pafa A Guide To Philadelphia Art Schools

PAFA dates back to 1791, making it the oldest operating art school and museum in the United States. (Credit:

While cheesesteaks may be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Philadelphia, art schools should be the next runner up. Philadelphia is home to several famous ones, including the oldest and the first in the nation for women. Prospective art students around the country should take a serious look at what Philly has to offer in the way of arts education.

University of the Arts

320 South Broad
Philadelphia, Pa. 19102

The storied University of the Arts stretches for six blocks along the Avenue of the Arts, from Walnut Street to South Street. University of the Arts offers undergraduate and graduate programs in design (including motion, industrial, graphic and interactive), visual arts, performance and film. The school also offers continuing education classes for the public and a K-8 arts lab for children and teenagers.

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts

118 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

128 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

PAFA dates back to 1791, making it the oldest operating art school and museum in the United States. The building itself, constructed in 1876 and designed by Frank Furness and George W. Hewitt, is a national landmark. The school offers BFA and MFA degrees in painting, drawing, printmaking, and sculpture. PAFA’s museum is also internationally known for its collections of 19th- and 20th-century American paintings, sculptures and works on paper.

Moore College of Art and Design

20th Street and The Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 965-4000

Upon its inception in 1848, Moore College of Art and Design was the first art school in the nation founded specifically for women. Back then, it focused primarily on textile design. Today, it has broadened its scope, but maintains its commitment to small class size and customized learning. Moore offers BFA programs in Art Education, Art History, Curatorial Studies, Fashion Design, Fine Arts 2D or 3D, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interior Design and Photography and Digital Arts. It also offers MFA’s in studio art and interior design, and an MA in art education. The curriculum emphasizes internships and study abroad.

Community College of Philadelphia

1700 Spring Street
Philadelphia, Pa. 19130
(215) 751.8010

Community colleges across the nation offer surprisingly high-quality facilities, and Philadelphia Community College is no exception. If you’re thinking about a career in the art world, a community college won’t require you to go into debt to find out whether or not you want to commit, and you will emerge with an AA degree, which is recognized by major colleges and universities across the country should you plan to continue your education. Philadelphia’s community college offers degrees in architecture, art and design, photographic imaging, theater, music and more.

Tyler School of Art

Temple University
2001 N. 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122

Located on the campus of Temple University, the Tyler School of Art offers a recently-renovated 255,000 square foot facility designed by architect Carlos Jimenez. The school was founded in the 1930s though a donation by Stella Elkins Tyler, who donated her estate to Temple University with the express wish that it would become an art school. Tyler offers programs in architecture, art history and education, ceramics, fibers, foundations, jewelry, painting and drawing, printmaking, photography and sculpture.

The Art Institute of Philadelphia

1622 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, Pa 19103

The Art Institute in Philadelphia is one of EDMC’s bigger campuses, perhaps because it is close to the company’s corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh. The Art Institute offers programs in design (graphic, interior, industrial and advertising), media arts (photography, web design, animation and game design), fashion and culinary arts. EDMC is a for-profit corporation, and does not require a portfolio for admission.

Fleisher Art Memorial

719 Catharine Street
Philadelphia, Pa. 19147

The non-profit Fleisher Art Memorial has been offering tuition-free art instruction since 1898. The extensive list of tuition-free classes includes art history, drawing, color theory, lithography, painting, sculpture and photography. The digital camera classes are a good mix of guided assignments and critique, serving continuing-education students from all walks of life. There are three galleries located in the main building. Students can also get a year-long membership for $30 which will grant access to the art museum for free.

Comments (2)
  1. Mara Henao says:

    The Art Institute of Philadelphia SHOUL NOT BE ON THIS LIST.

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