Undergraduate Admissions

Requirements and process for first-year undergraduate applicants

Questions? Request more information.

Bachelor of Fine Arts

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) is a four-year degree program that pairs a creatively focused liberal arts education with demanding studio art training in one of our six areas of study. Students graduate with the foundational skills, intellectual context, discipline and creativity needed for a lifelong pursuit of making art.


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.

Certificate Programs

Two one-year Certificate Programs, Fine Arts Foundations and Studio, offer immersive art-making experience.  Whether students are looking to develop their artistic voice, or build experience in the studio or prepare for future art careers, these programs will elevate their creative and technical artistic skills.

Pursue Your Artistic Vision

Located in the heart of Center City Philadelphia, PAFA is a fine arts college with a diverse, close-knit community of 300 students and a 7:1 student-to-faculty ratio. PAFA's academic campus provides 11 floors of classrooms, studios, workshops, galleries, and performance spaces for students to learn, create, and grow. Undergraduates pursue four-year Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees or a one-year certificate, to extend their study further.

At PAFA, you gain the tools and knowledge you need for creating a successful, rewarding, and lifelong career in the arts. 

Picture Yourself at PAFA

Student and Teacher at Letterpress

World Class Faculty

The 7:1 faculty to student ratio means PAFA students have individualized mentors who are dedicated educators, practicing artists, and scholars.

A student-run Visiting Artist Program offers exposure to a wide range of artistic approaches and fosters discussion about contemporary art and ideas.

Two students painting in museum gallery

A Museum as Your Classroom


artist in front of painting

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 like the Venture Fund.

First Year

student drawing horse

First Year Foundation

The first-year 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.

Upper Level Undergraduate Years

student modeling a figure in historic cast hall

Areas of Study

After their first year, 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.

Individual studio spaces for upper level undergraduates.

Student Exhibitions

Opportunities to exhibit in PAFA’s Museum.

Capstone Opportunities

Annual Student Exhibition

Launch your professional career by sharing the culmination of your undergraduate work in a world class art museum. The preview event is widely attended each year by local art curators and collectors.

Museum Purchase Prizes

The museum selects artwork from the Annual Student Exhibition each year to enter its renowned permanent collection.

Travel Scholarship Awards

Last year PAFA awarded 11 scholarships, giving each recipient $5,000 for travel research.

Application Deadlines

December 1 Spring semester applications
Early Action Fall semester applications
February 1 Regular Decision Fall applications
Scholarship Priority Fall  applications
July 22 Rolling Admissions Fall Application

Ready to Start Your Application?

Picture Yourself at PAFA

The Admissions and Financial Aid staff at PAFA are available to assist you during all stages of the application and enrollment process.

Telephone: (215) 972-7625
Fax: (215) 569-0153
Financial Aid Telephone: (215) 972-2019

Apply Now