SUNY New Paltz ranked as one of the Best Graduate Schools for Fine Arts in the nation

NEW PALTZ – SUNY New Paltz has been ranked as one of the Best Graduate Schools for Fine Arts by U.S.News & World Report. In the 2013 rankings, New Paltz’ Master of Fine Arts program was ranked 83rd, up 11 places from its previous ranking in 2008. It was one of only four SUNY schools to place in the Top 100.

President Donald P. Christian said the new ranking recognizes the impact of the arts on campus and in the community. “We are so proud of this recognition of our arts programs and the creativity and level of accomplishment of our students, faculty, and staff. The acclaim given to our fine arts graduate program is yet another reflection of the vibrancy of the Hudson Valley arts community that is so important to our region’s culture, history, and economy,” said the president.

The School of Fine & Performing Arts offers nationally accredited programs in art education, art history, art studio, music, and theatre arts. The School is committed to providing a range of opportunities to research, study, create, produce, perform, and present ideas and issues of the arts, so that students can explore how aesthetic experiences offer particular insights and ways of communicating in and about the world. The graduate studies program prepares students for college and university teaching and other professional careers in the arts.

Commenting on the ranking, Mary Hafeli, the dean of the School of Fine & Performing Arts said, “Our rise in the U.S.News and World Report rankings reflects the distinctive accomplishments of our faculty and students in the MFA program at SUNY New Paltz. To be recognized by our peers in this way is very gratifying, and affirms our collective efforts to continually build and refine our programs.”

The U.S.News & World Report specialty fine arts rankings are based solely on ratings by educators at peer schools. Art school deans and other top art school academics, two per school, were asked to nominate up to 10 programs noted for their excellence in each art specialty field – graphic design, painting and drawing, or visual communications. Those receiving the most nominations are listed in the rankings.

L. David Eaton, vice president of enrollment management, said the new rankings do validate the quality of the New Paltz’ Master of Fine Arts programs. “We have long known and appreciated the national and international reputation our fine arts programs enjoy. The MFA programs, in particular, are widely recognized and well respected. This third party ranking is validating and very gratifying because it is an assessment by our peers, who are also our competitors.”

In 2012, U.S. News & World Report ranked New Paltz #6 among the best public universities and #30 among public and private universities in the North, up from the #7 and #33 spots, respectively, in 2011. In 2009, the Master of Fine Arts Program in Metal/Jewelry was ranked #1 in the nation in the U.S. News & World Report list of America’s best graduate schools.

For more detailed information regarding New Paltz applications, course offerings and other degree requirements, call the Graduate Office at (845) 257-3285 or visit

For more information about how U.S. News calculates rankings, visit