Academics / Graduate MFA in Photography

MFA in Photography

Earn your master’s in photography studying abroad in the heart of Florence in a hands-on MFA program that lets you experience the unique photographic, artistic, and cultural resources of Italy and Europe.

MFA in Photography: Program Highlights

  • Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)
  • Studio space in a fully renovated Renaissance palazzo in the heart of Florence
  • Extensive travel and networking opportunities with close mentorship by top photography instructors
  • Work featured in major exhibition in Florence

Program Overview

The two-year MFA in Photography program at SACI provides students with an in-depth understanding of the aesthetic and technical aspects of photography. The intensive program offers the opportunity to learn through academic courses, advanced technical practice, and directed independent studies with leading experts and specialists in various fields of photography, laying the groundwork for a professional career.

The MFA in Photography program promotes both individual innovation and creative collaboration, allowing students to concentrate in one area, experiment in others, and complement their studio work with other academic studies. The first year balances independent study with classroom study, while the second year emphasizes career options for emerging photographers. Classes are led by some of the top photography instructors in Europe, who are joined at times by other noted photography professionals. Numerous travel and field experiences throughout Italy and Europe are integrated into the program, with a variety of opportunities to meet and interact with working photographers and artists. Students also gain practical experience as SACI Teaching Assistants and their photographic work is featured in major exhibitions in Florence.

Experiential Learning in the MFA Photography Program

Pursue your master’s degree at SACI and find life-changing, career-defining opportunities in one of the great photographic and artistic centers of the world.

In Florence, you’ll work in studio space in a fully renovated Renaissance palazzo near the Alinari Archives, an internationally-renowned repository of photographs taken worldwide from the 19th to 21st century.

You’ll explore a range of contemporary photographic practices through your graduate seminars, visiting photographers in their studios, and interviewing museum curators, critics, and other significant figures in the art and photography worlds.

You’ll also visit major art sites and attend international art and photography fairs throughout Italy and Europe. Destinations include European photography festivals, such as Paris Photo, Fotografia Festival Internazionale di Roma, and Photolux in Lucca. Other trips are organized to Milan, the castle of Fontanellato (Parma) to see one of the oldest functioning camera obscuras, the natural reserve of Valle Peligna in the region of Abruzzo, Agro Pontino, and the Volterrana Road (an Italian Route 66 in Tuscany).

Program Curriculum

Students in the MFA in Photography program follow an intensive curriculum designed to meet individual study goals. In addition to core graduate seminars, students choose from a variety of electives that supplement and enhance their specialized areas of study. Directed Independent Study courses complement classroom courses and are completed with one-on-one guidance from instructors. In their second year of study, graduate students have the opportunity to complete Teaching Assistantships and participate in the Work(in)Space exhibition series. During the final semester of the program, students take part in an MFA exhibition and complete a Final Paper and Final Presentation.

Visit the MFA in Photography program curriculum page for detailed information regarding program curriculum contents.

Careers and Networking

Italy is home to a thriving photographic community involved in wide ranging fields such as conceptual photography, landscape photography, and photojournalism. In addition to gaining valuable career connections through your graduate work, you’ll also have opportunities to interact with SACI’s Artists & Designers Council and the Friends of SACI, which include established artists, photographers, critics, curators, and publishers, many of international renown.

When you earn your master’s degree, you’ll be positioned to take your career to the next level. Graduates of the MFA Photography program at SACI are highly competitive when pursuing careers in photography as well as university-level teaching positions.

Find More Information about the MFA in Photography Program

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