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MA Program in Critical Theory and the Arts

ADMISSION FOR THE 2015-2016 ACADEMIC YEAR

The Committee on Graduate Admissions for the MA Program in Critical Theory and the Arts is accepting applications for the 2015-2016 academic year. Those interested in admission should feel free to contact the MA Department office at theoryart@sva.edu prior to submitting materials for consideration.

The Online Application for Graduate Admissions is available here.

The MA Department may request a personal interview with the applicant after the application materials have been reviewed.

Prospective students will be notified of the status of their applications shortly after a decision is reached.

Students not offered a place one year may apply again in other years.

Those interested in submitting an application should read the “Admission to the Program” “Application Procedures” and “Practical Matters” sections below. (International applicants should note that there are additional requirements.)

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 Critical Theory and the Arts 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— other genres are acceptable, too).
  • The MA Department 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.

Application Procedures

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 for Graduate Admissions is available here.
  • Submit the following materials to the SVA Office of Graduate Admissions:
    1. 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.
    2. Three letters of recommendation from individuals writing on your behalf. Letters should be written on school or company letterhead and signed by the recommenders.
    3. 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.
    4. Writing Sample: Submit with your Statement something else you have written, on any topic, that is representative of your work (e.g., an academic essay, a senior thesis, another form of writing). The Writing Sample does not have to be a published piece.
  • The MA Department 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.

If you are submitting any of the above materials as paper copies, please address them to:

Office of Graduate Admissions
School of Visual Arts
209 East 23rd Street
New York, NY 10010-3994

International Applicants

Language Proficiency

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. For a list of recommended agencies, click here.

Additional Documentation

In addition to the application materials described above, international applicants may need to submit a Copy of Permanent Resident Card (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). Refer to the International Student Office (ISO) website for details regarding these and other documents and procedures.

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 Program in Critical Theory and the Arts.

Contact

  • Phone: 212.592.2236
  • Fax: 212.592.2241
  • E-mail: iso@sva.edu

Practical Matters

Tuition and Fees

For information about tuition and fees, go to the “Graduate Tuition and Department Fees” section of the SVA College website, found here.

Departmental Scholarships and Assistantships

Limited departmental scholarship funds are awarded based on merit and financial need. Interested applicants should mention in the application their desire to be considered for these funds.

On occasion we are able to provide a limited number of teaching and research assistantships to our students. In general, however, we do what we can to make scholarships free of departmental responsibilities, so that our students have as much time as possible for their studies.

Types of Financial Aid Available

SVA provides a list and overview of the various types of financial aid available, on the SVA college website. To go to the “Types of Aid Available” section of the SVA website, click here.

Federal Financial Aid

SVA participates in all federal financial aid options and requires only one form: the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

To fill out a FAFSA form, click here.

The optimal filing date for new students to submit their FAFSA is February 1; applications are processed and reviewed for eligibility on a first-come, first-served basis.

MA program candidates planning to apply for FAFSA should do so as soon as possible. You do not have to wait until your MA application is complete to submit the necessary forms to FAFSA.

For more information about financial aid from the SVA college website, click here.

To contact the Office of Financial Aid at SVA, call 212.592.2030 or send an e-mail to fa@sva.edu.

Health and Counseling Services

Students at SVA are automatically enrolled in the school-sponsored accident insurance plan. This coverage is included in the tuition and cannot be waived.

Students are additionally enrolled in the SVA-sponsored sickness insurance plan and billed the Health Insurance Fee. The Health Insurance Fee is charged each semester and students who register and attend classes for the fall and spring semester have coverage for one year.

Students who have other health insurance that can be used in the New York City area and do not wish to keep the sickness portion of the SVA-sponsored insurance must complete the online waiver by the applicable deadline. Failure to complete the waiver results in automatic enrollment in the SVA plan at the current rate. There are no refunds of the Health Insurance Fee after the deadline has passed.

SVA provides confidential Counseling Services free of charge.

Housing

Campus housing is available for graduate students. To read about the SVA residence halls, costs and rates, tours, and applications, click here.

SVA Student Resources

For general information on Student Life and the Student Resources provided by the School of Visual Arts, click here.