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  • © Willamain Somma
    © Willamain Somma, MFA05
  • © Holly Bynoe
    © Holly Bynoe, MFA10
  • © Paul Qaysi
    © Paul Qaysi, MFA09
  • © Lauren Silberman
    © Lauren Silberman, MFA08
  • © David Smith
    © David Smith, MFA07
  • © Joshua Lutz
    © Joshua Lutz, MFA05
  • © Pierre LeHors
    © Pierre LeHors, MFA10

The ICP-Bard Program in Advanced Photographic Studies offers a rigorous exploration of all aspects of photography through an integrated curriculum of professional and studio practice, critical study, and Resident Artist Projects.
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Information Sessions

Want to learn about ICP's Full-Time Programs but can't attend the open house? Then join us for information sessions at the School on Fridays at 3 pm.

You can also join an online information session. View the upcoming schedule.

About the Program

The ICP-Bard Program offers an exploration into the ways in which the photograph operates in society. The 60 credits required for the master of fine arts degree cover the production of a final solo exhibition of original artwork, participation in a final group exhibition, a cumulative publication, as well as the completion of class assignments and internships. The ICP-Bard approach emphasizes creative vision and openness to examining the many iterations of the image, from photography to digital imaging, installation, and video. By considering how photographs are created, presented, discussed, used, and documented, students gain an intimate knowledge of the ways in which images increasingly structure modern society and consciousness.

The graduate seminars, which are led by ICP-Bard core faculty members, blend in-depth study, intensive discussions, and individual work. Students also gain an understanding of the role of art historians by working with ICP’s curatorial team and the Museum's extensive archives. In doing so, students learn how exhibitions are curated, archives are maintained, and research is conducted. In the Resident Artist projects and internships, students learn firsthand from contemporary artists about the practical conditions of making art and innovative approaches to photographic practice. With its strong emphasis on writing and publication, the program encourages students to articulate the relationship between their practice and that of other artists. Through ongoing studio work, critiques, and internships, students challenge their ideas and test new approaches to image making, synthesizing the program’s varied experiences and defining their own ways of working.

Throughout the program, students receive individualized attention and support from a distinguished and dedicated core faculty, as well as noted visiting artists, and mentors with whom students intern. Visiting faculty include practicing artists, scholars, critics, historians and vary from year to year.

The Curriculum

Studio Practice

The foundation of the program, studio practice is a seminar in which students integrate what they are experiencing and learning into their own creative work. Through ongoing studio assignments, group critiques, and one-on-one meetings with faculty, students develop their photographic work and define a personal approach to their practice. A final exhibition of original work, presented at the end of the second year, is required for graduation.

Critical Study

In these topical seminars, students focus on theoretical and critical issues in the history of photography. Working with historians, editors, photographers, and ICP curatorial staff, students engage in research, writing, and curatorial activities. Students' own writing charts the development of their ideas about photography in relation to the work of other photographers. A written thesis, which serves as an anthology of two years of critical coursework and professional practice, is required for graduation.

Professional Practice

Internships are an integral part of the program, enabling students to gain practical exposure to various aspects of the field. First-year students are required to intern for individual photographers/artists. Second year students are required to intern with photographic and media- based organizations, such as museums, photo agencies, and magazines. All students are expected to report on their internship in classroom discussions and to record these experiences as part of their final written thesis.

Resident Artist Projects

Each semester, prominent photographers and critics work with MFA students in focused, project-oriented seminars, exposing the students to a wide range of styles and career paths. Each class provides in-depth examination of photographic techniques and emerging issues in photography, as well as group and one-on-one critiques of student work. By engaging in projects that reflect the visiting instructors’ aesthetic, students come to understand the implications of art making in different contexts.

Once admitted, ICP-Bard students must earn a total of 60 graduate credits in two years, 30 credits per year, in order to receive the master of fine arts degree. At the end of every year, a board of ICP-Bard faculty members reviews each student's achievements. Credits are awarded or withheld at the board's discretion.

Core Faculty

Erin Barnett, Elizabeth Brown, Moyra Davey, Liz Deschenes, David Deitcher, Deirdre Donohue, Edward Earle, Marvin Heiferman, Justine Kurland, Joshua Lutz, Christopher Phillips, Carol Squiers, Victor Sira.

Resident Artist Projects and Critique Faculty

2013–2014: Jean Marie Casbarian, Thomas Allen Harris, Bill Jacobson, Justine Kurland, Deana Lawson, Janaina Tschäpe.
2012–2013: Natalie Bookchin, Jean Marie Casbarian, Harry Dodge, Anna Fox, Bill Jacobson, Justine Kurland, Janaina Tschäpe.
2011–2012: Jean Marie Casbarian, Joy Episalla, Bill Jacobson, Justine Kurland, Mary Lum, Joachim Schmid, Francesc Torres, Janaina Tschäpe.
2010–2011: Bill Jacobson, Nina Katchadourian, Justine Kurland, Carlos Motta, J. John Priola, Wolfgang Tillmans, Janaina Tschäpe, Martín Weber.
2009–2010: Gregg Bordowitz, Roe Ethridge, Jacqueline Hassink, Bill Jacobson, Justine Kurland, Hank Willis Thomas.
2008–2009: Cecilia Dougherty, Roe Ethridge, Adam Fuss, Bill Jacobson, Justine Kurland, Alison Morley, Barbara Nitke, Taryn Simon, Kunie Sugiura.
2007–2008: Marco Breuer, Joy Episalla, Peter Hutton, Lamia Joreige, Mary Mattingly, Alessandra Sanguinetti, Robert Stevens, Francesc Torres.
2006–2007: Deborah Bright, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, Mark Alice Durant, Joan Fontcuberta, Bill Jacobson, Natasha Lunn, Steve Pyke.
2005–2006: Vince Aletti, Barbara Bloom, Larry Fink, Jacqueline Hassink, Craig Kalpakjian, Guy Tillim, James Welling.
2004–2005: Robert Beck, Robert Blake, Barbara Ess, Andrea Fraser, Lyle Ashton Harris, Susan Jahoda, Chuck Kelton, David Levi Strauss, Martha Rosler, Jon Winet & Margaret Crane.
2003–2004: Shimon Attie, Mary Lucier, Susan Meiselas, Sam Samore, Gary Schneider, Stephen Shore, Lorna Simpson.


Nayland Blake is an internationally acclaimed interdisciplinary artist and educator whose work is included in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Des Moines Art Center, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the University Art Museum, Berkeley. His writing has been published in Artforum, Interview, Out, Outlook, and numerous exhibition catalogues. He has been on the faculty of the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts and has taught at the San Francisco Art Institute, the California Institute of the Arts, the University of California, Berkeley, Parsons School for Design, New York University, the School of Visual Arts, and Harvard University Department of Visual and Environmental Studies. He is represented by Matthew Marks Gallery in New York.

Admission & Tuition

Admission & Tuition

Find out about admissions, tuition, and fees.

© Lavonne Hall

MFA Studios

MFA Studios

View the schedule for the upcoming solo exhibitions by the MFA students.
© Lavonne Hall

ICP-Bard MFA Student Blog

ICP-Bard MFA Student Blog

Keep up with current students as they share their work and ideas.
Photo © Christine Callahan, MFA09