Programs of Study

Columbia University School of the Arts awards the Master of Fine Arts degree in FilmTheatreVisual Arts, and Writing, as well as an interdisciplinary program in Sound Art that leads to an MFA in Visual Arts. The School also offers a Master of Arts degree in Film and Media Studies. It maintains a strong commitment to undergraduate education in the arts by offering majors in Creative Writing, Film and Media Studies, and Visual Arts that lead to the Bachelor of Arts, awarded by Columbia College and the School of General Studies. Over the summer, the School offers courses for students of all ages and levels of artistic experience in our Summer Program.

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 of 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.

From the Sundance Film Festival to the Venice Biennale, from the cover of the New York Times Book Review to Broadway, the success of the School's faculty and alumni has never before been as prominent and celebrated.

Carol Becker, Dean Emerita, Professor of the Arts
behind the scenes of "Aphaysia"

Columbia University School of the Arts offers students the opportunity to go to film school at one of the world's great universities, with a faculty of working professionals esteemed in both Hollywood and the independent film community. Our home is New York City, one of the creative capitals of the world.

professor rob king lecturing
Film and Media Studies

The MA in Film and Media Studies program and the undergraduate Film and Media Studies major give students a unique opportunity to study film history and theory in the midst of an active filmmaking community and a world capital of film culture.

man and woman sitting on velvet couch

The Theatre MFA Program is collaborative, international, and interdisciplinary. It defines itself by its location in New York City. And it thrives on the extensive network of Columbia alumni and faculty who work in prestigious theatres at every level, who direct and perform in award-winning productions, and who engage with our students far beyond the classroom.

art gallery covered in black and white wallpaper with painting hanging
Visual Arts + Sound Art

The Visual Arts MFA Program attracts emerging artists of unusual promise from around the world. They join a vigorous community, working alongside an exceptional faculty at a world-renowned research institution in New York City, the center of the art world.

stacks of books

The Writing MFA Program is highly regarded for its rigorous approach to literary instruction and for its faculty of acclaimed writers and editors who are devoted and dedicated teachers. The faculty, the students, and the curriculum represent and foster a full range of artistic and literary diversity.

Sound art piece
What All Is, 2014, Carla Cisnos '15
Joint Programs

The School of the Arts offers several exciting joint programs, including the MFA Sound Art, Literary Translation at Columbia, Global Programs and more.