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School of Visual Arts

United States Full Member Institution

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Mission Statement

The mission of School of Visual Arts is to educate those that aspire to become professional artists and/or to work in several related fields.

International Role

The SVA student body today consists of over 3,650 undergraduate students, 564 graduate students, and 2,200 continuing education students from almost every state in the U.S., as well as from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and Central and South America. More than 20% of our undergraduate student population and more than 30% of graduate students are international. This diversity is enhanced by our institutional membership in the International Association of Independent Art and Design Schools (AIAS) as well as with official agreements with more than 20 prestigious art and design institutions around the world. Additionally, we have established Memorandum of Understanding with another 12 institutions in an effort to freely exchange best practices in providing an arts education from a global perspective.

National Role

SVA has been recognized nationally as a leader in the education of artists and professionals in the arts for over six decades, with alumni residing in a majority of states and employed by organizations including Disney; MTV Networks; the Museum of Modern Art; Polo Ralph Lauren; R/GA; Skidmore, Owings and Merrill; Pixar; Sony Dreamworks; and Wieden + Kennedy. SVA has developed a loyal following for its participation in the cultural life of New York City through its popular series of public lectures by internationally renowned artists, designers, critics and curators, and active program of 50 public exhibitions annually in 3 galleries. SVA has presented programs in collaboration with the Art Directors Club, New York; Aqua Art Miami; the Affordable Art Fair, New York; Art Institute of Boston; Aperture Foundation, New York; the City University of New York; David Zwirner Gallery, New York; Kean University, Union, New Jersey; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the National Coalition Against Censorship; New York University; the New School, New York; Northeastern University, Boston; Pace Gallery, New York; MoMA PS1, New York; the Rubin Museum of Art, New York; and William Patterson University, New Jersey. A major reason for the continued growth of our student body is our belief that “today’s art college must meet today’s needs.” Remaining a vital institution dedicated to helping students become artists capable of facing the increasingly rapid changes in their lives, their careers and society as a whole is what SVA is all about. The College has consistently engaged a faculty of well-known artists, critics, designers and writers who are active and respected in their fields. Students are thereby exposed to excellence while being introduced to and challenged by the professional standards they will be expected to uphold later in life.

Main Focus

Art and Design

Faculties and Departments

School of Visual Arts offers programs of study in Undergraduate, Graduate, and Continuing Education.

Bachelor Level Programs

4 year Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) programs in Advertising; Animation; Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects; Cartooning; Film & Video; Fine Arts; Graphic Design; Illustration; Interior Design; Photography; and Visual & Critical Studies

Master Level Programs

2 year Master of Fine Arts (MFA) programs in Art Criticism & Writing; Art Practice; Computer Art; Design; Design Criticism; Design for Social Innovation; Fine Arts; Illustration as Visual Essay; Interaction Design; Photography, Video and Related Media; Products of Design; Social Documentary Film 1 year Master in Arts (MA) program in Critical Theory and the Arts 1 year Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program in Art Education 1 year Master in Professional Studies (MPS) program in Branding; Digital Photography; Fashion Photography; Live Action Short Film; and a 2 year MPS program in Art Therapy

Research Activity and Main Areas


Doctorate Level Programs


Subject Areas for Exchange Students

Advertising; Animation; Cartooning; Film & Video; Fine Arts; Graphic Design; Illustration; Interior Design; Photography; and Visual & Critical Studies

Application Deadlines

May 1 for Fall semester; September 15 for Spring semester

Teaching Languages


Semester Dates

Fall: September 7 – December 21; Spring: January 10 – May 3

Cost of Living Per Month (Studying and Living)



Bachelor: 3500
Master: 600

Exchange Students

Incoming: 45
Outgoing: 15
Others: 2500

Teaching Staff

Part-time Teachers: 962

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