MFA Thesis Presentations

Registration deadline:
Sunday, October 13, 2019 (11:59 p.m.)

Register via Slideroom for ONE of the following:

  • 2020 MFA FVNMAS Festival (Film, Video, New Media, Animation, and Sound) Festival
  • 2020 MFA IMPACT Performance Festival
  • 2020 MFA Show Show at Sullivan Galleries

Link to all registration forms

See details below for descriptions of MFA thesis presentation options, and further information about participation

Eligibility FAQ

  1. Who is eligible to participate in the 2020 graduate thesis presentations?

    MFA in Studio and MFA in Writing students graduating Fall 2019, Winter 2019, Spring 2020, or have 6 or fewer credits to complete in Summer 2020.

  2. What are the presentation requirements for my degree?

    MFA in Studio students completing MFA in Studio programs are required to present a final project in the FVNMAS Festival, IMPACT Performance Festival, or MFA Show to complete their thesis requirement. As an alternative, a presentation in a public venue outside of SAIC may also fulfill the thesis requirement with prior approval from the Dean of Graduate Studies. Students are only permitted to participate in ONE of these three thesis presentation options.

    MFA in Writing students completing the MFA in Writing degree are NOT required to present a final project in the FVNMAS Festival, IMPACT Performance Festival, or MFA Show to complete their thesis requirement. MFAW students planning to participate in a thesis presentation event are required to complete at least 6 studio credits by the end of the third semester AND to advise with a studio faculty member in their final semester.

  3. How will my eligibility be confirmed?

    Eligibility to participate will be subject to a credit check after the Spring 2020 add/drop period has ended. We highly recommend that you check your credit status with the registrar in advance, before the add/drop period, to confirm that your transcript is accurate, and that your credits are in order.


2020 Spring MFA Thesis Presentation Options


Film, Video, New Media, Animation, and Sound (FVNMAS) Festival

Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State Street
Dates: May 6-9

FVNMAS Festival is a four-day screening event featuring the work of graduating MFA and BFA students, coordinated by faculty from the departments of FVNMA and Sound, and with the support of the Department of Exhibitions and Exhibition Studies.

Questions? Contact Casey Puccini:

IMPACT Performance Festival

Location Zhou B Art Center, 1029 W 35th St, Chicago, IL 60609
Dates: TBD

IMPACT Performance Festival is a two-day event coordinated by the Department of Exhibitions and Exhibition Studies with support from a SAIC Performance faculty lead. 

Questions? Contact Lauren Steinberg:

MFA Show

Sullivan Galleries, 33 S. State St., 7th floor
Dates: April 25 – May 13

The MFA Show is a two and a half-week exhibition coordinated by professional and graduate student curatorial teams in collaboration with the participating artists and with the support of the Department of Exhibitions and Exhibition Studies.


MFA Show 2020 Guest Curator Lecture Series

All talks held in the Sullivan Galleries conference room, 33 S. State, 7th floor

Tuesday, October 1, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. (Lunch will be served)
Daniel Tucker, Assistant Professor and founding Graduate Program Director in Socially-Engaged Art, Moore College of Art & Design, Philadelphia

Tuesday, October 15, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. (Lunch will be served)
Jamillah James, Curator, Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Tuesday, November 12, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. (Lunch will be served)
Robyn Farrell, Assistant Curator, Department of Modern and Contemporary Art, The Art Institute of Chicago

Reserving Media Center equipment for the show

If you need video projectors, media players, monitors, computers, etc. for the exhibition, information about media interview sign-ups with the Media Center, and equipment requests via Greenlight will be announced in February.

Questions about the MFA Show? Contact Staci Boris,

Art School Considerations

Important information on health, safety, and legal details to consider when creating works for the SAIC community.