What is a Low-Residency MFA?
At VCFA, low-residency means a supportive community, individualized learning plans tailored to your needs, and close faculty-mentor relationships, all without having to change your job or relocate from your home community.
As a student in VCFA’s low-residency MFA programs, you convene with your program community twice a year for intense and vibrant nine-day residencies. These residencies kick off each semester and are packed with workshops, lectures, discussions, critiques, exhibitions, performances, and more. Between events, you have ample opportunity to engage with faculty over meals and have informal conversations that contribute to the richly personal experience of a VCFA residency. View highlights from our recent summer residency.
INDIVIDUALIZED MENTORSHIP & STUDY
Following the residency, over the next six months, you continue your studies back at home. Working one-on-one with a faculty advisor, you work from an individualized study plan tailored to your interests and goals. While students have different semester experiences, the level of rigor and attention to craft is consistent across all study plans. The low-residency mentorship model mirrors the lives of professional working artists and is ideal for developing each student’s distinctive voice.
Making room for a full-time course of study requires dedication and creativity. Our programs empower you to find the artistic practice that works in the context of your other life commitments. You may work best first thing in the morning and set your alarm early to make time for schoolwork. You may find you do your best work after dinner or even late at night. Nearly all students also use a solid block of weekend time to focus on their studies. We know life circumstances can change over two years, and at VCFA, you have the flexibility to adjust your study schedule to meet your needs.
Low-residency is far from an online degree. When you start your first residency, you immediately become part of a thriving, highly engaged community. A community that enriches your creative life, helping you develop and sustain a professional level of practice. When you graduate, you leave with an enhanced artistic practice and a network of collaborators, peers, mentors, and contacts that remain with you as you embark on your post-MFA journey.
Feature Artwork by: Jennifer Kapitulik (GD’24)