SCAD online Masters of Photography

Discussion in 'Education' started by joy_blackburn, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. I'm a teacher and I need to go back to school for a Master's Degree. I don't want
    to get a traditional education Masters. Since I teach Yearbook and Graphic
    Design and have a small photography business, I thought it would help me both
    personally and professionally to get an MFA in photography. Since I teach full
    time and don't live near any major university with a photography masters program,
    I have been looking around to see what online programs are out there. I found that
    Savannah College of Art and Design had one, and I have applied and been
    accepted. Before I commite myself to the program, I wondered if anyone had
    heard anything about the school or the program. I have seen some not so great
    things floating around about the school, buth they've all been pretty general from
    blogs and things. I'm wondering about the schools reputation...is it good? Is this
    program worthwhile? Any help anyone has would be great.
     
  2. Your question deserves a full essay. First, Savannah is a good school. To
    learn how its photographers are doing, write to the school and ask where the
    students are placed. Visit and talk to the students. If you want a useful
    degree, digital media and graphics design are two fields that are flourishing.
    UMass Dartmouth has a superb program and is inexpensive. It is four years,
    maybe five for a double major. Remember an MFA means "Fine Arts," a field
    rarely leading to practical work. To improve photography skills go to PPA
    (prof.photog.of America) one-week "schools" througout the US. It takes about 10
    years of daily experience to become a good portrait photographer, and the
    competition is stiff, and getting harder. Weddings will "always" be there; the
    WPPI group is specialized for that field. Yearbooks are mostly photojournalism,
    not fine arts. I am not a big fan of learning photography in a college setting
    (but a huge fan of college education). If I were to recommend one thing, I
    would recommend the graphic arts field as one that will grow. I think you could
    learn much of that on your own.
     
  3. "To improve photography skills go to PPA (prof.photog.of America) one-week "schools" througout the US. "

    That is a fine answer Robert, but it isn't completely relevant to Joy's problem. For many teachers having a master 's degree is needed to be able to move up in pay grade or to qualify for better positions.

    I can't comment on SCAD directly as I sometimes teach at a rival school in Atlanta ( Portfolio Center -- but it doesn't have a master's program ) and anything I might say could be construed as disinformation. Having made that disclaimer:

    - It is always a good idea to read and research as much you can but keep in mind that those who are dissatisfied are far more likely to vent than those who are happy.

    - As to whether any career oriented school's offerings are worthwhile, that has to be answered on an individual basis; are they offering courses that are explicitly relevent to the way in which you want to grow your business or career?

    Personally I'd recommend an MBA over an MFA program.
     
  4. If the goal is to teach Fine Art, painting sculpture or photography in a university or college, then an MFA is relative and required. Actually, the arts is probably the ONLY major one can teach full time in a tenure position as a "professor of photography" with an MFA. There is no Phd for studio arts.
    I am doing my MFA online at Academy of Art University. When you graduate from SCAD no one will ever know if it was the online version or the in class one
     
  5. Joy-

    Do you realize that the SCAD program is a MA in photography, NOT an MFA.
    Is your final goal to teach at the college level? Most college's want an MFA. I'm not saying that there are not colleges that will accept an MA- there most definately are but a MFA is more flexible.

    I know lots about the program - I am a member of the first graduating class and was the first student accepted into the program. If you would like to email me at jchad@frontiernet.net I'd be happy to answer any questions you have.

    -Jeff
     
  6. Ellis suggested: "Personally I'd recommend an MBA over an MFA program."

    Let me second that suggestion if earnings are any factor in your decision. Now if you just love photography and want some formal education to enhance your skill, go for it and don't worry about any degree. But if you want to make more money in a photography business, a degree in business is the way to go. Or, you may find there are simply many ways to make more money and much easier in a non photographic field so that you can enjoy photography free from economic constraints.

    Almost all of us know someone who makes a pretty good living in the photography business without being a very skilled photographer but by being a good marketer and business person. And, conversely, some excellent photographers who struggle just to get by because they are poor business people.
     
  7. Hi there.
    I was reading the reviews and i find them very helpful as well. I was just wondering if anyone understand what are the 45 hours for, under the courses' description. It seems to me that its not much. Since it cant be 45 hours a week, then what do they stand for. Thanks.
     
  8. Hi there.
    I was reading the reviews and i find them very helpful as well. I was just wondering if anyone understand what are the 45 hours for, under the courses' description. It seems to me that its not much. Since it cant be 45 hours a week, then what do they stand for. Thanks.
     
  9. It refers to contact hours. Each class is 5 contact hours or credits. There are a total of 9 classes you must take for a total of 45 credits or contact hours. You will spend far more than 5 hours a week outside of class doing your assignments and research etc.
     
  10. A low-residency MFA program like the one at Transart Institute might be an alternative to online as it combines personal contact with individual study. Wikipedia has an extensive list. Vermont College and the Milton Avery Grad School might also be of interest. Best of luck in your search. Klaus
     

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