Graduate Fine Arts

Program Overview

The two-year Master of Fine Arts program at University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design 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 Weitzman School and the university-at-large with a rich selection of outside electives and optional certificate and dual-degree programs.

Important: Fall 2023 Admissions
The Weitzman School is not accepting applications for the Master of Fine Arts program for fall 2023 enrollment because we will begin renovations to the new Weitzman Hall in the summer of 2024 with expected completion for the fall of 2025. We are very excited about this new, state-of-the-art facility, which will include studios, student maker spaces, classrooms, exhibition spaces, and offices. Please join our prospective student database to be notified when the MFA application will reopen.

Dual Degree MFA & Master of Social Work
The MSW/MFA dual degree program trains students as professional studio artists and social work practitioners, with a focus on the integration of art and social justice. It is open to students who have been admitted to both the School of Design’s MFA program and SP2’s MSW program. The MSW/MFA curriculum addresses the needs of two sets of students: 1) those in social work who are seeking to integrate the arts into their practice as MSW-credentialed service providers, and 2) those in the arts who are looking for professional credentialing and a career in social justice that utilizes their MFA training. 

Visiting Artists
With roughly 25-30 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. * Residencies are postponed for 20/21 due to covid.

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, Marilyn Jordan Taylor Presidential Professor and Chair of Fine Arts
Director of Graduate Program

LeighAnn Bogner, Assistant Director for Administration, Graduate Fine Arts Program

Danielle Gershkovich, Administrative Assistant, Graduate Fine Arts Program

University of Pennsylvania
Stuart Weitzman Hall (formerly Morgan Building), Room 100
205 South 34th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6312
T: 215-898-8374
MFA Inquiries:
Office hours: Monday through Friday, 9-5