Transart Institute MFA with transfer to Studio PhD – deadline 1 June 2011

TRANSART INSTITUTE is offering the first studio-based PhD in an international low-residency format. The institute seeks to attract independent and inquisitive artists. In a uniquely international setting, Transart Institute offers a two year MFA in Creative Practice and practice-based studies leading to a doctor of philosophy (PhD) degree for working artists, teachers and all professionals in related fields who are seeking advancement in visual arts and new media.

The MPhil/PhD is a three to four year full time degree program with an average work commitment of 30 hours per week. Registration is initially for the MPhil stage, with students transferring to PhD registration at the end of the first year. The Degree is only offered for practice-based research (creative work) accompanied by a written thesis.

The MFA program consists of three intensive summer residencies in Europe filled with lectures, workshops, critiques, seminars, performances and exhibitions and two shorter winter residencies in New York City. In the four semesters between residencies, students create an individual course of study realizing art and research projects with the support of faculty and self-chosen studio advisors wherever they work and live.

Transfer from the MFA to the MPhil/PhD is possible at the end of the first year with an accepted proposal.

Transart Website


Summer Residencies are both milestones and resources, taking place at the beginning middle and end of the two year program. Residencies open with a thesis exhibition, performances and a public vernissage. Weeks one and three consist of studio workshops, week two focuses on cultural studies seminars, Fridays center on student presentations. In addition, guest lectures, artist and curator talks and critiques as well as individual meetings with faculty take place each week in order for students to plan, inform and finalize the coming year’s project. Further details online.


The focus is on presentations, critiques, feedback and the sharing of resources mid-way through studio and research projects. Students have the opportunity to experiment with presentation forms in order to explore exhibition, performance and documentation possibilities in anticipation of the summer thesis exhibition. Guest artist talks, screenings and practical topical workshops complete the residency. This winter’s schedule can be found in the calendar.


Transart faculty comes from a wide range of academic and artistic backgrounds as well as geographic locations. Current theoretical areas of expertise include software art, curatorial work, cyberfeminism, African diaspora, interface technologies, digital arts, continental philosophy, media, social studies in colonialism, capitalism and tourism, word and image relationships, and contemporary asian art history. Studio faculty include international artists working with sound, performance, dance and choreography, photography, drawing, sculpture, film and video, intervention and installation art. Details online.


The majority of Transart students are emerging and mid-career artists and educators at tertiary institutions. Transart Institute’s residencies are a meeting place for cultural exchange. Transart students and alumni will converge for the summer residency from areas as diverse as Italy, Egypt, Pakistan, Iceland, Croatia, Ethiopia, Canada, Costa Rica, the UK and the US.

For many students the time at Transart is a transformational experience. New York based artist Virgil Wong found “The community I’ve become a part of through Transart is already much more immersive than what I’ve developed in ten years of living and working as an artist in New York City”. Photographer and performer Angelika Rinnhofer found that “to work independently can pose a challenge but it also offers freedom and flexibility. Since a large number of students are accomplished artists and earn a living, Transart’s concept is ideal to work toward a degree and to expand one’s artistic career in addition to having a job.” For composer and artist David Dunn “perhaps the most important aspect of the program, to me personally, has been the realization of just how constrained my professional life can be. I have no lack of colleagues or opportunities to present my work but my network of association tends to reinforce a particular set of intellectual and aesthetic assumptions that become ‘the’ set of assumptions. Transart succeeds at prying apart some of those entrenched viewpoints to provide space for new ideas and concerns. The truly international makeup of the students and faculty reinforces this.” More details online.


MFA: Application deadline is June 1, 2011 with rolling admissions (pending availability of places). Applications can be submitted online.

MPhil/PhD: Application deadline is June 7, 2011. The application should include a detailed proposal. The process is explained online.


Tuition is $9,760 per semester for the MFA and $10,520 per semester for the MPhil/PhD with a reduced fee of $3,250 for the write-up year. Some partial scholarships (typically 10-25%) are available for the MFA and will be awarded with acceptance into the program. Transart Developing Country MFA Scholarships of 50% are given to residents/citizens of countries on the List of Developing Countries as published by the Australian Government. Some assistantships covering a small portion of the tuition are available for the PhD program. Please note that Transart Institute has no full scholarships. Additional financing might be available through sources in the student’s country of residence and/or citizenship. University of Plymouth’s re-certification as a foreign school is complete and a school code for U.S. student loans will be issued in the coming weeks.

For further information please contact Selina Heaton:

Cella, MFA,
Klaus Knoll, PhD
Directors, Transart Institute

Phone: (347) 410 9905, Fax: (508) 682 2853