Submission Guidelines


Degree Critical is a journal produced by the MFA Art Writing Program at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Degree Critical posts reviews, interviews, essays, and other texts online on a weekly basis. It appears as a print publication once a year. The journal features the work of students, alumni, and faculty. Pitches and submissions are accepted on a rolling basis.

As David Levi Strauss, Chair of the MFA Art Writing Program, paraphrases Walter Benjamin in “The Author as Producer,” if it’s not good writing, it can’t be good criticism. Embodying the program’s practice of criticism aspiring to literature, Degree Critical is first and foremost a space of experimentation, and a platform for sharing exceptional critical writing and thinking with a wider and more disparate audience. The journal is both a showcase for the program at its best, and a contribution, by way of example, to the field of good criticism.

Below are the guidelines for pitching to and writing for Degree Critical. Please send any questions you may have to the editors:



There are three ways to publish with Degree Critical:

  1. Pitch a text you would like to write. (Guidelines for pitching below).
  2. Request/receive an assignment from the editors.
  3. Submit a completed text for consideration.

Once your text has been confirmed for publication, you’ll be assigned an editor and a deadline.



In the spirit of the MFA Art Writing Program, Degree Critical upholds criticism as a literary art, and as such, contributions to the journal may take any number of forms. That said, the forms (and their approximate word counts) most frequently published are:

Reviews (600-800 words) of museum exhibitions, gallery shows, performances, happenings and events, etc. To pitch, please send us the following information with a sentence or two telling us your take on the exhibition.




Exhibition URL:

Exhibition dates:

Date you can submit the draft:

Essays (1200–2000 words) on artists, ideas and more. To pitch, please send us a brief synopsis of your ideas (approximately 100 words).

Interviews | Conversations (3000–5000 words) with artists, writers and other cultural figures. To pitch, let us know who you’ll be talking to, and what you’ll generally talk about.

Degree Critical also welcomes writers to propose texts that do not fall into these categories.



Degree Critical pays alumni and non-enrolled contributors:

Reviews:                                             $75

Interviews:                                         $125

Essays                                                 $225



— Your submitted text should be double spaced in 12-point, Times New Roman font. Please submit it as a Word document.

— Please name your file:

AuthorLastName_Subject_v1 (i.e. “Strauss_Jaar_v1”)

— The edit we return to you will be renamed:

AuthorLastName_Subject_v2 (i.e. “Strauss_Jaar_v2”)

— When you respond to these edits, please rename the file:

AuthorLastName_Subject_v3 (i.e. “Strauss_Jaar_v3”)

— All the files originating from you will be odd numbered and all the files originating from Degree Critical will be even numbered. This makes it easier to keep track of things.

— Edits will be made with “track changes” turned on. If you agree with an edit, please “accept” it to keep clutter in the document to a minimum. 

— Do not include images in the body of your text. Instead, when submitting accompanying images, please include a second document as a separate attachment, listing the complete captions, including artist’s name, title of work, date, medium and size. Submit all images separately, labeling each:

ArtistLastName_AbbreviatedTitle_Date (i.e. “Picasso_Demoiselles_1907.”)


Deadlines are set by the editorial team and must be adhered to in all cases. If you need an extension, please contact your editor as soon as possible to discuss it. We reserve the right to the cancel the publication of your piece, and to cancel your fee, if you do not meet your deadline.


Any questions? Email us: