VCFA NOW: the official vermont college of fine arts blog

Choosing the Right MFA Program: Part 1

Posted by Lyn Chamberlin on Jun 13, 2012 10:02:00 AM

low-residency MFA studentsHow do you choose the MFA program that's right for you?

Here are some key factors to consider as you draw up your Top 10 list of schools:

Low-residency or traditional?

A typical low-residency MFA program requires you to be on campus for two 10-day residencies per year. These 10-day periods are packed with lectures, workshop sessions, performances, exhibitions and readings. The remainder of the year is spent working under the guidance of a faculty advisor. A traditional MFA program is what it sounds like: you live on or near campus and attend classes and workshops every day.

Many students prefer the low-residency structure because it allows them to fulfill work and family obligations while they work toward their degree. Here at Vermont College of Fine Arts, students and faculty gather on the Montpelier campus twice a year for residencies. Both students and faculty stay in houses on campus and take meals together in the college dining hall. What follows— a series of intensive days of readings, lectures, workshops, events, seminars, exhibits, performances, recording sessions and other activities—is a striking contrast to the six months of solitary work between residencies, and is meant to be.

As a pioneer in the delivery of low-residency graduate fine arts education for more than thirty years, we know how successful this approach is for a wide range of students from all corners of the globe. We are a community of kindred spirits who honor the requisite solitude of the creative process while celebrating the critical and collective voices of education.



Topics: low-residency mfa, low-residency, how to choose mfa

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