Skip To Main Content
Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Select where to search:


Create, innovate, communicate

As a visual artist, you create, innovate, and communicate. You share beauty, you share experiences, you share thoughts and feelings that help people to connect. In the College of Arts and Architecture, we’ll help you hone your skills, nurture your creativity, and prepare you for the next step.


Undergraduate
Degrees

SoVA student painting in studio.

B.A. in Art

The B.A. in Art offers visual artists the opportunity to find their artistic voices in an environment that fosters individuality and prepares graduates for an impactful career in the arts.
SoVA student exhibition Pushing it to the limit.

B.F.A. in Art

The BFA prepares visual thinkers who work with hands, heart, and head to be leaders in the contemporary art world.
Overhead view of a group of children surrounding a bright blue tub filled with liquid; one student has arms outstretched, holding a copper bowl of what appears to be intense blue dye.

B.S. in Art Education

The B.S. in Art Education degree program prepares knowledgeable, skilled, and creative leaders to teach social and environmental justice in educational contexts such as schools, community settings, and cultural institutions.
Student participating in the Borland Project Space

B.A. in Art History

The B.A. in Art History offers an opportunity for students to explore and examine art while developing a deep understanding of how and why it brings the world closer.
Virtual Reality immersive experience seminar.

B.Des. in Digital Arts and Media Design

The B.Des. in Digital Arts and Media Design is on the cutting edge of a rapidly growing discipline that prepares students to develop digital technology in art, gaming, simulations, web-based design, and much more.
First year M.F.A. student exhibition with an interactive floor projection and teal balloons.

B.Des. in Digital Multimedia Design

The wholly online B.Des. in Digital Multimedia Design program prepares students to impact the ever-changing visual art, information science and technology, and communications digital media landscape.
Students gathered around a table with sketches and a laptop open as the instructor points at concepts on the pages

B.Des. in Graphic Design

The B.Des. in Graphic Design empowers students to become innovators that meet the growing demand for branding, storytelling, visualizing information, user experience, and user interface designs.
ADRI Jenny Kenyon

B.A. in Integrative Arts

The B.A. in Integrative Arts offers the unique opportunity for students to work successfully as innovative and dynamic artists, designers, and performers in an increasingly interdisciplinary world.
SoVA student photoshoot capturing a close up shot.

B.Des. in Professional Photography

The B.Des. in Professional Photography prepares students to realize the power of photography while training them to professionally capture the beauty and complexity of the world.

Undergraduate
Minors + Certificates

Brightly-colored textured floor objects and wall art displayed as part of an exhibit in Patterson Gallery located on Penn State University Park campus.

Art Minor

The Art minor will help you develop the skills and knowledge to understand and integrate a range of art and design methods and content into your broader academic interests.
A 20th century decorated wooden box called a Tukula container produced by Kuba carvers from the Democratic Rebublic of the Congo.

Art History Minor

Explore art from ancient to contemporary times, in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. This minor relates visual images to the big questions of humanity.
Graphic design students collaborating ideas in studio.

Digital Arts Certificate

Blend classroom and online learning in this 15-credit certificate program that will help you develop artistic knowledge and technical skills that can be applied across industries and professions.
A student presents her 3d model figurine concept to a panel of judges during the Arts Business Ideas Competition. Mimicking the look of her 3d model, she wears a pink ponytail wig and vibrant outfit.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Minor

Become a leader in the arts or design. Engage in a start-up venture. Leverage your art or craft. Create alliances. Meet social or business needs. Craft ideas and make art work.
Undergraduate graphic design student work exhibition: showcasing a wall divider with big bold text, digital designs on flat-screen TVs, and poster design pinned up on a divider board.

Graphic Design Minor

The Graphic Design minor is intended for students interested in augmenting their academic major with the physical, technological, aesthetic, and conceptual skills associated with a design discipline.
Hundreds of red lanterns overhead in the Doseonsa temple in Seoul, South Korea.

International Arts Minor

Expand your perspective. Become a well-traveled citizen of the world. A minor in International Arts will provide a deeper understanding of how art and design permeate cultures around the world.
A public collection of late artwork displayed at the Palmer Museum of Art. A student explains the meaning of the piece to visitors.

Museum Studies Certificate

Learn the fundamentals of museum studies. Explore the history, theory, and practice of institutional collecting and conservation. Engage in a technical investigation of art.
A student photographing colorful artwork on display in Zoller Gallery.

Photography Minor

Acquire technical and conceptual photographic capabilities for documenting, expressing, and sharing information, ideas, views, and cultural perspectives. Learn to communicate in a visual language.

Graduate
Degrees

M.F.A. exhibition showing close up of a sculpture.

M.F.A. in Art

The Penn State M.F.A. in Art offers concentrations in ceramics, drawing and painting, graphic design, new media, photography, and sculpture – all to elevate your art and impact.
BPS showcasing Art Education research exhibition on transdisciplinary creativity.

M.S. in Art Education (+Dual M.S.)

The M.S. in Art Education and Dual M.S. in Art Education + Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Penn State explore the making of art and curriculum as the making of ideas that matter.
Art Education student research exhibition.

Ph.D. in Art Education (+Dual Ph.D.)

