MFA in Art and Media

NYU Abu Dhabi's Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Art and Media is a terminal degree in the visual arts. It is designed as a full-time, interdisciplinary studio art program that sits at the crossroads of practice and theory, tradition and change in the arts. The MFA degree consists of 60 credits over two years of residential study.

The MFA program immerses students in contemporary research and art practices while training them to become deep thinkers and artistic innovators. Courses emphasize artistic experimentation within a context of theoretical, cultural, and historical study. Its multidisciplinary coursework bridges disciplinary skills and diverse bodies of knowledge. The program leverages Abu Dhabi's location as a transnational and transcultural hub for the exchange of western and eastern traditions in the arts and culture.

Students can choose to work in-depth in a particular area or across multiple arts disciplines, including:

  • painting and drawing
  • photography
  • sculpture
  • printmaking
  • fiber art
  • transmedia (video, performance, digital)

The MFA program is uniquely positioned to create new discourses in the field by virtue of its geographic location and the student body it attracts. Students from vastly different cultures, beliefs and orientations gather here and are creating new visions of what Abu Dhabi, the Emirates, the Gulf, and the wider region is and can be. This is supported directly by the flows of NYU’s global network and Abu Dhabi’s proximity to points east of traditionally western-centric art discourses.

Tarek Al-Ghoussein, MFA Program Director

Abu Dhabi is an exciting crossroads that is at once global, contemporary, pan-Arab, and a MENASA hub, while also remaining committed to the preservation of local, indigenous practices and aesthetics. The MFA program’s educational mission and style reflect this cultural richness and complexity with a methodology that is American in approach but eastern-looking in concerns and traditions. While the global art world knows no boundaries, it is still true that art coming from certain regions is inflected with the landscapes, materials, traditions, and specific art and craft practices of that place. The MFA program leverages this by using regional art and cultural spaces as “field work” and off-site learning laboratories.