Selected applicants are asked to visit the program office for an interview with the program chair. Phone interviews are possible when the applicant lives outside of the New York City area.
Prospective students will be notified of the status of their applications shortly after a decision is reached.
After January 15th, 2014, applications to the MA program will only be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Students not offered a place one year are welcome to reapply in latter years.
To apply to the MA Program in Critical Theory and the Arts, read the “Admission to the Program” and “Application Procedures” carefully. (International applicants should note that there are additional requirements, described below.)
Admission to the Program
Applicants to the MA Program in Critical Theory and the Arts must have a BA, BS, BFA or the equivalent prior to entering the program. Applicants must have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (A=4.0); applicants with previous graduate coursework must have a graduate GPA of 3.0 (A=4.0).
Admission to the program is decided by the Committee on Graduate Admissions. The committee will base its decision on:
- Evaluation of official transcripts from each college or university the applicant has attended.
- Receipt of three letters of recommendation from individuals writing on the applicant’s behalf.
- Consideration of the applicant’s Statement of Purpose, an approximately 500-word essay explaining the development of the applicant’s interest in applying to the MA Program in Critical Theory and the Arts.
- Review of the applicant’s writing sample. The writing sample should consist of a written piece—it does not have to be a published piece—on any topic that is representative of the applicant’s interests (e.g., an academic essay, a senior thesis, or another genre is acceptable).
- The MA Program may request a personal interview with the applicant after the application materials have been reviewed.
For Visual Artists only: If it is relevant to your application, include information about your practice and what your contemporary concerns are in your work. We would be interested in viewing your work, but a portfolio is not required.
Enrollment of individuals from historically underrepresented groups in higher education is a priority of this program.
APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2014-2015 ACADEMIC YEAR
To apply to the MA Program in Critical Theory and the Arts, complete the following steps:
- Fill out and submit an online application form and pay the non-refundable $80 application fee using a credit card. The online application instructions, application form, and Graduate Application Materials Cover Sheet are available here. The cover sheet should be submitted along with the materials listed in the next section.
- Submit the following materials together in one package to the SVA Office of Graduate Admissions:
- Official transcripts from each college or university attended. Transcripts from foreign institutions must be officially translated into English and U.S. grading equivalencies. Those records that are not converted into U.S. equivalencies must be evaluated by an external evaluation agency. A list of recommended agencies is available here.
- Three letters of recommendation from individuals writing on your behalf. Letters should be written on school or company letterhead and returned to the applicant in a sealed envelope with the recommender’s signature across the seal.
- Statement of Purpose: In approximately 500 words, explain the development of your interest in the MA degree in Critical Theory and the Arts. In the largest sense, what’s on your mind? Where are you now, and where have you been? Touch on your life and education to date, the range of your interests and any experience in the arts. Let us know if your interests are especially social, political, philosophical, or art historical.
- Writing Sample: Submit with your statement something else you have written, on any topic, (an academic essay, a senior thesis, or another form of writing) that is representative of your work. The writing sample should consist of a written piece—it does not have to be a published piece—of something you have written, on any topic (e.g., an academic essay, a senior thesis, or another form of writing).
- The MA Program may contact applicants to schedule a personal interview after the application materials have been reviewed.
For Visual Artists only: If you are an artist, and if it is relevant to your application, include information about your practice and what your contemporary concerns are in your work. We would be interested in viewing your work, but a portfolio is not required.
The materials listed above (except the online application and application fee, which you will have submitted online) must be received by the Office of Graduate Admissions by mail or in person. Send or drop off all supplemental materials with the Graduate Application Materials Cover Sheet (found here) to:
Office of Graduate Admissions
School of Visual Arts
209 East 23rd Street
New York, NY 10010-3994
Please use the Graduate Application Materials Cover Sheet as a means of organizing your materials. It will help you keep track of and complete all the necessary parts of your application to the program.
In addition to the general application requirements, applicants must possess the equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree and a strong working knowledge of English. All applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate a level of proficiency that will allow them to participate fully in class discussions and complete written assignments and exams. Proficiency can be demonstrated in the following ways:
- Obtain a minimum score of 250 on the computer-based, 100 on the Internet-based or 600 on the paper-based TOEFL. Please note that the CEEB code for School of Visual Arts is 2835. This is the code that must be supplied to ETS in order to have TOEFL scores mailed to SVA.
- Obtain a minimum score of 8.0 on the IELTS. IELTS is jointly managed by University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL), British Council and IDP Education Australia: IELTS Australia.
- Obtain a minimum score of 9 on the English proficiency examination administered by the New York University American Language Institute in New York. For information on taking the NYU test, call 212.998.7040.
- SVA will consider waiving the English proficiency exam requirement for students who have earned a degree at a regionally accredited U.S. college or university. Students seeking this waiver must submit a written request with their application materials.
- International applicants will also have an opportunity to demonstrate their proficiency in English through the writing sample and personal interview portions of the application.
Foreign Institution Transcripts
Official transcripts from each college or university attended is a general application requirement. Transcripts from foreign institutions must be officially translated into English and U.S. grading equivalencies. Those records that are not converted into U.S. equivalencies must be evaluated by an external evaluation agency. A list of recommended agencies is available here.
In addition to the application materials described above, international applicants may need to submit a Copy of Permanent Resident Card (Required for Permanent Residents only), a Declaration of Finances Form (For applicants desiring student visa only), and a Verification of Finances/Bank Letter (For applicants desiring student visa only).
The International Student Office (ISO) provides information and services to international students concerning visas and immigration regulations, as well as help with cultural adjustment through orientation programs, information sessions, activities and individual advisement sessions. Please contact the ISO if you are an international applicant planning to apply to the MA in Critical Theory and the Arts.
International Student Office Staff
- Kaori Uchisaka, Director
- Tony Hsien-Wen Wang, Associate Director
- Nadia Rizvi, Coordinator
- Phone: 212.592.2236
- Fax: 212.592.2241
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org