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Columbia College Chicago
MFA in Photography

MFA in Photography

MFA Degree Requirements

Advance Your Creative Practice
Columbia College Chicago guides aspiring fine art photographers through a stylistically diverse MFA program that emphasizes aesthetic and conceptual development alongside advanced photographic technique. The program is grounded in art history and theory and invested in the critical dialogue on contemporary photography. In three years of focused study, students develop a sophisticated body of work, an understanding of the theoretical perspectives that support that work, and the necessary tools of professional practice, which will accelerate their careers as working artists.

Develop a Mature Body of Work
At Columbia, graduate students are allowed the essential time required to create a thoughtful, mature body of photographic work. With three years to incubate their ideas, develop their style, and advance their craft, graduates of the program emerge as confident artists prepared to position themselves as professionals within the complex landscape of contemporary art. The degree culminates in a thesis exhibition at one of the campus galleries.

Distinguished Faculty and Sophisticated Facilities
Students are supported in their studies by one of the most distinguished groups of teaching photographers in the country. Full time faculty, including Dawoud Bey, Kelli Connell, Paul D’Amato, Myra Greene, and Bob Thall, bring passion for the medium and immense professional experience to the classroom. Students undertake coursework that includes intimate graduate seminars and independent projects to allow for deep engagement and personal interaction with their talented, practitioner-based faculty.

The graduate program utilizes state of the art facilities, which are the most extensive in the Midwest. There is a graduate color darkroom and a Digital Imaging Lab, which includes more than 120 workstations, highly sophisticated scanning equipment, and an assortment of large-format printers. There are two studios with an extensive array of professional lighting equipment, numerous 8x10 and 4x5 cameras, medium format and digital cameras, and other digital equipment. The photography department also works closely with the Art & Design department's 3,000 square foot Photo Print Media lab, which features media ranging from hand book-binding to experimental photo/graphic techniques.

Judy Natal, Graduate Program Co-Coordinator

Paul D'Amato, Graduate Program Co-Coordinator

Jenn Jones, Academic Coordinator