M.F.A. in Photography

Justin TrupianoJustin Trupiano, MFA Reviews, 2017


Images will arguably be the most important documents of the 21st century, operating at the intersection of communication, commerce and culture. The MFA program educates students to be critically skilled, visually literate and creatively prepared for a world where photography, video and streaming media are responsible for much of our visual knowledge. The program encourages student initiatives in research and teaching that seek new paradigms of literacy through a critical and creative exploration of emerging forms of image making. The interdisciplinary structure of the curriculum encourages students to explore a range of related media in pursuit of their creative objectives. 

The MFA program is a three-year fine arts curriculum in which photography students formally interact with other graduate students in the department through visiting artist seminars, contemporary history and criticism classes, exhibitions, critiques and studio practice. All students acquire undergraduate teaching experience over three years. Proficiencies in digital still and video technologies are expected while traditional darkroom processes remain a valuable creative component to the program. 


Martina Lopez

Teaching Scholar

Kris Johnson


The photography program is located in the Riley Hall of Art and Design. The facilities include computer labs, black & white darkrooms; two well-equipped lighting studios with digital capture stations and a digital printing lab operated by the Center for Creative Computing. A full-time technician maintains the facility and manages the equipment check-out room. Available equipment includes film & digital still cameras, assorted lenses, video cameras, sound recording kits, Wacom tablets, tripods and portable lighting kits. In addition, all graduate students have an individual studio space. The program operates The Photography Gallery, which exhibits work by artists nationwide throughout the academic year.

Graduate Scholarships

  • Full tuition waivers for up to three years
  • Generous stipends
  • Teaching experience


  • The Snite Museum of Art, located on campus, has an excellent collection of nineteenth-century photographs and regularly exhibits both historical and contemporary photography.
  • Chicago is very accessible to view museum exhibitions and attend gallery openings. Notre Dame, located in South Bend, IN, is 90 miles east of Chicago, 1 3/4 hours by car.
  • The Art, Art History & Design Department has an active visiting artist and scholars program, bringing a speaker to campus every few weeks.

Past Visiting Artists, Scholars, and Critics

Mark Klett
Rod Slemmons

Gregory Crewdson
Dornith Doherty
Rosalind Krauss
Dave Hickey
Sandy Skoglund
Bill Viola
Suzi Gablik
Joseph Squire
Joyce Neimanas
Lewis Toby
Buzz Spector
Laurie Simmons

Barry Anderson
David Taylor

Lorna Simpson
JoAnn Callis
Carl Toth
Barbara Ess
Eileen Cowin
Martha Rosler
Jeffery Wolin
Maureen Sherlock
Mike Mandel
Andy Grundberg
Linda Robbenolt
Carol Armstrong
Krystztof Wodiczko

Further Information

Director of Graduate Studies
Jason Lahr
Department of Art, Art History, and Design
University of Notre Dame
322 Riley Hall of Art
Notre Dame, IN 46556-5673

ph: 574.631.5605
e: jlahr@nd.edu


To Apply

Application must be done online. Submit a portfolio of twenty slides through SlideRoom, and send three letters of recommendation, a letter of intent, and transcripts to The Graduate School. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required for admission to our M.F.A. program. Apply now.

Application Deadline: February 1