The Ph.D. in Art Education – plus the Art Ed + African American and Diaspora Studies and Art Ed + Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies dual-title degrees – position you to make a lasting impact on the art education profession.
Art History graduate investigating an artifact from the African Brilliance exhibition.

M.A. in Art History

The M.A. degree in Art History transforms a passion for the arts and cultural history into a career path. Through the completion of a master’s paper or thesis, foreign language...
Palmer Museum painting analysis by Maggie Davis.

Ph.D. in Art History (+Dual Ph.D.)

Advanced study of visual arts spanning periods, cultures, and geographies. The Art History Ph.D. program – with Asian Studies or Visual Studies dual-title options – can deepen your expertise and advance your Art History career.

Alumni Spotlight

Penn State embraced my vision for a cross-disciplinary education that combined electrical engineering with theatre and stage lighting.
Penn State alumnus Andrew Giffin

Alumni Spotlight

Andrew Giffin

Inter-College Bachelor of Philosophy, 2005

Andrew Giffin – a Schreyer Scholar who earned a inter-college Bachelor of Philosophy incorporating studies in Theatre Design and Technology plus Electrical Engineering – is the associate lighting designer for the rock band, Phish, and is widely considered as the top lighting programmer in the industry. Andrew has designed and programmed light shows for musicians such as Pearl Jam, Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber in addition to his work on music award shows, theatre productions and sporting events.

Galleries, Studios & Workshops

Sketch. Stitch. Saw. Fabricate. Create. Display. We have spaces for it all.
See All Galleries, Studios & Workshops
A close up of a SoVA student using a hand-held cutting saw to cut and smooth a piece of metal tube in the SoVA Wood & Metal Shop.
A close up of a SoVA student using a hand-held cutting saw to cut and smooth a piece of metal tube in the SoVA Wood & Metal Shop.

Patterson Gallery

Located in the second floor lobby of the Patterson Building, the Patterson Gallery showcases undergraduate student research and creative work, mainly spotlighting senior thesis


Learn More
A close up of a SoVA student using a hand-held cutting saw to cut and smooth a piece of metal tube in the SoVA Wood & Metal Shop.

SoVA Makerspace

The School of Visual Arts Makerspace is a hub of creation and fabrication, and contains 3D scanning and printing equipment, robust computer workstations, as


Learn More
A close up of a SoVA student using a hand-held cutting saw to cut and smooth a piece of metal tube in the SoVA Wood & Metal Shop.

SoVA Wood & Metal Shop

The School of Visual Arts Wood and Metal Shop is an exceptionally well-equipped and maintained facility located on the 1st floor of the Visual


Learn More
A close up of a SoVA student using a hand-held cutting saw to cut and smooth a piece of metal tube in the SoVA Wood & Metal Shop.

Zoller Gallery

Located on the entrance level of the Visuals Arts Building, the Edwin W. Zoller Gallery is a 2,200 square foot exhibition space. Founded in


Learn More

See what we mean?

From photography and printmaking to sculpture, drawing, painting and other studio arts to digital and dimensional, the range of visual arts at Penn State is stunning!

Faculty Spotlight

video
"Light," a Ben Radatz/Brian Alfred collaboration.

Brian Alfred

Associate Professor of Art

Brian Alfred received a B.F.A. from Penn State in 1997, studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine, and received an M.F.A. from Yale University in 1999. He has had numerous solo exhibitions in locations ranging from New York City to Tokyo to London, as well as group exhibitions nationally and internationally. He is the host of the podcast “Sound and Vision,” featuring conversations with contemporary artists, which recently celebrated its 200th episode. His work is in the collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Denver Art Museum, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others.

Brian Alfred faculty spotlight portrait
Apr 22

Bach's Lunch: Lyric Diction Class

Zoom
Available Online

Events

Go. Explore.

Earth Day Panel Discussion

Virtual event
A bare-chested man holds a pan pipe and looks off into the distance.
Apr 22

Virtual event Free and open to the public, registration is required Penn State students and “Small Island Big Song” artists will talk about ocean conservation,


"The Last Five Years" by Jason Robert Brown

Virtual
graphic of spring season
Apr 22 - 25

“The Last Five Years,” by Jason Robert Brown, directed by Jennifer Delac, and music directed by Jordon Cunningham, April 22–25, 7:30 p.m. EDT at www.showtix4u.com.


Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble

Youtube Live
Place holder image for Events
Apr 22

Available Online: School of Music Media


See All Events

News from A&A

Staley’s work featured in Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition and permanent collection

Christopher Staley, Distinguished Professor of Art, has two pieces included in a new exhibition and also part of the permanent collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Christopher Staley, Distinguished Professor of Art at Penn State, has two pieces included in a new exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, on display through August 29, 2021. “Shapes


Read More

Shepherd’s online solo exhibition demonstrates diversity of his art practice

“Dreams Deferred,” an online solo exhibition by Rudy Shepherd, is on display via the James K. Schmidt Gallery at Voney Art Center, Principia College, through April 30.
Read More

Andee Middleton presents at the Barnes Symposium

Andee Middleton, PhD candidate in Art History will give her talk “Mendes and Arsinoe Philadelphus” at the Barnes Symposium Friday, March 5, at 10:00am.
Read More