Undergraduate Programs

A low student-to-faculty ratio and individualized mentorship are the PAFA trademark. 

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) is a four-year degree program that pairs a creatively focused liberal arts education with rigorous studio art training in one of our six areas of study. 

The PAFA-Penn BFA combines PAFA’s rigorous fine arts training with liberal arts through the University of Pennsylvania, culminating with an Ivy League BFA diploma from the University of Pennsylvania.

Certificates, these two one-year programs, the Fine Arts Foundations and Studio Certificates, offer learning in art-making fundamentals or independent studio practice.

Only at PAFA

World Class Faculty

The 7:1 faculty to student ratio means PAFA students have individualized mentors who are dedicated educators, practicing artists, and scholars. Plus, the Visiting Artist Program offers exposure to a wide range of artistic approaches and fosters discussion about contemporary art and ideas.

First Year Foundation

The first-year BFA curriculum at PAFA provides you with an unparalleled foundation on which to build and explore. Develop strong traditional fine art making skills in combination with contemporary practices, to prepare for innovation, experimentation, and finding your own personal voice.

Areas of Study

After their first year, BFA students focus on studio arts training across our 6 different concentrations:
Animation, Drawing, Illustration, Painting, Printmaking, and Sculpture.
Students also have the option to select a minor or design their own course of study.

Student Exhibitions

Throughout a student's time there are frequent opportunities to exhibit, including the BFA capstone Annual Student Exhibition, where students launch professional careers in a world class art museum. The preview event is widely attended each year by local art curators and collectors.

Individual studio spaces for upper level BFA students

Career Services

Robust and practical career support allows PAFA students to develop the skills necessary to advance their careers in whatever direction they choose.

Resources include project-based learning and financial support. In addition to regular workshops and individual guidance, the PAFA Fine Arts Venture Fund engages current students in the grant-making process, many for the first time. Participants learn to develop a project proposal, craft a detailed budget, and, for semi-finalists, present a compelling case for support to a panel of business experts. From 2014 to 2022, PAFA has awarded students more than $290,000 through the Fine Arts Venture Fund.

Museum and Research Resources

Each year student artwork is selected to enter the PAFA museum's renowned permanent collection, making possible its stewardship and preservation for the future public.

All students and Alumni enjoy museum access including the ability to study directly from painting in the galleries. Some students choose to apply for work study or internships to explore curating, museum education and development, and digital archiving.


Picture Yourself at PAFA

PAFA educates artists from around the world to be innovative makers and critical thinkers with a deep understanding of traditions and the ability to challenge conventions.