FAQs

Questions from the 2010 MPS Digital Photography Online Information Session

For application questions please e-mail: gradadmissions@sva.edu and cc mpsphoto@sva.edu
For additional information please visit
www.sva.edu/digitalphoto and/or email mpsphoto@sva.edu

After graduation what jobs do the program graduates get?

Upon successful completion of the program, our students are thoroughly versed in digital-imaging tools, terms and techniques; including critical networking issues, workflow strategies, color management applications and current business practices. Our graduates are working commercial, editorial, fashion, and fine-art photographers, studio managers, high-end retouchers, authors, consultants & trainers, and college faculty. Please note – the ability to teach on a college level in a tenure-track position often requires an MFA degree.

What is the difference between an MFA and the MPS degree?

The MFA is a terminal degree in studio arts, and typically requires two years of study, centering on a practice in a particular field with an academic and research element. All MFA programs at SVA require the completion of 60 to 64 credits.

The MPS degree is a Masters of Professional Studies degree that is an accredited degree that emphasizes learning real-world skills and professionally relevant material in one to two years of study. An MPS program is often more practical than academic, requiring intensive hands-on work that complements the classroom learning and the completion of rigorous thesis projects.

What are the similarities and differences between the MPS Digital Photography and the MPS Fashion Photography programs?

The similarities between the MPS Digital Photo and the MPS Fashion Photo are:

  1. Both have a rigorous one year curriculum
  2. Contemporary topics in all classes
  3. Outstanding faculty
  4. Small student body that insures one on one faculty to student relationships & mentorships
  5. Benefits of being in NYC

Differences between the MPS Digital Photo and the MPS Fashion Photo are:

  1. Fashion Program is dedicated to the fashion photography narrative.
  2. Digital Photo program is dedicated to both technical and conceptual rigor across a variety of types of photography – editorial, fashion, commercial, fine-art, etc.
  3. Digital Photo students have a wide variety of photographic experience and interests – this enriches the learning experience for all involved.
  4. MPS Digital Photography program offered as both on-campus and on-line/summer residency programs.
  5. Graduates of the MPS Digital Photo program are employed in a wide variety of photo-related fields including: education, studio management, technical writing, high-end retouching and of course being photographers in a wide variety of photo fields.

ONLINE Program Questions

How many students will be accepted into online program?

A maximum of 16 students.

What do kind of students are best suited for the online program?

To be successful in the online learning environment, it is essential to be disciplined in terms of reading, completing the assignments, and participating in the class discussions. In other words – you are in charge of your schedule.

Do you offer the MPS DP only online?

The MPS Digital Photography program also has a successful in-classroom program that will continue, along with the online program.

What do you think is better the online or the in-classroom version of the program?

The online/summer residency version of the MPS Digital Photography program has an identically rigorous curriculum with many of the same faculty as the in-classroom version.  It is ideal for anyone who has a deep passion for exploring the confluence of photographic aesthetics and digital technology but cannot relocate to New York City for the full eleven months required. The program will be conducted online during the fall and spring semesters and will culminate in an intensive nine-week summer session in New York City, where students will collaborate with in-classroom students and work with faculty and staff to produce their final thesis projects including large format prints and collateral materials for the group exhibition.

Can this program be spread out over more then one year?

Yes, the online program can be completed in two years in which the student takes two classes per semester and attends the summer session in the second summer.

The in-classroom version must be completed in the one year.

Does the classroom program share the same thesis show with the online program?

Yes, the classroom program and the online program will share the same thesis show and we’re very excited about that!

What would the class schedule be like for the online students?

The fall and spring semester schedule is the same as the residency program and is posted on-line. The primary difference is that the online courses are taught in an asynchronous format and have no pre-scheduled meeting times. This means that you can log-on at anytime in the week to read the lectures, participate in discussion, do assignments, etc. Specific class requirements and deadlines for reading, projects, discussion, critique, assignments and examinations are defined by each instructor – but we highly recommend that you spread out the weekly work through the entire week and not wait until the last minute to do all of the work.

Do the instructors give letter grades or narrative comments?

Both. Instructors provide a variety of feedback – form written, to audio and video recordings and online meetings with students. Your final class grade is always a letter grade that is based on the college standards.

Will we be expected to critique the other students often and/or extensively?

Yes, you are required to be actively involved in the weekly discussion board and critique. Its essential to participate to develop critical visual skills to become a better image-maker!

Can you talk a little bit about how the online courses are set up?

Yes, they are set up on a weekly basis (following the regular semester schedule). You will log in and read the lecture, view demonstration videos, be given your assignments, and the weekly discussion topics.

