Frequently Asked Questions
How does your low-residency program work?
Goucher's M.F.A. in Digital Arts is designed to accommodate working artists, professionals, non-traditional students, and students who recently graduated from undergraduate programs. Students and faculty gather at the beginning of each semester for a week-long, intensive residency on campus in a retreat-like setting filled with workshops, visits from guest artists, and outings to museums, galleries, and studios in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area. The residency has a three-week online follow-up where students continue to develop the work done on campus and complete final projects and papers.
Following the residency term, you will return to your home community and begin new classes online working with faculty from a distance. Students split their time between mentored studio work and 7-week online classes in theory and technique, taking up to 4 classes per online term and arranging them to suit their schedule. Students are required to attend at least two full residencies and return to campus after their capstone projects and thesis papers are complete to participate in the M.F.A. thesis exhibition.
The distance learning format allows us to draw a very diverse student and faculty population. By taking classes at a distance, students may research, partner with, and develop resources with their home communities, while being connected to a supportive, insightful, and resourceful group of peers and mentors.
How large are the classes?
Both residency and online classes are designed to be small (3 - 20 people). You will often work in small groups in which there is consistent engagement with faculty.
What are the residencies like, and when do they occur?
The residencies are periods of intense engagement. Activities vary from classroom seminars, guest lectures with visiting artists, specialized workshops, participation in on-campus exhibitions and performances, site visits, and fieldwork in the region. You will meet new students in the program, reunite with your friends and colleagues, and share your work face-to-face with faculty and peers.
Residencies occur twice a year. Fall semester begins with a residency at the end of July and spring semester begins with a residency in early January. Because of the intensity of the residency, you will begin course readings in the month prior in order to be prepared for in-class discussions and activities. Course materials are made available to students one month ahead of the start date, and new students arrive a day early for orientation.
Where can I stay during the residency?
You have the option to stay in on-campus dormitories .
Lunch and dinner will be provided in the dining hall as part of the room and board fee. You will have full access to Goucher’s campus, including an excellent food-service, library, and athletic facilities. The campus offers a variety of amenities including a gym, swimming pool, and hiking trail. The campus is also an easy walk to restaurants, shops, grocery stores, and movie theaters.
What kind of equipment will I need for the distance learning program?
If possible, students should plan to bring their laptops to campus during the residency. Students will also want to have a camera (cell phone is sufficient) for documenting activities on our site visits.
How long will it take to get my degree?
Motivated full-time students can complete the M.F.A. in Digital Arts in a year and a half. You will generally take 6 credits during the residency term and between 6-10 credits during the online term. Students who are working full time will often take a lighter load. You must take at least one course per semester and have a maximum of five years in which to complete all requirements.
Who are the faculty?
Our faculty are practicing artists and designers working in sound, video, graphic arts, installation, performance, and technology. They have experience working in creative studios, mounting exhibitions, organizing large scale productions, working in non-profit organizations, tech startups, and navigating the freelance market while pursuing their craft. They come from around the world to share their experience with students at Goucher as they embark on their path. Faculty bios can be found here.
How much does the program cost? Is there any financial aid?
What qualifications do I need for the M.F.A. in Digital Arts and how do I apply?
Admission to the program is granted to applicants who demonstrate creative skills and a desire to expand their art practice through the use of technology. We are looking for students who we believe will be successful in self-directed graduate study. Generally, we often try to form cohorts of students who will have complementary skill sets across disciplines to spur interdisciplinary collaboration. Students who are citizens of or in residence in other countries must have the ability to function successfully in English. Applications are accepted twice a year, with primary deadlines in April and October.
Do I need to take the GRE or other graduate-level entrance exam for admission to the program?
No. We do not require GRE scores, though if you would like to submit them with your application, you may. Our admissions are based on past academic history, recommendations, your essay, and your overall goals.
Can I begin the program in the middle of the school year, without attending a residency?
Generally no. New-Student Orientation and some of the core prerequisite classes are offered each semester so a student can begin a course of study either in late summer or January.
What is the goal of graduate education? How does graduate study at Goucher compare to graduate study at other institutions?
Although many people will likely answer those questions differently, the goal of most graduate study is to gain mastery and to use that mastery to contribute something back to society. Academia as an institution has generally chosen to recognize publication as the way that happens. When a person is awarded a degree such as an M.A. or an M.F.A., it is generally intended to indicate that they are more expert at their slice of human knowledge and experience, and can be relied upon to bring that judgment or skill to bear professionally. M.F.A. programs will generally regard the production of artistic works as roughly equivalent to written publications, such that a "major artistic work" might be equivalent to a paper or book. Of course, many artists also write! Our M.F.A. also has a thesis requirement, a significant written component to accompany the artistic work. Our M.A. program is intended for students seeking a more applied program that they can bring to their professional lives immediately. We provide students in our M.A. program with skill sets and techniques that they can apply to their work the same day that they learn it.
What will I be able to do with my degree?
Our students and alumni work as creative directors, digital producers, web and technology entrepreneurs, design consultants, technology specialists, teachers and professors, and a variety of other cross-disciplinary careers. Our curriculum supports creativity in the arts, in technology, and in entrepreneurship equally.
Where is Goucher, and what is the campus like?
Goucher is an independent, selective, coeducational liberal arts college located on 287 beautiful acres just north of the city of Baltimore. Goucher enrolls more than 1,400 undergraduate and 1,200 graduate students. It was founded in 1885 and is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Goucher offers a wide variety of undergraduate majors, and all undergraduates are required to participate in at least one international study program, testing and enhancing classroom learning through real, firsthand experience in the world. Graduate programs based on Goucher’s undergraduate strengths and institutional mission include the same close interaction with faculty that is a cornerstone of a Goucher education. Goucher’s strong belief in the importance of staying connected to the world outside campus through community action, intercultural awareness, and international exploration is in clear evidence throughout the curriculum of our Art & Technology and Digital Arts programs.