Sculpture Classes in NYC with Course Descriptions

The New York City area has a few schools within 35 miles of its downtown that offer sculpture programs. Learn about the classes, admission info and program requirements for three of these schools to make an informed education decision.

New York City Schools with Sculpture Classes

The following resource provides summaries of three schools in the New York City area that offer programs for aspiring sculptors, including course topics and levels of study. Students will also find a comparison table with essential school information.

  • The New York Academy of Art is less than half a mile from downtown New York City. In addition to continuing education courses, the academy offers a master's degree program in sculpture.
  • Students who're looking for a school that offers both bachelor's and master's degrees in sculpture might want to consider Pratt Institute. This college is approximately 3.5 miles away from the downtown.
  • SUNY at Purchase College is about 34 miles away from downtown New York City and offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture. This school is part of the State University of New York (SUNY).

New York Academy of Art

This school was created in 1982 for the development of representational and figurative artists. Today, there are six full-time faculty members and more than 35 adjunct faculty members.

Continuing Education Sculpture Classes

Students who want to pursue continuing education at this school can choose from among several tracks. These include certificate and intensive programs, single class options and special workshops. The length of these programs can vary. For example, certificate programs can be completed in eight classes, workshops may last 12-15 weeks and intensive programs are taken over the course of a semester.

One of the certificate options is in sculpture work. Coursework covers beginning, intermediate and advanced sculpture levels. Participants study poses and sculpt using a live model. They must also take a drawing or painting course.

Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture

The master's degree program is offered on a full-time basis and takes two years to complete. At the start of the program, content emphasis is on developing skills in perceptual modeling. Through self-directed projects, students receive critical responses aimed at improving their work. By the second year of the program, students are expected to contextualize sculptures and combine various elements together in a final, coherent piece of life-scale sculpture. This sculpture program can be combined with an anatomy or printmaking track.

Pratt Institute

Alumni members and students at this school have participated in residencies with the Vermont Studio Center, Oxbow, Yale Norfolk and Skowhegan.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture

In addition to the core studio requirements, undergraduates in this program can use electives to explore different processes, approaches and mediums in sculpture. Coursework starts with basic sculpture concepts, then builds towards advanced sculpture techniques. By the end of the program, students are expected to work independently in their personal studios and participate in public presentations while accepting group or individual critiques. To graduate, a thesis and public exhibition must be completed.

Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture

Sculpture students in this program are encouraged to develop their artistic techniques and critical thinking abilities in the areas of 3-D and 4-D art. Cross-disciplinary program features include access to digital arts and photography facilities. Students also attend lectures and receive semester reviews and studio visits from faculty members.

SUNY at Purchase College

To enroll at SUNY Purchase, students must have a newer laptop along with the latest version of Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection software.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture

Program emphasis in the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture program is on the development of traditional skills. However, faculty members also encourage students to experiment with different and new techniques and ideas, including video and multimedia. Facilities at this school are equipped to accommodate large-scale fabrications of plastics, plaster, fabric, ceramics, wood and metals. Students also have access to audiovisual and digital equipment. Juniors and seniors are eligible to apply for semi-private studio space.

Comparison of Schools

The following table includes important information about program costs, potential for financial aid and acceptance rates. Note the extremely low enrollment figure at the New York Academy of Art and the relatively high retention rates for first-time, full-time students at Pratt and Purchase College.

New York Academy of Art Pratt Institute SUNY at Purchase College
School Type 4-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; public
Total Enrollment (2011) 108* 4,724* 4,267*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large suburb
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) Graduate: $30,600* Undergraduate: $41,092 Undergraduate: $7,230 in-state;
$16,480 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2010-2011) N/A* 88%* 78%*
Acceptance Rate N/A* 56% (2011)* 33% (2012)*
Retention Rate for Students Beginning in 2010 and Returning in 2011 N/A* 83% for full-time; 25% for part-time* 81% for full-time*
Graduation Rate for Students Beginning in 2005 N/A* 62%* 56%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

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