Open Academy

Continuing Education (CE) and non-matriculated students now have the opportunity to take PAFA BFA courses for credit or non-credit through the Open Academy

PAFA's renowned studio arts program emphasizes excellence in technical skills, creative expression, and critical thinking in painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, illustration, and liberal arts courses.  Open Academy students enrolled in BFA courses gain a firm grounding in studio art skills and liberal arts studies from master artist-teachers while working amongst dedicated full-time students in PAFA's classrooms.


  • Increased access to BFA faculty, allowing students to study under instructors previously unavailable to individuals not enrolled in PAFA's undergraduate programs
  • An expanded selection of studio art courses in drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, illustration and digital media
  • Access to art history courses as well as select liberal arts classes in literature, science, mathematics, history and social sciences, geared toward the concerns of working artists
  • A diverse, dedicated student population to cultivate new perspectives and relationships and to promote a more typical college-level experience
  • The opportunity to build a portfolio and accumulate undergraduate credits toward PAFA's BFA programs, for a headstart on becoming a full-time PAFA student*
  • The ability for non-matriculated students to take advantage of PAFA's exceptional faculty and facilities to fulfill fine arts credit requirements for transfer to other colleges or universities**.

* Courses must be taken for credit and meet grade eligibility requirements to be transferred to PAFA or other college programs.  All courses must be evaluated for transfer to PAFA's BFA program, based on satisfactory completion of coursework and review of the student's course portfolio.  If approved, a maximum of 15 credits (CE or Open Academy) may be accepted as transfer credits. 

** Students seeking to transfer credits to another institution should first confirm with their School Registrar or Admissions Office that PAFA courses meet their school's eligibility requirements.  PAFA is accredited through the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).  PAFA is a member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD). 

Courses and Registration

Spring 2022 Open Academy registration is now closed.

Fall 2022 enrollment opens in August. 

Only select BFA courses are available for Open Academy registration.  See course list and policy information below.  Students must have a high school degree or equivalent (GED) to participate in BFA classes through the Open Academy. 

The Spring 2022 semester runs Thursday, January 13 - Thursday, May 5.  See course list above for course schedules. Courses with prerequisites indicated require final registration approval from the College Registrar, based on enrollment history.  See course descriptions.

View Open Academy Courses


Open Academy tuition is comparable to PAFA BFA per-class rates.  Tuition costs are calculated based a course's contact hours and available credits (select appropriate credit option when registering):

  • Half-day/1.5-credit studio courses (45 total contact hours at 3 hours/session for 15 weeks) are available for $1,700 for non-credit or $2,000 for credit
  • Full-day/3.0-credit studio courses (90 total contact hours at 6 hours/session, excluding lunch breaks, for 15 weeks) are offered for $3,400 non-credit or $4,000 for credit
  • Half-day/3.0-credit liberal arts courses (45 total contact hours at 3 hours/session for 15 weeks), when available, are offered for $3,400 non-credit or $4,000 for credit.

Academic Policies

By enrolling in a PAFA BFA/Post-Baccalaureate class through the Open Academy, students agree to abide by the policies and regulations defined by the program and detailed in PAFA's Student Policies.  Students are responsible for reviewing this important information prior to the first day of class.  Failure to comply with these policies and procedures may result in disciplinary action and possible dismissal with forfeiture of tuition and fees.

Please note:  Acceptance to Open Academy classes constitutes CE student enrollment, not full-time student status; as such, students are ineligible for BFA/MFA/Post-Baccalaureate extracurricular activities or studio rentals and will not be charged said fees.

COVID Safety Policies

Updated for Spring 2022

All students enrolling in on-campus courses must now submit not only proof of full vaccination upon registration (or documentation for a medical/religious exemption request), but also the COVID-19 booster by January 17, 2022, or as soon as they become eligible for the booster shot.  Onsite card display and card images emailed to the CE office cannot be accepted. Proof of the full two-dose Pfizer/Moderna or single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccination must be submitted even if the booster shot has not yet been received. Students awaiting booster eligibility must promptly resubmit proof of vaccination after receiving the booster. Registration for any on-campus course is pending without vaccination documentation or exemption approval. See CE's Policies and Procedures for complete COVID-19 safety requirements.

Contact Continuing Education

Thank you for your interest in PAFA's CE programs. Join our community of dedicated artists of all ages and skill levels:  Continuing Education offers exceptional studio art classes and workshops for beginner to advanced artists outside of PAFA's degree programs, available to both museum members and the general public.

Telephone: (215) 972–7632