How does PAFA compare in price to other schools of art and design?
What scholarships are available at PAFA?
What can my child do to prepare their portfolio for PAFA?
What housing options are available at PAFA?
What dining options are available at PAFA?
Does PAFA have “study abroad” opportunities?
What career opportunities are available to art students?
Does PAFA offer teaching opportunities or assistantships? What about opportunities through PAFA’s Museum?
What academic opportunities does PAFA offer?
What are the academic requirements to enroll at PAFA? Do you require SAT/ACT scores? What are your GPA requirements?
Does PAFA have any prerequisite courses?
Does my child need a car in Philadelphia? What parking options are available?
How safe is PAFA’s campus?
What is the student life like at PAFA?
Does my child need a laptop computer to study at PAFA?
What is PAFA’s tuition?
How should I prepare my portfolio for PAFA?
What scholarships are available at PAFA?
What housing options are available at PAFA?
What work opportunities are available at PAFA?
What are the academic requirements for acceptance to the Graduate program?
What is Philadelphia like?
What is the PAFA campus like?
What is the Graduate program faculty like at PAFA?
1. How does PAFA compare in price to other schools of art and design?
Here at PAFA, we work very hard to keep our tuition affordable. Applicants should compare costs equally: while other institutions may offer larger scholarships, their tuition rates can also be substantially higher. Depending on tuition, location and housing rates, the cost of attendance can vary by more than $10,000! When choosing where to study, carefully consider each program’s value, and the return on your investment. As an elite artistic institution, we think that no other school can match PAFA in these regards. Click here for our tuition and fees page.
2. What scholarships are available at PAFA?
PAFA offers both academic and artistic merit scholarships, in addition to need-based aid. All students are considered for these awards during the application process. Larger Scholarships, ranging up to full tuition, are awarded on an extremely selective basis. For students living outside of the United States, international student scholarships are available.
3. What can my child do to prepare their portfolio for PAFA?
The Office of Admissions encourages students to speak directly with an Admissions Representative regarding portfolio preparation. We are happy to arrange a portfolio review with you. Additionally, PAFA offers a Pre-College Portfolio Preparation Program for High School students. This 4-week summer intensive introduces students to each of PAFA’s majors: Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, and Sculpture. Students should also consider one of PAFA’s Continuing Education courses, which are offered year-round. Both Pre-College and Continuing Education courses may be taken for college credit.
4. What housing options are available at PAFA?
PAFA offers student housing at Park Towne Place, located at 2200 Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. Students live on a dedicated PAFA floor at Park Towne Place, which is less than a mile from the school campus. Apartments are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Ammenities include:
Fully furnished apartments
Controlled acces with 24-hour concierge services
A 4,000 square foot fitness facility
Movie screening room
Common spaces with free wireless internet access
On-site Grocery and Laundry facilities
For students who prefer to live residentially, PAFA offers several resources for students who are considering apartment-style living. PAFA hosts a H.O.M.E. Day (Housing Off-Campus Made Easy) for incoming students each summer. Additionally, PAFA maintains a housing website, where students can post housing and roommate availabilities.
5. What dining options are available at PAFA?
PAFA’s students are literally surrounded by dining options. Students who wish to eat their meals “on campus” may choose to purchase a meal plan through our Museum Café, which offers a variety of soups, sandwiches, light snacks and baked goods. However, most students prefer the many dining options within walking distance of the school, including Reading Terminal (home to dozens of food vendors), Green Village Market (offering buffet-style breakfast and lunch options), and the many stellar restaurants in Center City.
6. Does PAFA have “Study abroad” opportunities?
Yes. PAFA offers several opportunities to study abroad, both formally and informally. As a member of the AICAD Mobility Program, PAFA’s students may transfer their studies, for one semester, at any AICAD-affiliated institution. Additionally, PAFA offers formal exchange programs with the Queensland College of Art (QCA) in Brisbane, Australia and the China Academy in Hangzhou, China. Students may also research and pursue opportunities to study abroad independently, under the guidance of PAFA’s Student Services Office.
