Graduate Catalog
2020-2021
 
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
Creative Technologies
College of Architecture & Urban Studies
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
Armory
Degree(s) Offered:
• MFA
MFA Degree in Creative Technologies
Minimum GPA: 3.0
Offered In:
Blacksburg
Email Contact(s):
Phone Number(s):
540/231-5547
Application Deadlines:
Fall: Jan 15
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Armory

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Department Head : Amy Kirschke
Graduate Program Director : Rachel Weaver (Director of Creative Technologies )
Professors: Kevin Concannon; Eric Standley
Associate Professors: Samuel Blanchard; Meaghan Dee; Travis Head; Thomas Tucker
Assistant Professors: Michael Borowski; Zachary Duer; Lesley Duffield; Patrick Finley; Nathan King; Kathleen Meaney; Wallace Santos Lages; Rachel Weaver

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 in the CT MFA pursue the development of original artistic works and research with the support of faculty mentorship amidst a diverse community of 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 research interests of each student. Approaches to investigation span a remarkable spectrum of inquiry across art, design, and computing, from coding, virtual environments, 3D modeling, and interactivity, to video art, projection mapping, experimental animation, expanded sculpture, and a myriad of other unbounded creative modalities. Research trajectories for 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.

On average, full-time enrolled MFA students will complete the program in four semesters or two full academic years.

Application Deadline

Our program's standard application deadline is January 15, for Fall admission only. 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 here for addiional specific application instructions.

Broader Contexts

College of Architecture and Urban Studies (CAUS)The School of Visual Arts (SOVA) is one of the four schools housed within the College of Architecture and Urban Studies. CAUS 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, CAUS offers 11 undergraduate majors, 7 minors, and 13 graduate degree programs. More information about CAUS 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 will facilitate a strengthened community of creation and innovation. This space is set to open and begin supporting SOVA students by 2022. In addition to housing a diverse transdisciplinary undergraduate population, the CID's new facilities will 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:
  • IELTS
  • TOEFL
    • Paper
      • 550.0
    • iBT
      • 80.0
The MFA in Creative Technologies requires the accumulation of 60 graduate credit hours over approximately four semesters of full-time enrollment. Graduate credit hours should be distributed as follows:*
  • 15 credit hours in applied studio courses across SOVA

  • 12 minimum additional credit hours in 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 approved by advisors and appropriate to 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. 
  • 12 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, completeion, 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. 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 before receiving approval from the Committee.

Concentrations

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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 Art & Design Learning Center (ADLC) is the location for SOVA studios in Painting, Photography, and Sculpture. The Sculpture studio maintains a strong focus on digital fabrication/prototyping and also includes a full wood shop, welding supplies, and CNC Router / Laser Cutter.
  • The Media Building, located centrally downtown, is occasionally utilized for School of Visual Arts classrooms, and provides unique opportunities for collaboration and exhibition.
  • Digital Arts and Animation Lab (DAAS), 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 and resources currently utilized by the School of Visual Arts at Virginia Tech. 
Resources: The School of Visual Arts: Armory Building (http://www.vt.edu/about/buildings/armory.html) Henderson Hall (http://www.vt.edu/about/buildings/henderson-hall.html) Art and Design Learning Center (http://www.vt.edu/about/buildings/art-and-design-learning-center.html) The Moss Arts Center and ICAT (http://www.vt.edu/about/buildings/center-for-the-arts.html) Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown (http://www.vt.edu/about/buildings/graduate-life-center.html) Art and Architecture Library (https://lib.vt.edu/spaces/campus-libraries/artarch-library.html) DAAS Lab, CTBox, and various Library Studios (http://icat.vt.edu/studios/)