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Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
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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

Emmy Award-winner Meliza Fermin

Alumni Spotlight

Meliza Fermin

B.A. in Integrative Arts 2004

Meliza Fermin is an award-winning visual effects artist across television and film genres. She won an Emmy for Outstanding Visual Effects for her work on the television show Heroes, and Emmy certificates for her contributions to The Battle of Gettysburg and American Horror Story. Currently, Meliza works at Fuse FX as a senior digital matte painter on shows such as American Horror Story and Timeless.

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


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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


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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


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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


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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

Koan Mask, by the Nuna (Nunama) of Burkina Faso. Part of the Palmer Museum's African Brilliance collection catalogued by the VRC.
Koan Mask, by the Nuna (Nunama) of Burkina Faso. Part of the Palmer Museum's African Brilliance collection catalogued by the VRC.

William Dewey

Associate Professor of Art History

William J. Dewey, associate professor of art history in the College of Arts and Architecture, curated the exhibition African Brilliance: A Diplomat’s Sixty Years of Collecting featuring eighty-three objects by twentieth-century African artists from a variety of cultures across the continent. The works include carved and decorated wooden sculptures, natural fiber and beaded textiles, metalwork, and ceramic pots that represent household, community, and ritual practices. Accompanying the exhibition is is the Palmer Museum of Art’s first online catalogue complete with photos and 3D views of each object, essays by the curators, and interviews with Davis.

Dewey was  also part of the curatorial team for “Striking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths” at UCLA’s Fowler Museum, recently described in The New York Times as one of “three knockout art shows to see in Los Angeles right now.”

Head shot of Associate Professor of Art History, Director of the African Studies Program, College of the Liberal Arts William
Graphic of multicolor “Sustainability” wheel against a solid blue background.
Mar 1

The Sustainability Teaching Roundtable Series Session 7: SoVA Studio for Sustainability and Social Action

Zoom
The Sustainability Teaching Roundtable Series is organized by Mihyun Kang, a research professor and director for sustainability in the College of Arts and Architecture, and

Events

Go. Explore.

Museum Conversation: Mark Makers

Zoom
Insight: Museum Conversations logo
Mar 3

Joyce Robinson, Assistant Director, with special guests artists Jo Margolis and Mary Judge Join us for a lively discussion led by Assistant Director and curator


Sphinx Virtuosi

Virtual event
A diverse group of musicians stand on a stage and perform.
Mar 3 - 10

Watch the event beginning at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 3. It will be available for streaming until 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 10. Drawing inspiration from


Stuckeman School Career Day

Brazen
A student interacting with a firm representative at a past Stuckeman School Career Day.
Mar 3

The Stuckeman School Career Day is a vibrant event that enables professional firms to interact directly with the School’s award-winning students. The event presents a


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News from A&A

Art student and track star 'racing to change'

SoVA student and Penn State track & field athlete, Danae Rivers has created “The Race to Change,” which features her Penn State teammates discussing the importance of equality.

Since she was 8, Danae Rivers, Penn State School of Visual Arts senior and track and field champion, has been racing to the finish line, but 15 years later, she


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Nancy Locke elected President of the Association of Historians of Nineteenth-Century Art

Nancy Locke, Associate Professor of Art History, has been elected President of the Association of Historians of Nineteenth-Century Art. Founded in 1993, AHNCA's goal is to foster dialogue and communication


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2021 Art Business Ideas Competition now accepting entries

Jonathan Gangi, assistant professor of music and arts entrepreneurship is now accepting entries for the 2021 Arts Business Ideas Competition.
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