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Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

  • Philadelphia , PA
  • Private
  • Urban
  • 66%34%
    student ratio
  • 59
    total students
  • Not Reported
    in-state tuition | out-of-state tuition
  • February 15
    fall application deadline
  • 86%
    acceptance rate
  • Not Reported
    admission difficulty
  • Average test scores for all first-year students that were accepted and enrolled.
  • Not

    sat math
  • Not

    sat reading
  • Not

    sat writing
  • Not

    act composite



The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is the birthplace of American art and an incubator for artistic expression. The first school and museum of fine art in the United States, PAFA has trained many of the nation's great artists and is home to one of the most important collections of American art anywhere.

PAFA's programs are centered in Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, and Printmaking. The school's studio curriculum combines an extraordinary technical training with encouragement to explore a personal artistic vision. A focused community of approximately 350 students with elite studio facilities located in the heart of Center City Philadelphia, PAFA offers an unparalleled artistic education.


PAFA's Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building houses 300,000 square feet of work and exhibition space, ample studio and critique classrooms, student and faculty studios, and numerous large classroom workspaces. Situated across Lenfest Plaza, PAFA's Historic Landmark Building offers spacious studio and gallery spaces as well as PAFA's Cast Hall -- the largest collection of antique-cast sculpture located outside of Western Europe.

Private studios are a unique and integral part of the school's curriculum. With more than 200 individual studio spaces, every student at PAFA receives his or her own personal work space for at least 1 full year.


The faculty at PAFA is fundamental to its dynamic community of artists. Each faculty member -- a distinguished, professional working artist -- brings perspective and context to the education of fine artists. They are devoted to each student's growth, taking special care to develop mentorships through one-on-one tutorials and individual teaching. These relationships foster an environment in which critical thinking, problem solving, and innovation are natural to the act of making art.

The Certificate Program

PAFA's Certificate program is a complete immersion in studio art. The Certificate is the academy's oldest and best-known program: a comprehensive training centered in Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, and Printmaking. The 4-year Certificate Program is an intense process of self-discovery for those with the goal of becoming practicing studio artists. Inspired by a rich heritage of serious artistic achievement, the Certificate is grounded in foundational skills while working with master artist-instructors to develop a personal artistic direction. For each artist, tradition emerges as a fresh set of challenges.

The Academy BFA Program

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program at PAFA pairs demanding studio training with a creatively focused liberal arts education designed to meet each student's unique interests. A 4-year program, the Academy BFA enhances artistic skill and personal expression with critical thinking across a full scope of humanities coursework. This program maintains the intensity and immersion of studio-centered training, complemented by the value of an academic degree. Students graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Studio Art.

Coordinated BFA with the University of Pennsylvania

The Coordinated BFA with the University of Pennsylvania pairs PAFA's fine arts studio training with an Ivy League liberal arts education from one of the most distinguished universities in the country. Marked by flexible and personalized course options, the Coordinated BFA is recommended for self-motivated and committed students who seek the best of both a studio art and Ivy League education. Students graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Studio Art from the University of Pennsylvania.


The Painting program at PAFA encourages students' imagination and creativity through skill-based training and aesthetic understanding. The critical analysis of painting and drawing is the foundation for a distinct artistic vision.

Drawing is the common language for all artistic disciplines. At PAFA, drawing encompasses all of the programs, serving as the central foundation for every student's creative journey and fostering unique ways to see and express personal ideas.

PAFA's Sculpture program includes both contemporary and classical approaches, embracing a broad range of creation, from traditional figurative sculpture to new media, found object, and installation approaches.

PAFA's Printmaking program teaches students to be experts in technique while embracing their individuality and unique vision as artists. The program is structured to provide highly personalized attention to each artist through individual and group mentoring, rigorous class work, and critique.


Specializations in Contemporary Realism and Fine Arts Illustration are part of the programs of Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, and Printmaking. Students within a specialization complete the requirements for a major or concentration in Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, or Printmaking and work with a group of faculty mentors from one or several of these programs to complete an interdisciplinary course of study.

Location & Contact

128 North Broad Street
Philadelphia , PA 19102

André van de Putte

Dean of Enrollment


Request More Info

Majors & Degrees

Degrees Offered
  • Visual and performing arts
    • Fine/Studio Arts
      Bachelor's Degree offered for this major.


  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied189
    • Accepted161
    • Acceptance Rate86%
    • Enrolled59
    • Female ApplicantsNot Reported
    • Females AcceptedNot Reported
    • Female Acceptance RateNot Reported
    • Male ApplicantsNot Reported
    • Males AcceptedNot Reported
    • Male Acceptance RateNot Reported
  • Applying
    • Application Fee$60
    • Required for All Essay or personal statement
      Letter(s) of recommendation
      portfolio of work
    • Required for Some
    • Average high school GPA for first-year freshman
      International Degrees TOEFL required, 600 paper based, 250 computer based, 250, iBT 100, IELTS paper based 6.0
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Application Closing Notification Date Rolling Admissions
    • Fall freshmen February 15th --
    • Out-of-state Fall freshmen Not Reported
    • Early decision plan December 1st --
    • Other early decision plan Not Reported
    • Transfer Not Reported
  • Test Scores Accepted
    • Test Average School Accepted 25th Percentile* 75th Percentile*
    • * 25th and 75th percentile is the score that 25/75 percent of students score at or below.




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