About Columbia University School of the Arts
Columbia University School of the Arts awards the Master of Fine Arts degree in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing and the Master of Arts degree in Film and Media Studies; it also offers an interdisciplinary program in Sound Art. The School is a thriving, diverse community of talented, visionary, and committed artists from around the world and a faculty comprised of acclaimed and internationally renowned artists, film and theatre directors, writers of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, playwrights, producers, critics, and scholars. In 2015, the School marked the 50th Anniversary of its founding. In 2017, the School opened the Lenfest Center for the Arts, a multi-arts venue designed as a hub for the presentation and creation of art across disciplines on the University’s new Manhattanville campus. The Lenfest hosts exhibitions, performances, screenings, symposia, readings, and lectures that present new, global voices and perspectives, as well as an exciting, publicly accessible home for Columbia’s Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery.
A Message from the Dean
Dear students and students-to-be,
The School of the Arts is an innovative graduate professional school with a tradition of risk-taking, grounded in a deeply intellectual Ivy League university and energized by our location in New York City—one of the great cultural capitals of the world. The study and practice of art-making at the School is an immersive, constantly evolving process. Aspiring, emerging or established, our filmmakers, writers, theatre practitioners and visual artists grow individually through intensive engagement with their craft and lively, often profound exchanges of ideas and work.
From the Sundance Film Festival to the Venice Biennale, from the cover of the New York Times Book Review to Broadway, from America’s most established regional theaters to Europe and Asia’s renowned film and theatre festivals, the success of the School’s faculty and alumni has never before been as prominent and celebrated. Members of our faculty have received the highest recognition in their fields, including Academy Awards, Tony Awards, MacArthur Foundation Fellowships, Guggenheim Fellowships, Pulitzer Prizes, National Book Awards, and the Nobel Prize for Literature. Our alumni also claim a record of astonishing success, measured not simply by awards and prizes, contracts and contacts, but by the quality and cultural significance of their artistic achievements.
Today, the School serves nearly 800 Master of Fine Arts students from 57 countries in the Film, Theatre, Visual Arts and Writing programs, and 35 Master of Arts students in Film Studies. The School’s faculty also teaches more than 1,627 undergraduate students in 120 courses offered each year.
We hope you will engage with this website to explore the most current information about public lectures, screenings, readings, exhibitions and performances, as well as admissions and financial aid information and application forms for prospective students.
We welcome your interest in and inquiries about the Columbia University School of the Arts community.