When you say online students work on their own schedule, do you mean the classes are not live?

That is correct.  The classes are mainly asynchronous – meaning you can log-on at any time during the week, but are some options for critique and group projects, etc., which will be done live.

Is the weekly discussion board on Tuesdays and Thursdays or over a period of time?

The discussion boards take place throughout the week and are not live. They do have deadlines for posting and contributing and the instructors participate on a regular basis.

ON-Campus Program Questions

How many students will be accepted into on-campus program?

A maximum of 18 students.

What about shooting facilities, lighting studios, etc for student use?

The department has a shared studio workspace that can be scheduled for smaller photo-shoots. For larger, more involved shoots there are rental studios and equipment rental business very close to the school.

Can we audit classes? If so, which is the maximum amount of credits we can see per semester?

Graduate students are allowed to audit an undergraduate and/or continuing education classes and in the MPS Digital Photography program due we recommend auditing classes in the spring and summer semesters.

Tuition & Finances

Question: Are the course fees for the online course up on the SVA web site?

Tuition is posted on the SVA website and the MPS Digital Photography department does not have additional fees.

What is the credit total for all of these courses?

33 credits

International Student Questions

I’m an overseas candidate, is there any kind of special support/information for this kind of situation?

Please review these FAQs and please contact the International Student Office at iso@sva.edu, 212.592.2236 for additional information.

Can I receive an I-20, the Certificate of Eligibility by studying in the MPS Digital Photography Online program?
Yes, for the summer semester only.  International students in the MPS Digital Photography Online/Residency Program with F-1 student status are required by federal regulations to pursue a full course of study. To comply, in addition to the department’s thesis production classes all international students with F-1 student status are required to register for a three-credit elective course for the summer semester to total 12 credits. The course must be selected during the spring semester in conjunction with the thesis project and be approved by the department chair.

What are the enrollment requirements for international students?
In addition to fulfilling the general and departmental requirements for admission, nonimmigrant applicants are required to submit a declaration of finances and verification of finances prior to enrollment. Applicants to the MPS Digital Photography Online/Residency Program will be required to substantiate $20,000 to cover the cost of the summer semester only: an estimated total cost of attendance including tuition, fees, health insurance, living expenses and supplies.

What should I do if I am currently attending another school in the U.S. on an F-1 visa and I am accepted to this program?

If you wish to remain in the U.S., you will be required to maintain your F-1 student status until SVA’s Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 form) can be issued for the summer residency semester.  If you wish to return to your home country, you may re-enter the U.S. as an F-1 student with SVA’s Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 form) for the summer residency semester.

What are the employment options for international students?
F-1 students who complete the online summer residency semester will be required to depart the U.S. within 60-days of the program end date.  Employment cannot be authorized during this time period.  Students who seek employment authorization upon completion of studies will need to apply for another visa type sponsored by the employer.

I am here as a tourist/visitor but I really want to apply to this program. Can I study in this program on my tourist/visitor status?

No. Studying at SVA on a full-time basis as a tourist/visitor on a B1/B2 visa or the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) is a violation of your visa status. The U.S. law does not allow a visitor-status visa holder to enroll in a course of study which leads to a degree or vocational certificate.

Question:  What are the score requirements for English as a Second Language students?

  • A minimum score of 213 on the computerized version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
  • A minimum score of 79 on the Internet-based version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
  • A minimum score of 550 on the Paper-based version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
  • A minimum score of 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). IELTS is jointly managed by University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL), British Council and IDP Education Australia: IELTS Australia.

Applications that are complete except for the TOEFL score will not be reviewed until the TOEFL score is received.

Please note: The on-line program requires a lot of reading and writing of technical information and the more fluent you are with English the more you will benefit from the program.

General Application Questions

Who should I ask for letters of recommendation?

You must submit three letters of recommendation from instructors or practicing professionals. Instructors and professionals that you have worked with in the art field are encouraged, but recommendations are also acceptable from instructors or working professionals not specifically in this field.

How do I apply?

ALL graduate applicants to the Fall 2011 semester are required to complete the ONLINE application form and submit the $80 application fee. The application form can be found through our website at http://www.applyweb.com/apply/svag

Please visit http://www.sva.edu/grad/index.jsp?sid0=2&sid1=227&page_id=460 for specific application and portfolio information.

When is the deadline for applications?

4 Responses to FAQs

  1. Your article was very attention grabbing and was just what I was searching for. — Nancy

  2. Jacob Roling says:

    Hi Some good thought provoking content on here. Good work.

  3. All the questions I had were just answered and has made me very interested in applying.

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