The Pennsylvania State University

From agricultural college to world-class learning community -- the story of The Pennsylvania State University is one of an expanding mission of teaching, research, and public service. But that mission was not so grandly conceived in 1855, when the Commonwealth chartered the school at the request of the Pennsylvania State Agricultural Society. The goal was to apply scientific principles to farming, a radical departure from the traditional curriculum grounded in mathematics, rhetoric, and classical languages.

Centre County became the site of the new college in response to a gift of 200 acres from agriculturist and ironmaster James Irvin of Bellefonte. President Evan Pugh drew on the scientific education he had received in Europe to plan a broader curriculum combining classical studies with practical applications. Pugh and similar visionaries in other states won federal support for their ideas in 1862, when Congress passed the Morrill Land-Grant Act. The act enabled states to sell federal land, invest the proceeds, and use the income to support colleges "where the leading object shall be, without excluding scientific and... [ Read All ]

University Park

United States

210 Patterson Building
PA 16802
Phone: 814.865.0444

College Photos (15)

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Our Aims

Penn State is a multi-campus public land-grant university that improves the lives of the people of Pennsylvania, the nation, and the world through integrated, high-quality programs in teaching, research, and service.

Our instructional mission includes undergraduate, graduate, and continuing and distance education informed by scholarship and research. Our research, scholarship, and creative activities promote human and economic development through the expansion of knowledge and its applications in the natural and applied sciences, social sciences, arts, humanities, and the professions.

As a land-grant university, we also hold a unique responsibility for outreach and public service to support the citizens of Pennsylvania. We engage in collaborative activities with industrial, educational and agricultural partners here and abroad to disseminate and apply knowledge.  

Location and Getting there  

Department and information about the department

The School of Visual Arts at Penn State University offers a unique and diverse program of study within a comprehensive research university. The faculty and staff of the School are dedicated to providing the highest quality education for students at the undergraduate and graduate levels who wish to realize their talent potentials in becoming the next generation of creative artists, designers, and art educators in America. Students who choose to study the visual arts at Penn State are able to develop a strong knowledge base through general education and interdisciplinary studies, which that they learn to apply in their artworks. In doing so, they demonstrate the creative and intellectual significance of the visual arts in contemporary life and culture.

A professional staff of assistants and advisors in the School of Visual Arts is prepared to guide students in making their own decisions about their majors and any career interests that they may want to develop and pursue upon completing their baccalaureate years. Those students pursuing a career in fine arts can select from areas of study in the School's Studio Program-Drawing and P...  [ Read All ]

Academic Staff and Description  

Academic Staff Art Work (10)

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Information For  Undergraduates

The School of Visual Arts at Penn State helps prepare students for careers as either studio artists or as art educators through a combination of professional and liberal studies. The B.A. or B.F.A. degree can be earned in any of six studio areas, ceramics, drawing and painting, new media, photography, printmaking, or sculpture. The B.Des. can be earned in Interdisciplinary Digital Studio, and the B.S. in Art Education.

The B.A. degree combines a comprehensive liberal education with professional studies in art. The B.F.A. is a professional degree that develops the competence necessary for a career in art or as preparation for graduate study in art. The B.Des in Interdisciplinary Digital Studio prepares students in digital art and design careers that explore, critically appraise, and further push the boundaries of emerging technologies. The B.S. in Art Education helps prepare art teachers for either elementary or secondary schools, for educational positions in museums, arts centers, health or custodial care centers, and similar institutions. Graduates of the Art Education program will have met all of the academic requirements for a...  [ Read All ]

Information For  Postgraduates

Studio Art:

The Master of Fine Arts, with areas of concentration in ceramics, drawing and painting, new media, photography, printmaking, and sculpture is nationally recognized for emphasizing excellence in the study and production of visual art and critical theory. As the art world has changed radically over the past ten years, so must the training of professional artists. Today's artists must possess not only the skills traditionally associated with studio production, but also must be acutely aware of critical issues in art, shifts within contemporary culture, and developments in the interdisciplinary arts. This M.F.A. program responds to these developments by encouraging interaction among graduate students and faculty across disciplines within the School, the College of Arts and Architecture, and the University.

Art Education:

The graduate program in art education offers five degrees, three at the master's level and two at the doctoral level. At the master's level, degrees include the M.S. in Art Education, the M.Ed. in Art Education, and the dual degree M.S. in Art Education an...  [ Read All ]

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