A Message from the Dean

The Yale School of the Fine Arts opened in 1869 as the first art school connected with an institution of higher learning in the United States. Today, as the leading M.F.A. program in the country, the Yale School of Art remains situated within the larger research university, providing our students with the opportunity for a broader education in visual arts and graphic design. We currently augment the excellent studio-based education with an engaging selection of elective courses and workshops that explore the intersections of art through cultural, social, political, and economic perspectives. Students work closely with a renowned full-time and tenured faculty together with a visiting faculty of internationally recognized artists, designers, scholars, and critics to further develop their individual professional practice.

This bulletin details the course requirements and policies of the M.F.A. program, taking into account that it extends beyond the School into a wider constellation of programming. The porousness of the M.F.A. program allows the School to respond to the evolving interests of its students in areas and practices beyond those offered within the core curriculum. The School of Art recognizes that an individual student’s experience is not limited to an existence within an enclosed intellectual and artistic preserve, but is also one that is interrelational, transformative, and identify-forming. Being a professional student within Yale University opens avenues of cooperation across disciplines. While this includes the traditional and established relationships with the Schools of Architecture, Drama, and Music, it also presents discussions within the broader sciences and humanities, as well as opportunities with the Yale University Art Gallery, Yale Center for British Art, the Center for Collaborative Arts and Media, the Center for Engineering Innovation and Design, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and the Yale Farm to name only a few.

The Yale School of Art upholds the value of autonomy within and around developing an artist’s studio practice while preserving the development of an engaged student community wherein alterity is respected, diversity sought, and the freedom of artistic expression coveted. Graduates of the Yale School of Art contribute to the field of contemporary art in various and unique capacities as artists, designers, educators, and community mediators.


Kymberly Pinder

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Dean

Yale School of Art