GW’s Corcoran School of Art & Design launches new MFA in social engaged art with an emphasis on public policy

Applications are now open for a unique interdisciplinary MFA combining socially engaged art with studies in public policy.

Ghana think tank
American Riad, Ghana ThinkTank, 2015 to present. Image courtesy of Ghana ThinkTank, American Riad, and Purchase College, SUNY
April 18, 2019

The Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at the George Washington University is accepting applications to its first M.F.A. program in Social Practice. With classes beginning in Fall 2020, the Master of Fine Arts in Social Practice emphasizes public policy, with a goal of empowering the next generation of artists to bring their studio practice to bear on questions of social justice.


This broadly interdisciplinary program provides the freedom to hybridize the fields in which a student is active.  Over two years and 60 credits, the intensive, interdisciplinary curriculum educates emerging artistic leaders and problem solvers to research, analyze, prototype and design concepts that tackle some of the world’s greatest challenges.


Students will develop a strong foundation in the history, theory, and methodologies of socially engaged art and be able to engage in area studies across the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.  The curriculum combines the study of experimental, relational and performative creative practices with rigorous academic research and field-based experiential learning in Washington, D.C.



The Corcoran School of the Arts and Design is located in the heart of Washington, D.C., a global hub for policymakers, tech leaders, nongovernmental organizations and cultural institutions. This unique access to collaborators provides students with a wealth of opportunities for field-based experiential learning. Washington is home to many federal departments and NGOs dedicated to social change and international development. These organizations are looking for innovative thinkers who are compassionate and educated about the issues of today.


Our application for Fall 2020 opens in August 2019.  The priority application deadline to be considered for tuition awards is February 1, 2020.  Applications will be accepted through April 1, 2020.


Social Practice 


Online information sessions:

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 – 4 p.m. PT/6 p.m. CT/7 p.m. ET

Wednesday, July 17, 2019 – 5 p.m. PT/7 p.m. CT/8 p.m. EST

Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019 – 5 p.m. PT/7 p.m. CT/8 p.m. ET

Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020 – 5 p.m. PT/7 p.m. CT/8 p.m. ET


Sign up for a future session.  

See what social practice is all about.