Career development and professional practice skills are critical for artists and an integral part of the School of Art curricula.

We support professional development through our visiting artists program and opportunities to study in other U.S. cities and abroad. Master of fine arts (M.F.A.) students have opportunities to work in major art centers through our residency programs, as well as opportunities to teach, apply for creative opportunity grants, and exhibit thesis work in New York City and Syracuse.

Visiting Artists and Alumni

Visiting and resident artists are a wealth of professional knowledge, and you will have the opportunity to interact with them throughout your Syracuse education. Spanning the disciplines, these artists, designers, and educators, many of whom are School of Art alumni, give presentations and lectures and often critique student work. They are a critical component of your artistic growth and professional development.

Visiting Artist Lecture Series (VALS)

The Visiting Artist Lecture Series features approximately 14 contemporary artists each semester. Many artists conduct studio visits with our graduate students, who are involved in the selection of the artists as well as in organizing studio visits with them.

Recent visiting artists have included Jeremy Bailey G’06, Ivana Bašić, Lisa Beck, Julia Breckenreid, Steven Bridges, Sarah Provoncha Burda ’97, John Jay Cabuay, Cassils, Ellen Driscoll, Zackary Drucker, Angela Earley-Alves ’97, Ethan Greenbaum, Kris Grey, Christine Hill, Maggy Rozycki Hiltner ’97, Ellie Irons, Jenny Kanzler ’97, Nicolas Lampert, Shaun Leonardo, Little Friends of Printmaking, Roberto Lugo, Ken Maxwell ’03, Sana Musasama, Guy Oliver, Carl Ostendarp, Kathryn Polk, Deborah Roberts G’14, Richard Roth, Emilie Shapiro ’09, David Shaw, Dadu Shin, Kiki Smith, Susan Stockwell, Keijuan Thomas, Tommy White, and Didier William.

Alpert Fellows

The Sandra Kahn Alpert ’45 Visiting Artist Endowed Fund was established in 2008 to bring leading artists and designers to campus for the purpose of engaging in direct interaction with students and faculty. Guests have included Stephen Talasnik, Shimon Attie, and Abbas Kiarostami.

Recently, the School of Art hosted internationally renowned artist Cassils as an Alpert Fellow. Students in the course Atelier: Cassils participated in the creation of Cassils’ The Resilience of the 20%, a cast bronze sculpture from the Monument Project that was exhibited at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts. Read the class’s blog.

Study Abroad

Opportunities to study abroad and within the U.S. include:

  • The studio arts program at SU’s center in Florence, Italy
  • The Venice Biennale Intensive, a ten-day summer immersion in Venice, Italy
  • Art Week in LA, a Spring Break immersion experience for M.F.A. students generously supported by Marylyn Turner ’56 G’57 and Chuck Klaus G’05
  • The Turner Semester, a residency program in Los Angeles generously supported by Marylyn Turner ’56 G’57 and Chuck Klaus G’05
  • A semester residency program for M.F.A. students in Berlin, Germany
  • A two-week immersion in animation and film for illustration students in Los Angeles

Visit SUAbroad and VPA Study Abroad Programs for further details.

Additional Opportunities for Graduate Students

New York City Thesis Exhibition

The School of Art, along with the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ School of Design and Department of Transmedia, hold an M.F.A. exhibition in New York City in addition to a Syracuse exhibition. The New York exhibition provides an opportunity for our M.F.A. candidates to connect to alumni, peers, and arts professionals in the New York area.


Students interested in teaching enroll in the University’s Future Professoriate Program, through which a teaching portfolio is developed. During their second and third years, selected graduate students are hired to teach specific courses as part-time instructors.

Creative Opportunity Grants

The School of Art supports students in pursuing unique opportunities that will benefit their artistic practice and enhance their career development through Creative Opportunity Grants (COG). These small grants will provide support for single or multiple-student projects with preference being given to projects that both enhance the development of the student and the prestige of the school. Visit Answers for further details.