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“Going to PAFA was one of the best decisions I made.”  -Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Post-Bacc. '06, winner of the 2014 James Dicke Contemporary Artist Prize, Smithsonian Institution

Creative Self-Discovery

The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate program is a one-year, studio-based curriculum of graduate-level study in studio art. Students create a strong and individualized body of work in a rigorous, supportive environment while gaining the confidence for continued work and study. It is ideal for artists working independently who wish to experiment and bring new focus to their work, as well as for artists seeking further development before pursuing an MFA.

The focus is on the traditional disciplines of painting, sculpture and printmaking, while acknowledging the multiple facets and fluid parameters of each. The program provides regular studio visits and group critiques with faculty in addition to studio courses and discussion seminars.

Program Structure

Each student is assigned a private studio, a program advisor and a team of faculty critics. Students and faculty meet regularly to assess each student's artistic needs. Every artwork is understood within its particular genre, with special attention to subject, form, content and the use of materials, skills, techniques and images.

In addition to individual studio critiques, group critiques are integral to the learning process. Post-Bacc students participate in two weekly seminars: one in readings, research, aesthetics and criticism, and another in drawing. The discussion seminars are intended to stimulate the intellectual rigor with which to refine, and redefine, the artistic interests of the participants. Ultimately, all of these seminars are meant to serve the needs of studio art making. Students are permitted to audit one Certificate course per semester to develop particular skills and may elect to take the master's level painting course for credit.


All MFA and Post-Baccalaureate students are provided a private studio in the Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building and have access to the galleries of PAFA’s renowned collection of historic and contemporary American art. Studios have 24-hour access and are maintained within a facility that meets meet all safety and access requirements.


Michael Moore
Jan Baltzell
Mark Blavat
Neysa Grassi