MFA Overview

Photography and Film

Fine Arts, Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)

[Student work from L to R: Jiacheng Xu ’17, Johannes James Barfield ’18, Stephanie DeMer ’18, David Riley ’19, Evie Metz ’19, Peter Cochrane ’19, Patrick Harkin ’17, Cynthia Henebry ’14, Greyory Blake ’18, Roxana Azar ’17]
The Department of Photography and Film seeks graduate students whose work challenges the common definitions of photography, film, and video while maintaining the disciplinary integrity of traditional practice. The department works to advance the highest standards of photography and film by providing an artistic community for the development and exchange of progressive visual ideas.
MFA Degree Requirements
MFA Mission Statement


Recent Highlights and Facts:

  • Hats off to Photo + Film Assistant Professor Jon-Phillip Sheridan (whose Green Walls project was cited by VCU President Rao as one of the Ten Great Things about VCU) for his work Fixed Air, now on view at Declaration, the inaugural show at the new Institute for Contemporary Art.
  • Assistant Professor and Virtual Reality mastermind Mark Boulos continues the success of his project,Elastic Time, a mixed reality interactive documentary about space-time, currently in the Swiss digital showcase at Cannes Film Festival.
  • Shane Rocheleau’s beautiful first book of photographs, YOU ARE MASTERS OF THE FISH AND BIRDS AND ALL THE ANIMALS aka (YAMOTFABAATA) was recently released by Gnomic Books.
  • Shannon Castleman has work in Disappearing Legacies: The World as Forest, a travelling exhibition now on view in Berlin.
  • Sasha Waters-Freyer’s documentary feature, Garry Winogrand: All Things are Photographable, won a Special Jury Prize at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival and will be released theatrically in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Italy this fall.
  • 2018 MFA Johannes James Barfield will spend part of his summer in a residency at MASS MoCA using digital media to explore how race and identity interact with the local environment. Johannes was also honored this past spring at the VCU “Black History in the Making” ceremony.
  • In June ’17, Paul Thulin had work included in the “Mundo, Imagen, Mundo,” Belo Horizonte International Photography Festival in Brazil.



Thesis Exhibitions:

Click below to see thesis exhibitions for the 5 fine arts programs including Photography and Film