FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Information for All Prospective Students
How long is the program?
The master's degree in Curatorial Practice (MACP) is a 50-credit, two-year program (four semesters plus one summer internship).
Who should consider applying to our program?
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university. Applicants are expected to have a thorough knowledge of 20th-century art history and contemporary art or the equivalent in their cultural field through their undergraduate education or proven in their subsequent work experience. Applicants with prior curatorial experience who are seeking the next level of advancement for their careers are encouraged. We are particularly interested in candidates who will contribute to an intellectual community with curatorial work at its center that enriches the program and the larger cultural scene, as we consider the program a professional hub within the art world as a global network.
What will benefit me as a student toward professional work in the curatorial field?
A key aspect of our master's program is to present you with as many professional connections as possible to create a network of your own with curators at institutions in New York, across the United States, and around the world. In fact, each week you will be meeting with curators to hear what they are working on and talk with them directly to make these connections. And of course, our faculty and faculty-at-large include curators and experts from major New York institutions, as well as international museums and Kunsthallen. Internship opportunities are available at major cultural institutions around the world. We believe that the greater the exposure we can provide, along with the depth and intensity of the education we offer, the greater the opportunity for you to find curatorial placement at the end of the program, whether at a museum, a gallery, a Kunsthalle, an alternative space, a corporate collection, a foundation, or working independently.
Who do I contact if I have any questions about the application?
Please contact us directly. By phone: +1 212 592 2274. By email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the application deadline and process?
The deadline for applications is January 15. After that, there are rolling admissions if there are still places available in our small group of incoming students. Because of its small size, the selection is highly competitive and we urge applicants to apply by January 15. This means planning in advance to have all of your materials for the application ready, including your statement of purpose, your exhibition proposal, your college transcript, three recommendations, and if you are a foreign student for whom English is a second language, you must also take the TOEFL exam and have the results to submit for our application deadline. It is crucial that you understand the cost of tuition and living expenses and that you have a verifiable plan for how you will cover the costs. The program offers small merit-based scholarships and these are given to students in our applicant pool in the early selection process. Late applicants are much less likely to receive a scholarship. If accepted for our program, it is helpful to have a comfortable amount of time to arrange finances and housing. If you are applying as an international student, be sure to allow extra time for the translation of transcripts, as well as for visas and other paperwork that will be needed if you are accepted.
If I apply, when will I hear whether I have been admitted to the program?
If your application is submitted by January 15, you will be notified quickly if an interview needs to be scheduled and you will be notified about acceptance no later than March 15, and most likely earlier. If accepted, you have until April 15 to notify SVA of your intention to enroll.
Information for International Students
Can international students apply to this program?
Yes. Any student without U.S. citizenship will be required to obtain a visa prior to traveling to the U.S. Most students will apply for an F-1 visa, although certain other visa types are also acceptable for studying in the U.S. The College does provide support services for obtaining the visa. However, students are responsible for all costs and fees, including FedEx expenses, for processing visas. Please seriously consider starting the application early to allow for extra time for translation of transcripts and TOEFL score reports and other requirements. Please contact the International Student Office by email if you need any clarification on this issue: email@example.com.
Am I eligible for F-1 visa benefits, such as employment eligibility?
Federal regulations are very strict about employment for F-1 students. They are not eligible for paid or unpaid off-campus employment or internships during their first academic year.
What is the English language requirement?
Our curriculum devotes considerable time to the development of your writing, which makes it essential that you exhibit a strong command of both spoken and written English. MACP applicants must have a minimum score of 110 (Internet-based) TOEFL to be considered for admission. Detailed information can be found on SVA’s international student page here, which includes answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
Tuition and Fees
For the most current tuition and fees, please visit here.
What additional fees am I responsible for?
Students are expected to supply their own computer (Mac with OSX or PC with Windows 7 or higher). As well, students in the program are required to use Microsoft or Google software. Computers will be networked through the College for shared use of printers and scanners. Additional fees may apply for the studio art requirement. (See below: Can I take SVA Undergraduate classes?)
