Where Artist Meets Author

When words and images come together, they can create powerful visual narratives — stories that can touch hearts, change minds and even change the way we see our world – Story First.

Chair Statement

The Visual Narrative MFA at SVA responds to the needs of today’s evolving creative markets by merging the artist and author. It’s an evolutionary process that puts story first and gives you the tools you need to craft your own stories and to help others craft theirs.

More than just a degree program, the MFA Visual Narrative program is a school of thought that immerses you in story. A select group of artist/authors, we are a diverse, tight-knit community where you learn in small classes and are mentored by top professionals who know how to navigate today’s competitive creative markets.

Part of the extraordinary appeal of the program is that it is low-residency. Three intensive eight-week summer semesters at SVA in New York City give you the chance to connect with your peers and professors, to create in-studio and to absorb the Visual Narrative process. Additionally, you are able to access the myriad of creative opportunities in the city and to build a community of colleagues and mentors that supports and inspires. Four semesters of on-line coursework, critiques, discussions and interactive projects give you the freedom to pursue your passion and live your life — without uprooting it.

In today’s workplace, storytelling is increasing demand. At MFA Visual Narrative, you’ll develop a fluency in what we call “Visual Writing.” We think of it as a whole new language that can take your creativity to the next level and give you the competitive edge in today’s creative economy. If you’re ready to dig deep, uncover universal truths and live and breathe story, come join us. The world needs compelling stories.

What’s yours?

Nathan Fox
Chair, MFAVN

About the Program

Whether you want to enhance your work through the power of story or take your professional skills to the next level, the MFA in Visual Narrative, one of SVA’s newest graduate degrees, is designed to make you think “Story First”, and answer the increasing demand for great stories and storytellers.

A holistic approach, MFA Visual Narrative is a low-residency program that gives equal emphasis to creative writing and to visual art in all mediums. This merger of art and writing is a powerful tool that we think of as a whole new language. We call it Visual Writing. And our students are fluent. But fluent communication takes commitment and requires total immersion. It’s intense, it’s empowering and it gives new purpose to your creativity. You’ll find that the MFAVN is more than a graduate program; it’s a new way of seeing the world. Story First.

A diverse group of carefully curated students spends three intensive summer residencies at SVA’s NYC campus. Then, two fall and two spring semesters engage students in rigorous on-line coursework— from anywhere in the world.

Small classes, taught by top professionals who understand a range of the competitive markets, provide an incubator for ideas, experimentation and play. Diversity of the class and of the community lends itself to unexpected collaborations and off-the charts creativity. One-on-one mentoring develops in-demand skills for producing films and animation, publishing original content, developing digital interactive media – winning loyal audiences in emerging industries where visual storytelling drives creative direction.

The MFA Visual Narrative program gives you the tools to craft your own stories and help others craft theirs.

Who Should Apply

This program is designed for professionals, educators and students from all creative disciplines to explore what story means to them and to integrate visual storytelling into their art practice. Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in any subject, and need to demonstrate proficiency in both creative writing and narrative art forms. Because of the nature of a low-residency program, successful students will demonstrate a high level of professional discipline and practice.

The MFA Visual Narrative program is proud to offer an Educator’s Scholarship award for instructors currently teaching two or more classes at an accredited university or college, with at least two years experience. Full-time K-12 faculty with two years experience are also eligible. MFAVN will award up to three scholarships annually, each covering 10-50% of tuition. A bachelor’s degree or equivalent is required, but can be from any area of study, including sciences, humanities, arts or business.

Detailed application guides for both standard and Educator’s Scholarship applications are available here.

Summertime at MFAVN