© Peter Koons

The low-residency program at Maine Media College is for artists interested in pursuing an MFA degree in the fields of photography, filmmaking and multimedia.  Students structure their programs with the aid of faculty advisors in order to complete degree requirements in three years.

Two, four-day MFA retreats are held each year, one in November and the other in May.  During retreats students meet with faculty for critiques of projects, discussions covering topics in visual culture and to assess their progress in the program. Additionally, MFA students are required to complete four, one-week intensive courses during their tenure in the program. “Intensives” are seminars, led by resident faculty members, which allow students to focus on subjects essential to MFA students such as the histories and theories associated with the various media as well as professional development.  “Intensives” begin on Mondays immediately following retreats. 

During the semesters between retreats, students work with members of the Maine Media College faculty or other approved mentors to complete studio and academic projects. Projects are presented at retreats for evaluation and credit. Students may earn up to nine credits by taking master classes offered by the Workshops.  The MFA culminates with the presentation of final thesis exhibitions or screenings.

Other opportunities for learning are open to MFA Students.  Students may apply for teaching assistantships or other support positions during the workshop season and/or during the school year for the Professional Certificate programs.  

* For more detailed information on credit options and requirements please see the MFA Handbook.


MFA Degree Requirements

To earn an MFA degree at Maine Media College students must complete 60 semester hour graduate credits. As the MFA is a studio degree, students must earn a majority of credits through the creative process of making art.  Of the 60 credits, at least 65% (39 credits) must be earned through projects where the primary focus is on producing creative work. At least 25% (15 credits) must be earned in completing projects or intensives where the primary focus is academic. The remaining 10% (6 credits) may be creative, academic, or any combination of the two as will be most beneficial.  Students with the guidance of their advisors determine the appropriate distribution of elective credits.

MFA students must fulfill several specific requirements, both academic and creative, for which he or she will earn graduate credit.  These requirements are indicated where applicable in the chart that follows.


Credit Distribution

An MFA student must fulfill specific requirements, academic and studio, for which he or she earns graduate credit. These requirements are indicated in the chart that follows.

  Credits Granted Type of Credit Requirements
MFA Intensive  1 per Intensive Academic 4 required
Workshops* (elective) 1 each Studio 9 maximum
Mentored Projects  2 - 6 per project Studio  39 minimum
Mentored Projects 2 - 3 per project Academic 15 minimum
Thesis 9 3 Academic
6 Studio
9 required

* Not all Workshops have been approved for graduate credit. A student should verify the status of a workshop with his/her advisor or the Chair of the MFA Program prior to registering. For more detailed information on degree requirements please see the MFA Handbook.


Entrance Requirements

The MFA Committee makes admissions decisions based on its belief, as determined upon review of all application materials and interviews, that a matriculating student has the capacity for graduate-level work and is likely to thrive in the low-residency environment.

The Committee expects that a student matriculating into the MFA program at Maine Media College holds a B.F.A., B.A., or B.S. degree (or the documented equivalent in the case of international students), has had extensive practical and/or academic experience in his or her area of endeavor, and is conversant with the history of his or her chosen media.  In extraordinary circumstances the MFA Committee may admit an applicant who does not hold an undergraduate degree.  In these instances, the applicant must provide persuasive and ample documented evidence of an education equivalent in breadth and depth. 


Application Procedures

An individual interested in applying to the MFA program at Maine Media College must send the following materials to:

MFA Admissions
Maine Media College
70 Camden Street
Rockport, Maine 04856


  • Completed application form and $75 application fee (make checks payable to “Maine Media College”
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended
  • Resumé
  • An essay, approximately 500 words in length, describing: the applicant’s background and formative influences, either aesthetic or experiential, in his or her discipline, his or her interest in pursuing an MFA degree, and the applicant’s goals beyond graduate school
  • Three letters of recommendation from academic and/or professional colleagues
  • Portfolio, reel, or other documentation of work


Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year, however the deadline for appliction submissions for fall retreat admissions is September 30 and for spring retreat admissions the deadline is April 15. Admissions materials are reviewed by the core MFA faculty and acceptance decisions are made prior to retreats.  Applicants are notified of admissions decisions within three weeks of receipt of completed applications. Prospective students may audit weekend retreats to gain insight into the structure of the program, meet with faculty for individual portfolio reviews and receive counsel on application to the program.

* See "Application Procedures" for complete information on the admissions process

Maine Media College does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, creed, ancestry, national and ethnic origin, physical or mental handicap.


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Maine Media College is authorized by the State of Maine to grant the Master of Fine Arts Degree.