7. What career opportunities are available to art students?
PAFA’s programs offer unparalleled fine art instruction, and with this training our students graduate to a variety of successful professions. While our primary goal is to train students as professional, working artists, graduates regularly pursue careers in teaching, gallery operation, arts administration, museum studies, conservation and preparation, design, illustration and art fabrication. Additionally, because PAFA emphasizes both technical skill and mature conceptual expression, our students are exceptionally well prepared for graduate-level programs.
8. Does PAFA offer teaching opportunities or assistantships? What about opportunities through PAFA’s Museum?
PAFA does not offer Teaching Assistantships. It is our firm conviction that every course be taught by professional, practicing artists. However, PAFA’s Department of Museum Education creates teaching opportunities through summer programming and weekend workshops. Classroom monitor and work-study positions are also available.
9. What academic opportunities does PAFA offer?
PAFA’s various academic programs are designed to emphasize choice. Students can take their academic courses in-house through our Academy BFA, or earn their degree from an Ivy League institution through our Coordinated BFA Program with the University of Pennsylvania. To learn more about PAFA’s degree programs, visit our admissions page here.
10. What are the academic requirements to enroll at PAFA? Do you require SAT/ACT scores? What are your GPA requirements?
Students applying to either of PAFA’s BFA programs (the Academy BFA or the Coordinated BFA with the University of Pennsylvania) are expected to exhibit a 3.0 academic GPA. Students with insufficient academic grades may be admitted on a conditional basis, or encouraged to pursue PAFA’s Certificate program. Additionally, writing samples are required for each BFA Program: Academy BFA applicants must submit a Personal Statement, and Coordinated BFA applicants are required to submit a series of essays. SAT/ACT scores are not required for either program, though students may choose to submit them for academic scholarship consideration.
11. Does PAFA have any prerequisite courses?
PAFA does not have any prerequisite courses. However, incoming students will undertake a rigorous foundations program in their first year. Many foundation courses will emphasize observational drawing, and incorporate the nude model. This emphasis on technical ability distinguishes our program, and prepares our students to create strong work. Beyond the foundations curriculum, students experience an increased amount of artistic freedom, culminating with a private studio experience and the opportunity to exhibit a body of artwork in PAFA’s Annual Student Exhibition.
12. Does my child need a car in Philadelphia? What parking options are available?
No, students do not need a car when living in Philadelphia. Public Transportation is abundant in Center City. Buses, trolleys, and subways connect most areas of the city, and a Regional Rail train system stretches into the surrounding suburbs. Biking and walking are also popular methods of transportation for PAFA students. The city is very “walker friendly” and most of the major streets have bike lanes running along the side.
If you choose to have a car in Philadelphia, neighborhoods that are less centrally located (South Philadelphia, West Philadelphia, Fairmount, Northern Liberties) offer non-metered parking. Permit parking is required within Center City, and private parking, while convenient, can be expensive.
13. How safe is PAFA’s campus?
PAFA is located in Center City Philadelphia, one block from City Hall and minutes from the city’s public transportation hubs. Our facilities offer 24-hour security, and ID cards are required for general entry and access to each floor. Because of our central location, students are never far from transportation, and rarely travel alone. Additionally, PAFA offers a van service for students commuting in the evening, running at 10:15 and 11:00. As with any major city, students should be conscious of their surroundings, and travel wisely.
14. What is the student life like at PAFA?
The wonderful thing about student life at PAFA is that it usually involves art. Students spend a significant amount of time on campus, both in the classroom and interacting with their fellow artists. Students often continue working in the studios after class is over. Numerous after school activities, such as PAFA’s Cinema Society, Evening Drawing Sessions, and Yoga Classes, are offered throughout the week. Additionally, the Office of Student Services offers a variety of student events, including our annual Draw-a-thon, Winter Bash, Open Studio Nights, Halloween Hayrides, Cupcake Socials, and regular Coffee Hours. Off-campus, students regularly visit galleries and exhibitions that feature noted artists and PAFA alumni.
