Graduate Catalog
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
Creative Technologies
College of Architecture, Arts, and Design
The Armory, built in 1936, is one of Blacksburg historic buildings and a former community gymnasium. It is leased by the university and is home to the Department of Art and Art History main office, gallery, and classrooms.
203 Draper Road Blacksburg VA 24061
Degree(s) Offered:
MFA Degree in Creative Technologies
Minimum GPA: 3.0
Offered In:
Email Contact(s):
Phone Number(s):
Application Deadlines:
Fall: Feb 28
To get Google Maps directions from:

The Graduate School

Get Directions

Department Head : Ann-Marie Knoblauch
Graduate Program Director : Zachary Duer (Director of Creative Technologies MFA)
Professors: Eric Standley
Associate Professors: Samuel Blanchard; Michael Borowski; Meaghan Dee; Meredith Drum; Zachary Duer; Travis Head; Ann-Marie Knoblauch; Thomas Tucker; Rachel Weaver
Assistant Professors: Lauren DiSalvo; Nathan King; Amanda Lechner; Dajana Nedic; Rachael Paine; Anne Ronan; Chelsea Thompto
Collegiate Assistant Professors: Lesley Duffield; Hiromi Okumura; Amelia Salisbury
Collegiate Associate Professors: James Jewitt

The MFA in Creative Technologies

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Technologies (CT) in the School of Visual Arts (SOVA) is a practice-focused, terminal degree program at the intersections of fine art, design, and technology. Graduate students within the two-year CT MFA are expected to prioritize the development of original visual fine artworks, supplemented by practice-based and intellectual research, with the support of dedicated faculty mentorship amidst a diverse community of MFA program peers.

Our MFA program is fundamentally cross-disciplinary and equips students with the conceptual, technical, creative, and critical skills to be successful artists and leaders across a range of fields. MFA student practices reflect the individual and unique visual arts practice and research interests of each student. Approaches to investigation span a remarkable spectrum of visual arts inquiry, spanning sculpture, installation art, coding, virtual environments, 3D modeling, photogrammetry, interactivity, video art, projection mapping, photography, experimental animation, and a myriad of other unbounded intersecting creative modalities. The CT MFA is not a commercial media or design program. We do not support commercial support of fields such as VFX or animation. Rather, we facilitate experimental, expanded, and deepened creative practice across visual arts disciplines. Creative research trajectories for our MFA students may also be informed by other programs across the university at the intersection of the arts, design, humanities, media, sciences, engineering, and culture.

Full-time enrolled MFA students will complete the program in four semesters or two full academic years. Semester to semester, 9-month GTA funding for MFA students is contingent upon their appropriate and continued academic, artistic, and assigned job-specific effort and merit. Funding may be revoked at any time if MFA students fail to achieve expected milestones or do not meet their outlined GTA duties. We do not provide funded GTA support to MFAs beyond the four semesters allocated for normal degree completion.

Application Deadline

Our program's standard application deadline is February 28 for Fall admission. We do not admit people to our program in the spring semester or during the summer or winter terms. We highly encourage interested applicants to contact program coordinators to resolve any uncertainties or questions before applying.

Please refer to the School of Visual Arts MFA program website for more information, and additional specific application instructions.

Broader Contexts

The College of Architecture, Arts, and Design at Virginia Tech (AAD) The School of Visual Arts (SOVA) is one of the four schools housed within AAD. The College was founded in 1964 and is among the largest of its type in the nation. The college's overall mission is to understand, through acts of creation, design, construction, and analysis, the forces that give meaning and value to the built environments that shape our lives. The College features highly ranked and competitive undergraduate and graduate degree programs, taught by internationally known faculty who care about student success. Through the four schools, AAD offers 11 undergraduate majors, 7 minors, and 13 graduate degree programs. More information about AAD and its academic programs can be found here.

The Creativity and Innovation District (CID) The CID Residence Hall and Living-Learning Community on the eastern edge of Virginia Tech's Blacksburg campus facilitates a strengthened community of creation and innovation. In addition to housing a diverse transdisciplinary undergraduate population, the CID's facilities provide increased opportunities for creative practice and exhibition to all SOVA students, including those in the MFA.

Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) ICAT is a university-level research institute at the nexus of the arts, design, engineering, and science. It is uniquely partnered with the Moss Arts Center. ICAT facilities and resources in their "Living Labs" may be available to MFA students working on research projects. 
Offered In (Blacksburg)

Degree Requirements

Minimum GPA: 3.0
Institution code: 5859
Testing Requirements:
    • Paper
      • 550.0
    • iBT
      • 80.0
The MFA in Creative Technologies is a full-time, two-year in-person MFA program. We do not facilitate part-time enrollment in this degree program. The MFA requires the accumulation of 60 graduate credit hours during four semesters of full-time enrollment (15 credits per semester). Graduate credit hours are distributed as follows:*
  • 15 credit hours in applied graduate-level studio courses across SOVA

  • 12 minimum additional credit hours in graduate-level studio courses or ART 5994 Research and Thesis. Students may supplement these credits with graduate-level courses in other departments, so long as these are pre-approved by advisors and appropriate to the student's area(s) of research

  • 9 minimum credit hours in Art History/Theory courses, including ART 5854G Advanced Theories and Processes of Contemporary Art (3 credit hours). Ethics must be a required component of at least one of these courses. 
  • 9 credit hours in ART 5534 Graduate Art Critique or Graduate Studio / Seminar courses
  • 12 credit hours in ART 5594 Research and Thesis

*Note: MFA students may be required to take supplemental courses to strengthen their background in specific areas as determined necessary by MFA Program Director. These courses may not count towards the 60 hour Plan of Study, but may count toward full-time enrollment status. 

