Extraordinary fine arts training. Exceptional Ivy League academics. Together in one program. 

Earn your Bachelor of Fine Arts degree while studying at two of Philadelphia’s most prestigious institutions in the coordinated PAFA/Penn Bachelor of Fine Arts program. For 100 years, the University of Pennsylvania has partnered with the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts to provide students with unparalleled opportunities to pursue their artistic passions and intellectual pursuits in the Ivy League.

Marked by flexible and personalized course options, this program is ideal for self-motivated and committed students seeking to pursue their artistic passions and intellectual interests.

In addition to PAFA's student-faculty ratio, students in the PAFA/Penn BFA program are exposed to a wide variety of faculty, educational environments, and course sizes at Penn. Students in this program also experience all that the Penn community has to offer, including the Fischer Fine Arts Library, Van Pelt Library, and the ability to attend talks, lectures, exhibits, and performances on Penn’s campus. 

Course Enrollment and Requirements

All studio art courses are taken at PAFA, culminating in 90 credits among our six concentrations. At Penn, students can access numerous courses and disciplines taught through the University of Pennsylvania College of Liberal and Professional Studies.

PAFA Course Requirements 

  • Students complete 90 credits of Fine Arts and Studio Electives at PAFA.
  • Students must complete the first 30 credits (one full-time academic year) at PAFA before applying to the program.
    • First-Year Foundations courses (30 credits)
    • Studio Electives (60 credits)

University of Penn Course Requirements

  • Students must complete 16 courses at the University of Pennsylvania at the College of Liberal and Professional Studies
    • 4 courses in Art History
    • 12 courses in any combination of Liberal Arts Electives

Studying at both institutions allows students to master fine arts practices, deepen ideas, and broaden engagement with practices that are most meaningful to them.

Visit the PAFA/Penn BFA Application page to learn more about the application requirements and timeline.

Student Perspective

Gianna Del Rossi in the studio.

"To get prepared for a digital career in video games, PAFA-Penn student Gianna Del Rossi '21 chose PAFA to study traditional fine art and focus on her technical skills. After finishing up at PAFA this spring, Del Rossi is going on to study at the University of Pennsylvania with a focus on mythology and classical studies. Those subjects are where she draws much of the inspiration for her art and soon-to-be video games." (

close up of Doron Langberg in front of painting detail

“It is very important that all of the people in the work are kind of an active part of my life and people that I know, and I have an idea of the relationship,” Langberg said. “That’s how the paintings are made. All of the decisions of color and texture come from the aggregated knowledge of who these people are.”

“My high school printmaking teacher, Orit Hofshi, is an internationally recognized printmaker. She makes huge woodcut prints and they involve sculpture elements. She’s amazing and she went to PAFA. She was a big inspiration.”

Madison Greiner paints at desk

“At PAFA I was surrounded by people who had similar interests to me, and then I would go to Penn and try to apply what I was learning there to what I was doing in my studio.”