PAFA-Penn Coordinated BFA

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

PAFA-Penn BFA

Since 1929, PAFA and the University of Pennsylvania have offered a unique Bachelor of Fine Arts program which combines PAFA’s rigorous fine arts training and a final year of liberal arts through Penn, culminating with earning a BFA degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Marked by flexible and personalized course options, the PAFA/Penn BFA is ideal for self-motivated and committed students seeking to pursue their artistic passions as well as their intellectual interests. This program can be completed in a time frame that matches an individual student’s needs.

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.

All studio courses are taken at PAFA, culminating in 90 credits in a combination of our five majors. At Penn, students have access to numerous courses and disciplines taught through the Penn's College of Liberal and Professional Studies. Students must complete 16 courses at Penn: 4 in Art History and 12 in any combination of liberal arts electives to deepen and broaden their engagement with the ideas and practices that are most meaningful to them.

Undergraduate Student Art Work

Angus Ryan
Angus Ryan
Gary Pergolini
Gary Pergolini
Bethann Parker
Bethann Parker
Chase Hafer
Chase Hafer
Ellie Blackman
Ellie Blackman
Daniel Flinchbaugh
Daniel Flinchbaugh
Jessica Smith
Jessica Smith
Maya Wilson
Maya Wilson
Vienna Hinkson
Vienna Hinkson
Li Zeyu
Li Zeyu
ASE
Genesis Pizarro
Genesis Pizarro
Diego Rodriguez
Diego Rodriguez

"It's like you get to have this close-knit community at PAFA and all of this support. Then you can also be a small fish in a big pond over at Penn, so you can get a different college experience there."Ellie Robley (PAFA-Penn BFA '17)

The program begins with a rigorous Foundation year at PAFA, much like our traditional BFA program. Once this year is successfully completed, students have the option to start taking their courses at Penn.

The second year in this program is spent focusing on studio classes; in the third year, students gain access to their own private studio space. Most students use their fourth and final year to enroll full-time at Penn to finish required courses to earn their degree.

Course & Enrollment Requirements

PAFA Requirements

In order to ultimately qualify for the Coordinated BFA, students must also complete a minimum of three (3) years at PAFA, including at least one year as a full-time, independent studio student. 


Penn Requirements

All students pursuing the BFA must complete 16 classes at Penn:

  • 4 required courses in Art History
  • 12 in any combination of Liberal Arts electives

A course load of four (4) classes per semester is considered full-time enrollment, though students may enroll in as few as one class per semester if preferred.

Courses through the College of Liberal and Professional Studies run in the evening, typically for several hours, once per week, and are also available during the summer months.