Program Structure

The Master of Fine Arts at NYU Abu Dhabi offers a curriculum that is flexible and responsive to artistic, technological, economic, and societal shifts and needs. Its multidisciplinary coursework bridges disciplinary skills and diverse bodies of knowledge. The program is structured to ensure that students develop advanced research skills for visual and academic investigations in the areas of art, media and design practice and theory. Coursework and academic requirements are designed to foster the development of students who can think and create in novel and interdisciplinary ways.

What Should Students Expect?

The curriculum seeks to provide students with both breadth and depth, appropriate to their creative passions and interests.

  • experiment with mediums
  • work outside of their undergraduate comfort zone
  • consider new conceptual approaches and craft traditions
  • develop a capacity to envision exhibiting work that may mark a departure from previous practices

This is a training in being an artist because this is what artists do: constantly building on a depth of knowledge, but seeking to disrupt habitual ways of working, always experimenting out-of-depth areas of knowledge in order to innovate inside their own studios, as well as contribute innovation to the wider art community and art world. The MFA at NYUAD seeks to develop this sense for advanced emerging artists: a sense of a depth of practice, as well as a sense of broadening out into new areas and taking risks.

Be Part of a Vibrant Community of Local Artists

Students are immersed in a community of artists and actively participate in that community by making their own art in their chosen medium(s), and receiving and providing others in the community with critical feedback. Classroom sessions include discussions of contemporary and historical precedents, close inspection of the works of other artists, faculty-led critique sessions, and occasional active work sessions where students experiment with materials and plan projects that they realize in their studio work. Studio-based instruction consists of individual faculty members meeting one-on-one with students in their studios to discuss work-in-progress as well as completed work. Topics of discussion include ways to develop work further, approaches to new projects and mediums, and the work in a possible exhibition context. 

Studio Spaces

NYU Abu Dhabi offers state-of-the-art production facilities in sculpture, design, printmaking, fiber art, photography, inter-active media, painting and drawing, fiber arts, digital art, sound art, and film. Students enrolled in the program will be assigned large private studios which will serve as a core teaching and research spaces.