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Low-residency MFAs


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The low-residency option seems to be getting more popular. It allows greater flexibility to pursue an MFA for those people with jobs and/or family obligations which don't permit one to drop everything for two years and go off and get an MFA at a standard MFA program. My question to anyone who is familiar with these low-res programs is:

- are they just as good as the standard MFA

- do graduates of these programs get the same jump-start in terms of contacts, peer group connections, "branding" from the school's degree

- do the schools which offer these programs really provide their best to these students

What have you all heard? Which are the best low-res programs for painters? I'd love your input.

FYI - I've looked around and am thinking of applying to three for myself: SFAI, MICA and Bard.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi, I was wondering the same things. I have applied to MICA, BARD and SFAI. I was in the final running at MICA but alas didn't make it. I have an interview tonight with SFAI and Bard told me I didn't get accepted a week ago. I'd like to know more from people who have already experienced these programs. There is another another fairly new low residency program at PNCA which I've interviewed for as well.

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I was toying with the idea of low/medium residencies last year but decided they were not for me, it seemed like all the ones i was looking into where more interdisciplinary, which i enjoyed.

It seemed to me that you needed to be pretty well established...meaning, you needed to have a very generous studio space available to you, and, (my hangup) live in a city where you would be able to meet with mentors for critiques throughout the semester.

I remember being on the phone an admissions counselor and she asked me where i was living, I told her new york and her response was " oh thats great ! we have so many mentors, and artists affiliated with our school in nyc"

i interrupted her and poped her enthusiasm balloon by explaining that i was in western ny, 5 hours away from the city. She basically then told me i'd have to move, completely defeating the idea of a low residency program..haha

this is probably things you already know, sorry i couldn't be more help or speak from experience.... hopefully someone on here can give you more insight!

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I actually didn't apply at SFAI because I was there in October for the grad portfolio event (which they hosted) and I got this weird feeling that they were pushing their low residency program...

Nothing against that, but I was looking forward to relocating, to actually being in touch with folks like me (not just online) and I could use the studio space to paint... On another note, I wish I had applied to ONE low residency program, just in case...

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