Experimental Degree

Duke launches new master of fine arts program


This coming fall, the university will launch its first master of fine arts program. The program, which will focus on experimental and documentary arts, will bring together faculty members and courses from three Duke entities: the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies; the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS); and the Program in Arts of the Moving Image.

“Documentary artists have regularly been some of those experimenters, attempting to communicate through new forms, with new media, spanning new audiences,” says Tom Rankin, director of CDS. “We want to explore that in this program.” Instruction in documentary practice and experimental production, combined with the use of computer technology, will train artists for the rapidly changing arts environment.

The M.F.A. program also will seek to capitalize on the artistic growth in the Durham community. Former tobacco warehouses are now home to artists’ studios and gallery spaces, and the region is bucking a national trend of declining interest in the arts—attendance at museums and performing-arts venues has been on the rise over the past few years.

The two-year degree program includes a total of fourteen courses, ten required and four elective, to be taken over four semesters and culminating in a written thesis and final project to be featured in a spring exhibition.

Learn more about the program requirements.

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