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Metal Sculpture Classes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Less than five miles from downtown Philadelphia are several schools that have metal sculpture classes and programs. Read an overview of three schools' programs, requirements, and admission info and find out which school is the right one for you.

Philadelphia, PA, Schools with Metal Sculpture Classes

Students seeking metal sculpture classes in the Philadelphia area can find them at a public university and two private art schools. Information about the programs and schools can be found through the degree summaries and statistical table below; the resource concludes with the name of an additional university option.

  • The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts has certificate and Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) programs with sculpture concentrations. The school is located downtown.
  • The University of the Arts, located less than a mile from the downtown, offers both bachelor's and master's degree programs in the fine arts that allow for a major and specialization in sculpture.
  • Temple University, a large public school that offers undergraduate and graduate programs in sculpture, is located within three miles of downtown.

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA)

The sculpture department at PAFA has a number of facilities, including a room for creating molds, a clay modeling studio, and a metal shop with welding stations. Sculpture students may earn an advanced certificate or a bachelor's degree; all receive their own studio space with 24-hour access.

Certificate in Sculpture

PAFA's certificate program lasts four years and focuses entirely on artistic creation and education. In the first year, sculpture majors study 2-D anatomy, figure modeling, intaglio, still life, and cast drawing. The remainder of the program explores methods for plaster casting, digital imaging, and drawing, and there are both seminar and critique sessions as well. Students may exhibit their work in the school's annual art exhibition.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art, Sculpture

Students in the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program complete the 1st-year certificate curriculum, including topics like color, anatomy, art history, preliminary relief, and perspective. In years two and three, they fulfill general education requirements while focusing on sculpture. During the final year of the program, students pursue concentrated work in sculpture and create a portfolio and a written artistic statement. Senior year also includes mentoring by faculty critics and participation in the annual student art exhibition.

University of the Arts (UArts)

The sculpture program at UArts aims to prepare students for professional careers in sculpture and offers degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students concentrate on developing critical thinking and conceptual skills, in addition to sculptural techniques. The art department has facilities equipped for working with bronze, aluminum, and other metals.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture

Sculpture students take core courses in design, metalsmithing, and painting, while learning about the relationship between objects and their environments. Students also receive practical instruction in sculpture techniques and processes, develop skills in critique, and learn about the history of art and sculpture. Elective courses can be taken from within or outside the art department.

Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art, Sculpture Specialization

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) programs takes three years to complete and includes summer residencies for studio work. Coursework covers subjects such as culture, criticism, and professional standards in the visual arts, in addition to special topics that address relevant visual media issues. Much of the curriculum is devoted to individual studio work in sculpture, as well as related research and writing. MFA candidates complete a thesis during the program, which culminates in an exhibition of original work.

Temple University

The Tyler School of Art at Temple University features a sculpture department and a department specific to jewelry and metals, affording students additional opportunities for specialized metal instruction.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture

Undergraduate sculpture students at Temple learn to integrate sculpture theory and technical skills with an understanding of contemporary sculpture. Courses on metal fabrication, mold-making technology, public art, sculpture materials, and robotics help develop this knowledge. Required topics include figure drawing, digital drawing, video, public art, and art history. A capstone seminar, which students are encouraged to complete during their third year, is also required.

Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture

To apply for Temple's MFA in sculpture program, students must have a bachelor's degree and submit a sculpture portfolio. Core classes incorporate sculpture, drawing, painting, and art history, while upper-level electives focus on studio work. Degree candidates must create and defend a thesis that includes an exhibition of their work, a digital portfolio, and a written artist philosophy. Students have the opportunity to partake in a summer study program in Scotland or Rome.

Comparison of Schools

Notable statistics found in the table below include those related to school size and tuition. In 2011, all or nearly all, first-time students at the three schools received financial aid.

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine ArtsUniversity of the Arts Temple University
School Type4-year; private not-for-profit4-year; private not-for-profit4-year; public
Total Enrollment (2011)349* 2,246*36,855*
Campus SettingLarge cityLarge cityLarge city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013)$29,100*$34,840*$13,596 in-state; $23,422 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2010-2011)100%*100%*90%*
Acceptance Rate (2012)94%*69%*67%*
Retention Rate (2011) 82% full-time* 80% full-time*87% full-time; 61% part-time*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (2011)73% (23% transfer-out rate)*62%*68% (20% transfer-out rate)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Other School Options

Students can also find classes in metal sculpture at Arcadia University, a private, not-for-profit school about 10 miles from downtown Philadelphia.

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