The low-residency program at Maine Media College is for those interested in pursuing an MFA degree in the fields of photography, filmmaking and multimedia.  Candidates structure their programs with the aid of faculty advisors and complete degree requirements in three to five years. Two MFA retreats are held each year, one in November and the other in April.  During retreats candidates meet with faculty for critiques of projects, discussions covering topics in visual culture and aesthetics and to assess their progress in the program.

During the semesters between retreats candidates 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. Candidates are required to complete at least four weeks in residency during their program, either as two, two-week or one four-week period. These periods of intense study allow candidates to work with resident faculty away from the distractions of daily life. Candidates may elect to earn up to nine credits by taking master classes offered by the Workshops. Candidates are required to complete five- credit penultimate projects and nine-credit thesis projects prior to receiving their degree.*  The MFA culminates with the presentation of final thesis exhibitions or screenings.

Other opportunities for learning are open to MFA Candidates.  Candidates may apply for teaching assistantships or other support positions during the workshop season and/or during the school year in the Professional Certificate programs.  Opportunities are highly competitive and no positions can be guaranteed to MFA candidates.

* 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 candidates must complete 60 semester hour graduate credits. As the MFA is a studio degree, candidates 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 or residencies where the primary focus is on producing creative work. At least 25% (15 credits) must be earned in independent studies or residencies 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.  Candidates with the guidance of their advisors shall determine the appropriate distribution of elective credits.

Candidates 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

A Candidate 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 Weekend Retreats  1 per Retreat Academic 4 required
Workshops* 1.5 each Studio 9 maximum
Independent Study 2 - 5 each Academic  
Mentored Projects  2 - 5 per project Studio  
On-Campus Residency 2, 4 per residency Either 4 required
Penultimate Project 5 Studio  
Thesis 9 3 Academic
6 Studio
9 required

* Not all Workshops have been approved for graduate credit. A Candidate should verify the status of a workshop with his/her advisor or the Director of Education prior to registering.


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
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

Applicants are formally reviewed at MFA retreats. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year.  Prospective candidates 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.


MFA Costs & Fees

Application fee $75
Matriculation deposit $600 applied to thesis
Tuition/ credit hour $475
Late registration fee $250
Term without credit $250
Processing fee $150 upon withdrawal from program
Retreat fee $495
Auditor fee $150
Retreat Housing $45/ night
Retreat Meals $140


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