Graduate Catalog

Department of Fine Arts

Faculty: Ewing, Heller, Lizama (Chair), Rytteke, Weber

Mission Statement

Based upon the tradition of the liberal arts, the Fine Arts at Barry (art, dance, music, photography, and theatre) provide students with a broad foundation in the methods, practical skills, and historical context of each discipline. Through classes and events the Department strives to foster individual creativity, develop aesthetic sensitivity, and encourage self-expression. The Department’s activities provide cultural enrichment to both the campus and the larger community through public performances, exhibitions, lectures, and collaborations with outside arts organizations. Students are advised and encouraged to study, reflect, and participate in the intellectual life of the University and community. The Department is committed to the transformative power of the arts and their ability to explore issues of ethics, social justice, and affecting change.

Through an in depth understanding of the course materials, students gain the tools, knowledge, skills, and confidence that allow them to be problem solvers and become independent thinkers. The graduate coursework cultivates creative and logical thinking, as well as research and reflection, which will continue the intellectual and professional growth beyond the classroom. Embracing diversity of cultures and religions is explored through critiques and assignments in photography and art history courses. Students learn to bridge the gap between the classroom and the world of professional and fine art photography, encouraging the growth of initiative and development of leadership skills.

Purpose Statement

The M.F.A. and M.A. programs in photography offer selected students the opportunity to pursue goals in the areas of creative work in photography and digital media. The program stresses acquisition of a broad range of knowledge and skills in the area of fine art photography. The primary emphasis of this program is the use of the photographic medium for creative expression and communication. Graduate photography students are individuals in transition between being students who are learning techniques not available in previous undergraduate study and being independent working artists/photographers developing a personal style of art and aesthetics. Often they are refining already learned techniques to a higher level of sophistication. Barry University offers two graduate degrees in photography, the M.F.A. (66 credits minimum) and the M.A. (36 credits minimum). The 66 credit-hour program can be completed in six semesters and must be completed within seven years, including the written thesis and thesis exhibition.

The M.F.A. and M.A. programs in photography offer graduate swing courses in traditional black & white and color photography, alternative processes, large-format photography, lighting, digital media, fine art printing, and the history of art and photography. Independent studies are offered in part to create an environment to resemble real life where the working artist is involved in supervised but independent production of art without the structure of a class. Developing a philosophy of one’s own art and verbally expressing aesthetic ideas are also part of the graduate curriculum. M.F.A. candidates are required to produce a written thesis and a thesis exhibition. M.A. candidates are required to participate in a group exhibition.

The Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) is the terminal degree in photography. This degree has become the standard for those who intend to teach at the college level. Courses are offered to help students wishing to pursue a career in college level teaching. The M.F.A. is also appropriate for individuals seeking to further develop their professional careers as practicing artists and photographers. The M.F.A. program consists of a minimum of three years of graduate study emphasizing an individualized, interdisciplinary approach to photography. The M.A. degree in photography offers personal enrichment and enhanced technical skills, with limited opportunity to teach. An M.A. degree consists of 36 semester hours, usually taken over four semesters.

Program Goals

  • To develop and support the mastery of traditional photography, as well as contemporary digital photographic -processes.
  • To stimulate creative and technical photographic excellence at an advanced level, as an expression of the student’s aesthetic.
  • To facilitate the process of artistic development by encouraging mentoring relationships between faculty and -students, in an open learning environment.

Admissions Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA from a regionally accredited or internationally recognized institution.
  • Portfolio of no more than twenty copy slides or CD of original photographs. Portfolio guidelines can be found on our website (
  • Two official copies of transcripts from each institution attended.
  • Official test score copies of either:
  • MAT (Miller’s Analogies Test), or
  • GRE (Graduate Record Examination).
  • Waived for applicants with Master’s degree)
  • Applicants who do not give evidence of being native English speakers, including those applying for transfer from U.S. institutions, or who have not graduated from an institution where English is the primary language of instruction must submit a score of 550 or better on the TOEFL examination (213 on the computer-based TOEFL or 79 on the internet-based TOEFL).
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • Portfolio review form with self-assessed photography skill listed which can be found on our website (
  • After portfolio is submitted an informal personal or phone interview with photography faculty may be -required.
  • A 350 word statement on how the M.F.A. or M.A. degree from Barry University will help fulfill your goals.
  • Completed application form.
  • A non-refundable application fee.
  • Application packet, official transcripts and official examination scores should be sent to:

    Barry University

    Division of Enrollment Services

    11300 NE Second Avenue

    Miami Shores, Florida 33161‑6695

  • Deadlines for submission of portfolio/application:
  • March 31 for Fall enrollment.
  • October 31 for Spring enrollment.
  • No portfolio materials will be reviewed from May to August.

Program Standards

  • Full-time study may not exceed 12 credits per semester. 9 credits per semester is considered full time.
  • Maximum length of time to complete the M.F.A. degree is seven years, to include a successful written thesis and solo thesis exhibition.
  • Maximum length of time to complete the M.A. degree is seven years, to include a successful thesis exhibition.
  • Students interested in changing from the M.A. program into the M.F.A. must do so prior to completing the M.A. degree. Coursework may be applied to only one degree. Students wishing to change from the M.A. to the M.F.A. program must notify the Fine Arts Graduate Committee, formally apply, submit a portfolio for committee review, and be officially accepted by the committee.
  • Students wishing to change from the M.F.A. program into the M.A. must give formal notice three months in advance and be formally approved.
  • Assessment of the M.F.A. candidate’s creative and technical outcomes will be through faculty evaluation and approval of a substantial one-person thesis exhibition. The M.A. candidate will be similarly judged, but as part of a group exhibition.
  • M.F.A. candidates should express their artistic intentions and philosophies in a written formal thesis.
  • If the graduate student’s work or performance is unsatisfactory, the University may remove the student from the graduate program.
  • Individuals with undergraduate degrees may take a maximum of nine graduate credits as non-degree-seeking -students.

Independent Studies

As part of the graduate photography curricula, students are involved in directed independent study. In addition to fostering a mentoring relationship with the faculty, independent study most closely resembles the real-life scenario which working artists/photographers must face. Students must complete 12 credits of graduate courses prior to enrolling in an Independent Study.

M.F.A. Thesis

The most important component of the final studies for the M.F.A. degree is the Thesis Exhibition. The graduating M.F.A. student must mount a substantial solo exhibition of his or her work illustrating the highest level of originality and professionalism. Development of the M.F.A. thesis exhibition can take up a year, and includes in-progress reviews with the Graduate Faculty Committee. The second major component of the graduation requirement is a written thesis. The content of your written thesis must include an in-depth, critical examination of your own work, a biography, high-quality photographic reproductions of your images, as well as work by other artists whose influence may be of importance. Grammar and composition should be of graduate level, with formal committee approval necessary. The exhibition and thesis are requirements for the courses PHO 691A M.F.A. Graduate Thesis Exhibition and PHO 691B M.F.A. Graduate Thesis, which are the final requirements for the degree. As these are the most important final requirements and must have formal faculty committee approval, it is not uncommon for a student to prolong his or her graduate study to help insure a successful exhibition and thesis. See course descriptions for details.

Teaching Preparation for M.F.A. Students

The terminal M.F.A. degree is the standard academic credential to teach photography at the university level. With the permission of the Fine Art Graduate Committee, M.F.A. students have the opportunity to take up to three semesters of College Teaching Prep (PHO 661A&B and PHO 662A&B) courses to provide teaching experience under the tutelage of knowledgeable photographic educators. In addition, students may elect to participate in the practical running and maintenance of a university photography facility (PHO 660 College Teaching Prep I).