publications, international collaborations, and place-making events have all emerged from the graduate cohort.

The culmination of the MFA degree is the MFA Exhibition—a prestigious show that is well-attended by artists, curators, collectors, museum professionals, and the public at large. The MFA Exhibition is regularly lauded as the premiere showcase for emerging talent in the Bay Area.