Moore’s Socially Engaged Art degree programs bring together artists and organizers in the same space, to critically and pragmatically engage in the discourses and practices concerned with art’s relationship to place, collaboration, ethics, material and interdisciplinary research. 

We are concerned with the role, history and potential of art in relationship to society. Through our classes, public programs, community partnerships, symposia and the work of our renowned students and faculty, we are making our way through the world, asking challenging questions together. 

We offer a two-year MFA in Socially Engaged Studio Art and a one-year MA in Socially Engaged Art. Moore BFA students in any major (other than Art Education) who choose to enroll in the 4+1 program can receive their MA in Socially Engaged Art in just one additional year.

FAST FACT: 100% of entering MFA candidates receive a $1,000 research award!


Encourages artists to: 

  • Think across artistic disciplines 
  • Consider critical issues that arise when conceptualizing, making, disseminating and documenting art 

Degree candidates often go on to: 

  • Teach art in community settings and schools 
  • Participate in artist-run spaces 
  • Exhibit artwork widely 

Focused on: 

  • Administering, organizing and facilitating socially engaged art experiences 
  • Studying community engagement through the arts 

Degree candidates often go on to: 

  • Become museum professionals 
  • Work in schools 
  • Initiate their own organizations

Alumni Spotlight

Hear from Socially Engaged Art MFA and MA graduates, in their own words.
Tim Goldsmith MFA '19 Alumni

"When I was looking at MFA programs, I visited Philadelphia to attend a Moore summer symposium and found myself in a room with other artists and practitioners who were asking the same questions I was starting to ask in my
own practice and who had given a great deal of time to seeking answers. My experiences at that symposium were a primary factor in my decision to attend Moore. When I became a student, I definitely found opportunities to continue those conversations with faculty, my cohort, artists in the city and through my own research in my studies! The work that followed continues to drive my practice today.”

Kristen Shahverdian MA '19 Alumni

"The different classes that I took [at Moore] allowed me to see connections between history, social movements, art practices, capitalism, institutions and artists. As a dancer and choreographer, I come from a place centering the body’s experience and knowledge. This gave me a unique perspective at a visual arts college. By leaning into visual art and socially engaged art, I deepened my own work and added another field to that which I belong. I carry with me today the practice of writing and research and the connections with my cohort and my professors."

Why Choose Socially Engaged Art at Moore?

Daniel Tucker Graduate Program Director, Socially Engaged Art

Art today is boundless and exhilarating, moving between the skills of image-making, the crafting of material, the framing of ideas and research that exceeds the limits of disciplines. And yet, so often, art programs tend to get stuck in the past, in terms of how the art is taught, where the teaching takes place and who facilitates it.

At the nexus of art and research, you’ll find Moore’s graduate programs in Socially Engaged Art, where we take a strong and passionate interest in asking questions. We ask an important question: What does art look like—or what can it look like—with social engagement at top of mind?

Our MFA degree in Socially Engaged Studio Art is fundamentally concerned with the role of art in society and offers a curriculum that encourages artists to think across disciplines about critical issues that arise today. Some students’ backgrounds may lead them to focus more on the internal world of the artist, while others may gravitate toward active collaboration between the artist and their neighborhood or local organizations.

Our MA degree focuses on the administration, organization and facilitation of socially engaged art experiences and deep study of the emerging field of community engagement through the arts. With interdisciplinary courses in research methods and project management alongside seminars on identity and place, this program provides candidates with the practical, ethical and theoretical tools to both analyze and produce transformative art experiences.

At Moore we will grow, inquire, make and learn together in a community unlike any other. I look forward to working with you.

Recent and upcoming guests of the Socially Engaged Art program include:

Ajara Alghali, Phoebe Bachman, Anne Basting, Solana Chehtman, James Claiborne, Daniel De Jesus, Jess Garz, Jane Golden, Witty Gritty, Alicia Grullón, Grupo de Arte Callejero, Maori Holmes, Christine Kapps, Susannah Laramee Kidd, Cole Liu, Jared Margulies, Louis Massiah, Mike Obryan, Michelle Angela Ortiz, Laura Raicovich, Erik Ruin, Monique Scott, Jennie Shanker, Synatra Smith, Elizabeth Tuttle, Shira Walinsky, Huewayne Watson MFA '18, Brittany Webb, Caroline Woolard, Hitomi Yoshida, Hamed Yousefi, Tukufu Zuberi


Visit and Apply

We'd love to meet you and tell you more about the Socially Engaged Art MFA and MA programs at Moore! Visit our Graduate Studies Admissions page to learn about upcoming virtual info sessions, how to visit campus or connect with faculty, and how to start your application.