For the 2011 MA Collaborative project Transit/Stasis: Negotiating Movement in the City, students commissioned projects
from artists including the collective Resonant City, which proposed this centralized Bay Area transit system.

master of arts

The Master of Arts (MA) degree programs provide a generative context for advanced scholarly inquiry into the major ideas, institutions, and discourses of contemporary art, and the sociocultural and political conditions of its production.

Working with artists, historians, theorists, curators, practitioners, and thinkers from diverse disciplines, MA students participate in seminars, research and writing colloquia, and have opportunities for curating, internships, and travel. These interdisciplinary offerings prepare the student to identify and pursue an individualized course of study that will culminate in the final research thesis.

Students in all three MA programs pursue a topic of their own choosing, in depth, through the writing of a thesis. Research begins in the first year and continues throughout the second year. Alongside the writing of this project, students present their research in a public symposium.

Essential to SFAI’s MA Programs is their location within a studio art school. MA students pursue their academic disciplines in a laboratory of contemporary art, taking classes alongside, and often working directly with, MFA students. Exhibitions, public programs, and SFAI’s unique dual capstone requirement—an individual written thesis, as well as a multifaceted collaborative project—allow MA students to further intertwine academic research and professional experiences.

COLLOQUY: An Exchange Project
Issue One, Fall 2013

COLLOQUY is a graduate student–led publication that explores the generative potential of creative exchange. Through “colloquial” essays, interviews, and conversations, the project fosters varied forms of dialogue, bringing together the diverse and energetic thinkers of the SFAI graduate community.


2014 Principal Catalogue

Showcasing the emerging artists featured in Principal, the 2014 MFA Exhibition at the Old Mint, this catalogue highlights diverse work from SFAI's MFA and MA programs.


2013 Currency Catalogue

This catalogue showcases the emerging artists featured in Currency, the 2013 MFA Exhibition at San Francisco's Old Mint, and work created throughout the MFA and MA programs.


2012 MFA/MA Art and Ideas

This book showcases SFAI's graduate programs and the diverse, ambitious work by the next generation of artists from this celebrated school.


SFAI Graduate Admissions Viewbook