Summer Academy

July 6 - 30, 2021

PAFA's flagship pre-college program is a four-week, college-level art-making experience for talented and motivated high school students at the nation's first and premier school of fine art. 

Applications for Summer Academy 2021 are open! Experience PAFA’s historic campus for this immersive, in-person program July 6-July 30.

What about COVID-19? Read more about PAFA’s Summer Academy plan below.

Enjoy rigorous  courses in drawing, painting, sculpture, and printmaking taught by PAFA's exceptional faculty of practicing artists. Check out the amazing work by Summer Academy class of 2020

Summer Academy participants have the opportunity to:

  • Earn a merit-based scholarship for Summer Academy and become eligible for a Next Step Scholarship to PAFA if they enroll in the BFA program
  • Earn 4.0 college-level course credits
  • Get exclusive guidance from and connections to leading artists and curators from PAFA's stellar faculty and wide network of artistic leaders 
  • Get unique tours and experiences at Philadelphia museums and galleries
  • Get a head start on preparing a portfolio for applying to college
  • Participate in an exhibition in PAFA's world-class art museum

Students benefit from exclusive one-on-one portfolio reviews with the school's admissions staff. Summer Academy alumni who are accepted to PAFA's BFA program are eligible for a $4000 Next Step Scholarship ($1000 per year).

Summer Academy 2021 COVID-19 Response Plan

Summer Academy is currently planning to hold on-campus, in-person programming on July 6-30, 2021. However, Summer Academy will follow Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) guidelines for safe practices at the time of the program, and we will closely monitor changing recommendations in the interim. 
If the PDPH advises that it is safe to hold to in-person, non-residential classes, Summer Academy will take place on campus and implement recommended safety measures as part of PAFA’s safe reopening plan. Summer Academy will implement mandatory masking, 6-foot spacing between participants, using classrooms at <25% max occupancy, personal/no-share art supplies, readily available hand-sanitizer and hand-washing, and thorough daily sanitation of all surfaces.
Field trips will all be within walking distance of PAFA and destinations will follow equivalently strict COVID-19 safety protocols. Summer Academy will not provide a residential option, and students will be responsible for commuting to campus.  
If the PDPH does not advise a return to in-person gatherings for the summer and/or the recommended safety measures prohibit the in-person functioning of an elite studio arts program, Summer Academy will shift to an online learning experience. This rigorous program will utilize best practices employed by faculty and staff when PAFA’s BFA and MFA programs successfully transitioned to virtual practice in March 2020. Robust online programming will include training and mentorship by PAFA faculty, with demonstrations, discussion, small group sessions and one-on-one guidance using videoconferencing and learning management system platforms. In lieu of field trips, PAFA will arrange exclusive opportunities for students to meet with artists, educators, curators, and collectors to gain critical insights into how to achieve success in the arts. Students from the Summer Academy 2020 program enjoyed the same artistic skills development from a virtual experience as compared to in-person.
Students participating in an online program will still receive 4.0 college credits, the opportunity to exhibit their work on the PAFA website, training from PAFA’s world renowned faculty, portfolio review and feedback from PAFA Admissions, and the Next Step Scholarship if they are admitted to PAFA’s BFA program. 
PAFA will announce by May 15 if Summer Academy will be in-person or shift online. The deposit deadline for accepting a spot in Summer Academy is June 1. Program costs for the in-person program is $3730, and the online tuition is $2850 (see Tuition page for more details). 
PAFA has taught the next generation of American artists for over 200 years- through wars, plague, and social upheaval. Throughout this time, PAFA’s unparalleled teaching tradition has enabled students to develop skills to create art that sustains society and points the way towards a better future. We are excited to continue in this tradition for Summer Academy 2021.

Developing Artists at Summer Academy

sculpting figure
Teen painting
Sculpting portrait
Cast Drawing

Contact Pre-College Programs

Studio art classes and education for high school students to develop their artistic passions and prepare for college.