What are my options for financial aid?
The SVA Office of Financial Aid coordinates sources of aid to meet as much of students’ financial needs as possible. The site includes a list of free scholarship search engines.
Do SVA and our department offer any scholarships?
The primary form of scholarship for the program is a small merit-based grant offered by the department. These grants will only support a minimal portion of tuition. If a student is able to obtain an outside scholarship, SVA will match twenty-five percent, up to $2,500. There are also SVA Alumni Scholarship Awards. These interdepartmental awards offer support for the direct costs of completing a final thesis project. The grant ranges from $500 to $2,000, based on academic and artistic merit as determined by a review panel and financial need as demonstrated by your project budget.
How do I apply for financial aid?
All students who intend to apply for financial aid will be asked to indicate their intentions as part of the online application process. Then, instructions are as follows depending on whether or not you are a U.S. citizen or international:
For U.S. students:
All U.S. students applying for financial aid must fill out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), which can be found here.
For international students:
All international students must provide Graduate Declaration of Finance Form.
Are international students eligible for Federal Student Aid?
Students who are attending the MACP program on a student visa do not qualify for federal and state Financial Aid. There are some alternative loans that you can apply for with a co-signer who is a U.S. Citizen. We also recommend applying for scholarships. You may research scholarship opportunities at IEFA, a scholarship search engine which focuses on international students. We highly recommend prospective candidates to seek out financial support from their country’s governmental cultural institutions and other foundations.
What if I have more questions about financial aid?
If you have additional questions about the process or the forms, please consult SVA’s Financial Aid Frequently Asked Questions.
Is the program accredited by NASAD?
Yes, we are fully accredited.
What is the structure of the program?
During each semester of both years, all the courses are required for all students. Students should expect to be in classes or engaged in related activities each week of each semester. (During the last semester of the program, independent work on your final curatorial project will replace a considerable amount of class time.) The curriculum is founded on a series of case study seminars; writing workshops; practicums in every aspect of exhibition-making and other forms of curatorial practice; art history and exhibition history courses; theory courses; and programmatic engagements with curators, artists, and experts who will meet with the students as a group and on an individual basis. A for-credit internship is required during the summer between the two years of the program, and we work closely with each student to place her/him/they with a curator or director of a significant international institution.
Can I take SVA undergraduate classes?
MACP requires one art practice course taken on the undergraduate level, unless special experience allows for these classes to be done at the graduate level with the Chair’s approval. However, as the MACP curriculum and basic requirements are highly time-intensive, we do not recommend that students add extra courses to their workloads. MACP students may, with the Chair’s approval, audit one undergraduate or one continuing education course each semester.
Attending SVA: Housing and Work
Does SVA offer housing?
SVA offers students several housing options to fit all living preferences and budgets. The 23rd or 24th Street Residencies and the Ludlow Residence are traditional-style residence halls that offer single and double room options. For information about our residence halls, please look here.
How do I apply for housing?
If you are an incoming student and you have received your acceptance letter from SVA, submit your housing deposit and your enrollment fees to the Office of Admissions. They will update your student status and will inform our office of your interest. You will then receive an email inviting you to complete the online housing application. If you are a current SVA student, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and check MySVA for updates.
Can I maintain a full-time or part-time job while pursuing the degree?
Students may have part-time jobs as they complete their coursework. All students must, however, attend all classes and dedicate their time to the program. Given the demands of the program, it is expected that students make sufficient time to do their academic work thoroughly. It is important to note that international students on F-1 student visas are not eligible for work off-campus during their first academic year.
Is paid work available at SVA?
There are campus part-time jobs on SVA's online jobs board that students can apply for. The nature of these positions varies from year to year. International students are eligible to apply for part-time jobs at SVA even if holding an F-1 visa.