Additionally, The Creative Technologies MFA requires the development, completion, and successful defense of an original creative thesis and research project. The MFA student works closely with their MFA Thesis Committee during their final two semesters in the program, and the Thesis Committee oversees and assesses student efforts in this capacity. Note that the MFA Thesis committee must include at least three SOVA faculty, and any outside-department faculty committee members must be pre-approved by the MFA Program Director. The student's creative work is exhibited and defended during the last half of the student's final semester in the MFA program. The student must additionally complete and submit a written Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) before receiving approval from the Committee.



Rather than pre-defined curricular tracks, Creative Technologies MFA students work with their faculty and assigned Graduate Program Advisor(s) to develop an individualized Plan of Study. All continuing students enroll in Graduate Critique courses to better strengthen the development of the MFA community, along with facilitating opportunities for invaluable peer and faculty critique. They additionally enroll in a range of differing studio, history/theory, and research-driven courses that cumulatively support the actualization of each student's unique intellectual and artistic goals. 

Facilities, Studios, and Equipment

The School of Visual Arts facilities are located in several different buildings on the Virginia Tech Blacksburg Campus.

The Armory Building (203 Draper Rd. NW) is home to the school's main office, gallery, and classrooms utilized for Drawing and the Foundations Programs. Located downtown, the Armory provides a lively intersection of the town and campus. The Armory Art Gallery is operated as an educational and outreach service of the University. Its exhibition calendar includes work by visiting artists, faculty, and students.

Additional core facilities that support MFA courses and student work include the following:

  • The Media Building, located centrally downtown, is occasionally utilized for School of Visual Arts classrooms and provides unique opportunities for collaboration and exhibition.
  • The Creativity and Innovation District LLC Building is centrally located and adjacent to numerous other School of Visual Arts spaces. This building offers state-of-the-art seminar and studio classrooms for studio art courses as well as graduate critique events.
  • Digital Arts and Animation Lab (DAAS) is centrally located on the first floor of the Newman Library. The lab contains a render farm as well as numerous computers configured with professional software to facilitate creative production across digital arts and media technologies.
  • ICAT Box, (CTBOX) located adjacent to DAAS on the first floor of the Newman Library, this lab additionally contains computers and software as well as VR headsets and other equipment for immersive and interactive media development.
  • Henderson Hall houses the offices of numerous SOVA faculty, classrooms for the Graphic Design program (undergraduate) and Art History, as well as classrooms utilized by the Creative Technologies program. Four Design (SOVA's undergraduate professional design internship program) is also located in Henderson.

Equipment and Tools accessible to MFAs who have received permission and requisite training include items such as the following:

  • 3D Laser Scanner

  • Flatbed Scanners

  • CNC Router

  • 3D Printers

  • Laser and Inkjet Printers

  • Laser Cutters

  • VR Headsets

  • VR-Ready Computers

  • HD and 4K Digital Projectors

  • Plasma, HD and 4K Monitors

  • DSLR and Digital Video Cameras

  • 16mm Cameras

  • Tripods, Lighting Kits, Projector Stands

  • Digital Audio Recorders

  • Media Players

  • Soldering supplies

  • Small electronics, sensors, microcontrollers

College-level facilities include the Art + Architecture Library located in Cowgill Hall. 

Additionally, MFA students may be able to undertake research projects through ICAT, which can facilitate access to specialized equipment and production spaces. These include labs equipped and dedicated to innovative and experimental arts and technology research projects. Within ICAT, these labs include the Cube, Experience Studio, Sandbox, Learn Studio, Perform Studio, and Create Studio.

All Virginia Tech students additionally have access to well-equipped public digital laboratories facilitated by the University Libraries, including the various Media Design Studios, which are spaces for all members of the Virginia Tech campus community to create or co-create various types of media, including video, audio, and other multimedia, and access or check out high-end technology. This suite of options includes:

  • The Virtual Environments Studio (VR production)

  • The 3D Design Studio (3D printing)

  • The Data Viz Studio (a data visualization lab)

  • The Fusion Studio (co-working/ brainstorming and prototyping space)  

Facility Web Resources

See the links below regarding a range of facilities, classroom/lab spaces, and resources currently utilized by the School of Visual Arts at Virginia Tech. 
Resources: The School of Visual Arts: Armory Building ( Henderson Hall ( Creativity and Innovation District Building ( The Moss Arts Center and ICAT ( Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown ( Art and Architecture Library ( DAAS Lab, CTBox, and various Library Studios ( Media Annex ( Media Building (