The state-of-the-art Center for Media, Film and Theatre (CMFT) building at Purchase College, SUNY

“Purchase has been an interesting blend of generative and challenging. It’s a fertile place to take risks.” —Emma Welty, MA/MFA 2020.

Purchase College’s excellent production facilities, teaching, research, and public engagement opportunities provide a fertile environment for graduate art studies. Students develop their art practice within a comprehensive curriculum that includes individual mentoring by full-time faculty, collaborative work, theoretical inquiry, and the flexibility to explore their interests within Purchase College’s varied course offerings.

MA in Art History
The Art History MA program, Modern and Contemporary Art, Criticism, and Theory provides a unique academic experience that values the making of art as well as its interpretation and critique in modern and contemporary culture. A rigorous curriculum explores the critical background of 20th- and 21st-century art and visual culture. The MA colloquia introduce students to the work of some of the most prominent critics, artists, and historians working today.

The Museum + Curatorial Studies (M+) track within the Art History MA program is a hands-on course of study in the history, theory, and criticism of modern and contemporary art, as well as its institutions. Centered on the Neuberger Museum of Art and its rich permanent collection, this program uniquely connects the museum, the Art History department, and the School of Art+Design to provide the practical experience necessary for the contemporary arts professional.

MFA in Media Arts
The MFA program in Media Arts provides the academic, aesthetic, and technical tools to make art that matters. It is ideal for graduates who are interested in media arts, new media, digital arts, video art or related programs who want to further develop their practice. The Media Arts MFA program embraces an interdisciplinary post-studio approach, centering on contemporary art forms, social and political engagement, materiality, critical data studies, media ecologies, and alternative domains of cultural production and circulation. They provide the resources to create media art that is formally inventive, rigorously theorized, historically reflective, and socially engaged.

MFA in Visual Arts
The School of Art+Design offers a high-quality, affordable MFA program. A small and highly selective interdisciplinary program, it offers classes and critiques by full-time faculty and visiting artists of renown. Focus is on studio practice and access to state-of-the-art facilities that allow the students to create a culminating body of work after two years, beautifully exhibited at the school and a gallery in New York City. For those interested in developing teaching skills and pedagogical approaches to art-making, opportunities are available to teach undergraduates with skills acquired in a specially designed track. Professional practices classes involve weekly visits to New York area galleries, nonprofits, and funding organizations, and to the studios of established and emerging artists.

MA/MFA: A Joint Degree Opportunity
This is a three-year dual-degree option culminating in an MA in Art History through the School of Humanities and an MFA in Visual Arts or MFA in Media Arts. In addition to enhancing the student’s critical acumen, it prepares students for museum and gallery work and gives participants a competitive edge if they decide to pursue a teaching career in studio art.

Upcoming Events:

Graduate Happy Hour Meeting
November 11th, 5:30 pm

To meet our program chairs and faculty, and learn about our programs, please join us for a happy hour meeting at Essex Flowers Gallery, 19 Monroe St, New York, NY.
Register at

Open Studios
December 5th, 12:00-8 pm

Purchase College, Visual Arts and CMFT Buildings
735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, NY 10577
Participating programs: Visual Arts MFA, Media Arts MFA, and New Media BA

To Apply to the SUNY Purchase programs, visit

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