15. Does my child need a laptop computer to study at PAFA?
A laptop computer is not necessary in order to study at PAFA. There are computers in the library that are available for student use, as well as a digital lab. Students in our BFA Program will have regular writing and research assignments, and may wish to have a personal computer. For students with a laptop, the building is equipped with wireless Internet on all floors and connections in all private studios.
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16. What is PAFA’s Tuition?
For current Post Baccalaureate and MFA tuition rates, visit our Tuition and Fees page. Graduate students will have access to a substantial Graduate Faculty, an array of visiting artists, 24-hour studio usage, and remarkable fine art facilities. As an elite artistic institution, we think that no other school can match PAFA in these regards.
17. How should I prepare my portfolio for PAFA?
MFA and Post Baccalaureate candidates should present a portfolio that is a cohesive body of work, showing potential towards the completion of a thesis. Awareness of one’s context within contemporary art/art history is suggested. Please refer to the Graduate Portfolio Guide.
18. What Scholarships are available at PAFA?
Completed applications received by the deadlines are automatically considered for Merit Scholarships based on the strength of the portfolio. Applicants applying for financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are also considered for need-based scholarship support.
19. What housing options are available at PAFA?
Graduate students are expected to find housing independently. PAFA’s Office of Student Services runs H.O.M.E. Day (Housing Off-Campus Made Easier) each summer for newly accepted graduate students. They also maintain a directory of students looking for roommates.
20. What work opportunities are available at PAFA?
Numerous opportunities for gaining experience are available:
High School Program- MFA students are hired to teach classes offered at PAFA to Philadelphia high school students.
Summer FUNdamentals Art Camp- Graduate students are hired by PAFA’s Museum Education Department to teach summer camp classes to children and teenagers.
Weekend Workshops- Graduate students are hired by PAFA’s Museum Education Department to teach daylong workshops in various media to the public.
Graduate Teaching Assistantships- Some MFA students assist undergraduate faculty in various classes. Although these positions are unpaid, they assist current student in gaining experience and networking with faculty.
Visiting Artist Program- One of several visiting artists programs offered at PAFA, this one is completely student-run. It generally invites 7 to 8 visiting artists per semester. Graduate students have the opportunity to network with emerging as well as established artists. Positions can be work-study or volunteer.
Monitors- Certain classes require monitors to assist in setting up and breaking down of equipment, coordinating models, etc.
Work Study- Eligible students can be considered for various positions available within the administrative and academic offices of the School of Fine Arts as well as the Museum and Gallery 128, PAFA’s student gallery.
21. What are the academic requirements for acceptance to the Graduate Program?
MFA and Post Baccalaureate candidates must have a BFA degree from an accredited college or university, a bachelor’s degree with approximately 60 credits in studio art, or the equivalent for consideration.
22. What is Philadelphia like?
Philadelphia is the second largest city on the East Coast and sixth largest in the nation. Conveniently located, Philadelphia is just 1 and 1/2 hours from New York City and Baltimore and 2 and 1/2 hours from Washington DC. There are numerous museums, galleries, collections, and cultural institutions located either inside the city or within close proximity. Philadelphia is famous for its thriving arts community and First Friday events in Old City.
23. What is the PAFA campus like?
PAFA is an urban campus conveniently located in Center City Philadelphia, two blocks North of City Hall. PAFA is easily accessible via subway, trolley, regional rail, and air. Our campus consists of two buildings, the Historic Landmark Building and the Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building. PAFA is a rare combination of America’s first museum of fine arts and an extraordinary school of fine arts which offers world-class facilities such as a foundry, metal shop, wood shop, frame shop, digital lab, print shop, spacious naturally lit studio classrooms, and large private student studios with 24-hour access. Prospective students are encouraged to visit our school to see the state-of-the-art facilities for themselves. We also offer individual portfolio reviews.
24. What is the graduate program faculty like at PAFA?
The Graduate Faculty at PAFA is diverse and made up of artists who span the range of art making. From artists working in traditional modes to those working in new media, our faculty is world renowned and collected by major institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Israel Museum, and Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna, to name just a few. Please refer to the full Graduate Faculty List for more details.
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