Graduate Fine Arts

The two-year Master of Fine Arts program at Penn is focused on the professional development of studio artists. Through studio work, seminar courses, international residency opportunities and interactions with vital working artists, the program provides an open intellectual framework to foster critical awareness and independent methods of artistic research. Students extend their conceptual strategies while inventing and then refining their own hybridized forms of art making methods. The program encourages exploration, extending studies into other disciplines within the School of Design and the university-at-large with a rich selection of outside electives and optional certificate and dual-degree programs.

Laura Bernstein Installation

MFA Program Catalog

Program Overview

Visiting Artists
With roughly thirty-six artists in the two-year program, we faciltate individual studio conversations with an international program of visiting artists, curators, and writers. Senior Critics impact the character, diversity and continuity of the program through their regular pattern of workshops, studio visits, and lectures.

International Residencies
The MFA program annually awards students with opportunities to participate in a wide range of fully funded residency programs at the American Academy in Rome, The Vermont Studio Center, the Lugoland Project in Lugo, Italy, and upon acceptance, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

The Penn MFA program is fluid. In addition to studio and seminar courses, graduate students select expert-led workshops. The workshops vary in focus from very technical subjects such as digital fabrication or new casting technologies, to seminar topics such as issues of photography in painting. Several workshops are introduced each semester, allowing for a responsive curriculum that advances the individualized projects of the graduate students.

Teaching Opportunities
Each year students in the program present public lectures and exhibitions, preparing them for an independent career in the arts that successfully reaches multiple audiences. Teaching Assistantships are offered to all incoming students; those with a sustained desire to teach participate in a program where they propose a syllabus and teach a foundation level studio course at Penn.

Contact MFA Program

Ken Lum, Professor and Chair of Fine Arts
Director of Graduate Program

LeighAnn Bogner, Coordinator, Graduate Fine Arts Program

Dana McElroy, Administrative Assistant, Graduate Fine Arts

University of Pennsylvania
Morgan Building, Room 100
205 South 34th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6312
T: 215-898-8374, F: 215-573-2459
MFA Inquires:
Office hours: Monday through Friday, 9-5