What Is Low-Residency?
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 invigorating 9-day residencies. These residencies kick off each semester, and they’re packed with workshops, lectures, discussions, critiques, exhibitions, performances, and more. Between organized events, you have plenty of opportunities to share conversations with faculty over meals and strolls across campus, having informal conversations that contribute to the richly personal experience that is a VCFA residency.
Over the next six months, you continue your studies back at home, working one-on-one with a faculty advisor from an individualized study plan you and your advisor created together, tailored to your own interests and goals. While no two students have the same semester experience, the constant in all study plans is the level of rigor and dedication to craft. The low-residency structure mirrors the lives of professional working artists in a format that is ideally suited to developing each student’s distinctive voice.
Making room for a full-time course of study requires both dedication and creativity, and our programs empower you to find the artistic practice that works in the context of your other important life commitments. You may work best first thing in the morning and set your alarm early to make time for schoolwork, or you may find you do your best work after dinner or even late at night. Nearly all students also make good use of a solid block of weekend time to focus on their studies. We know life circumstances can change over a two-year period, and at VCFA you have the flexibility to change your study schedule to accommodate any changes you might experience.
Low-residency is far from an online degree. From the time you start your first residency you immediately become part of a thriving, highly engaged community that enriches your artistic life, helping you develop and sustain a professional level of practice. When you graduate, you bring with you an enhanced artistic practice you have built and honed over your time at VCFA and a community of collaborators, peers, mentors, and contacts that remain with you as you embark on your post-MFA artistic journey.