Graduate FAQs

What is PAFA’s tuition?
How should I prepare my portfolio?
What scholarships are available?
What housing options are available?
What work opportunities are available?
What are the academic requirements for acceptance to the Graduate program?
What is Philadelphia like?
What is the PAFA campus like?
What is the Graduate program faculty like?


1.  What is PAFA’s tuition?
For current Post-Baccalaureate and MFA tuition rates, visit the Tuition and Fees page. Graduate students have access to an outstanding faculty, an array of visiting artists, 24-hour studio usage, and remarkable facilities.

2.  How should I prepare my portfolio?
MFA and Post-Baccalaureate candidates may present a portfolio that is a cohesive body of work and shows potential toward the completion of a thesis. A portfolio guide can be found here.

3.  What scholarships are available?
Completed applications received by the deadlines are automatically considered for Merit Scholarships based on the strength of the portfolio. Please visit the Financial Aid and Scholarships page for more information.

4.  What housing options are available?
Graduate students are expected to find housing independently. PAFA's Student Life Office can help answer questions regarding Philly neighborhoods, travel to-and-from campus, etc. They also maintain a directory of students looking for roommates. Off-campus housing resources are available here.

5.  What work opportunities are available at PAFA?
Numerous opportunities for gaining experience are available:

  • High School Program: MFA students are hired to teach classes offered at PAFA to Philadelphia high school students.
  • Summer FUNdamentals Art Camp: Graduate students are hired by the Museum Education Department to teach summer camp classes to children and teens.
  • Weekend Workshops: Graduate students are hired by the Museum Education Department to teach daylong public workshops in various media.
  • Graduate Assistantships:  MFA students in the first year (second semester) and second year of the program may apply to assist undergraduate faculty in classes. The positions are unpaid but provide experience and networking opportunities.
  • Graduate Teaching Assistantships Second year MFA students that have completed one semester as a Graduate Assistant, may apply for this position. Students awarded Graduate Teaching Assistantships will receive additional training in teaching skills by the undergraduate instructor in charge, and will be expected to play an active instructional role in the classroom. There are six Graduate Teaching Assistantships per year, and each is granted a $1000 stipend.
  • Visiting Artists Program: This program is completely student-run and offers valuable networking opportunities. Positions can be work-study or volunteer.
  • Monitors: Some classes require monitors to assist in setting up and breaking down of equipment, coordinating models, etc.
  • Work Study: Eligible students can be considered for various positions available within the school's administrative and academic offices as well as the museum and Gallery 128, the student gallery.

6.  What are the academic requirements for acceptance to the Graduate program?
MFA and Low-Res MFA candidates must have a BFA degree from an accredited college or university, a bachelor’s degree with approximately 60 credits in studio art, or the equivalent for consideration. Post-Bacc candidates must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university that includes substancial art experience, or equivalent.

7.  What is Philadelphia like?
The second-largest city on the east coast and fifth largest in the nation, Philadelphia has a thriving arts community with museums, galleries, co-ops, and cultural institutions all over the city. The city is less than two hours from New York and less than three hours from Washington, D.C., allowing for convenient day trips.

8.  What is the PAFA campus like?
PAFA is an urban campus and is easily accessible via subway, trolley, regional rail, and air. Facilities include a foundry, metal shop, wood shop, frame shop, digital lab, print shop, large and well-lit studio classrooms, and spacious student studios with 24-hour access.

9.  What is the Graduate program faculty like?
From artists working in traditional modes to those working in new media, the faculty is world renowned and collected by major institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Israel Museum, and Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna, to name a few. Visit the Graduate Faculty Work gallery for details.

Back To Top