A student artist works on a clay sculpture of a human face.

Sculpture (BFA in Fine Arts)

In the Sculpture emphasis in the Fine Arts program at UArts, you’ll learn from faculty who are highly skilled and internationally recognized makers whose expertise encompasses the full breadth of sculptural practice, from the figurative to public works and museum installations.

As a Sculpture student, you’ll construct a foundation of skillbuilding in our well-equipped facilities with a variety of processes, from welding to cutting-edge digital media. Juniors and seniors focus on independently driven projects that stem from their own research. You’ll be prepared to enter into the industry, be an artist engaging in the expanded field of contemporary sculpture, and be an entrepreneur and leader in the global creative economy.

A Fine Arts Degree

UArts' Sculpture program is an emphasis in our Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program. As a Sculpture student, you will be able to immerse yourself in the expanded field of sculpture and draw from other disciplines in the Fine Arts program, like Painting and Expanded Drawing and Print Media, as well as study multiple disciplines and collaborate with students in majors across the university.

You can choose to use your electives to acquire deep knowledge of the 3-D disciplines, or expand your field of study to include the breadth of creative practice, such as dance, performance or virtual reality. You will learn to express your unique artistic voice in multiple facets, through a combination of technical skills and critical thinking.

Studying in the City

Living and working in the heart of Philadelphia, you’ll get to know local art organizations, museums, theaters, venues and the other spaces that make Philadelphia culturally and artistically inspiring. Our accomplished faculty are deeply embedded in the vibrant Philadelphia contemporary art scene and fabrication studios, which provides networking opportunities and behind-the-scenes experiences for UArts students. Our visiting artist and speaker series brings renowned sculptors, curators, writers, industry professionals and gallery directors to UArts, providing you with the opportunity for one-on-one meetings with the most important professionals in the field. Beyond Philadelphia, you’ll explore New York City and Washington D.C. through program-organized visits to museums, galleries and major contemporary art sites.

Philadelphia is an aspiring sculptor’s extended classroom, and has approximately 1,500 public sculptural works—more than any other city in North America. 3-D makers draw from the city’s great industrial history as well as contemporary 3-D-making collaborative startups. Philadelphia’s vibrant gallery scene, artist cooperatives and world-class museums showcase the work of national, international and local artists.

Gallery

UArts Class of 2021 Fine Arts BFA Thesis Showcase

UArts Class of 2021 Fine Arts BFA Thesis Showcase

Fine Arts Galleries

As a student in the Sculpture emphasis in the Fine Arts degree program, you will be able to exhibit your work in multiple galleries and broader public spaces across the university. Students begin exhibiting work in their first year, and use exhibition and installation opportunities to develop professional practices and community relationships.
 

Facilities and Shops

Our Sculpture facilities are comprehensive and feature the full range of analog and state-of-the-art digital processes, including the Albert M. Greenfield Makerspace and Center for Immersive Media. As a student in the Sculpture emphasis in the Fine Arts degree program, you'll have access to analog facilities like

  • multiple well-equipped wood shops,
  • an extensive metal shop that includes cold and hot processes,
  • a foundry for creating bronze and aluminum casting, and
  • facilities dedicated to molding and casting.

Carriage House

Sculpture classes take place in the Carriage House, which was designed by Frank Furness—a famous Victorian-era architect who designed numerous buildings in Philadelphia. The historic building is filled with natural light from a bank of skylights. This space is the main hub for all 3-D activities and is surrounded by accessible shops and a courtyard, where community events are held.

The Albert M Greenfield Makerspace

The Makerspace is a 3,500-square-foot digital and traditional fabrication studio that brings together the entire university community and serves as a catalyst for the collaboration, experimentation and innovation that are characteristic of UArts. The space houses state-of-the-art digital and analog equipment that allows students to create virtually anything they can imagine. 

It is outfitted with  

  • a ShopBot PRSAlpha9648 CNC Router;
  • a Roland MDX540A four axis CNC Mill with ATC;
  • a printed circuit board (PCB) and decal printers;
  • two NextEngine 3-D scanners for small objects;
  • two laser cutters/engravers, which can cut wood, acrylic, leather, fabric, paper, etc.;
  • four Ultimaker 3, 3-D printers, with both PLA and ABS plastics, which are able to build up to 7.5 x 8.5 x 8 in.;
  • a ProtoMax waterjet cutter with a 12 x 12 in. working area that can cut any material up to 1 in. thick (even steel);
  • a four-color Janome digital embroidery machine;
  • four electronic soldering stations and a PCB printer; and
  • four Windows-based workstations that are available for anyone to use.

Learn more about the Makerspace.

Center for Immersive Media

The Center for Immersive Media (CIM) is a 5,600-square-foot facility dedicated to exploring the fields of virtual and mixed reality, performance motion-capture, and human-computer interaction. As a student at UArts, you can take elective courses that utilize CIM. The space includes

  • an optical motion-capture system for full-body performance capture and location-based VR applications;
  • a four-channel audio system, multiple video projectors and lighting, and a control station;
  • 16 Genelec speakers for a 3rd Order Ambisonic system; 
  • a 16-station computing classroom with PCs that are optimized for real-time graphics rendering; and
  • two large project rooms with ceiling grids for the development of installations and virtual environments.

Learn more about CIM.

Student Spotlight


In the Fine Arts major, you’ll study with a variety of talented practicing artists, from sculptors to painters and photographers and other artists of all kinds.

A surreal, mirrored image of Anjaneya Cole
Anjaneya Cole

'24

Sculpture (BFA in Fine Arts)
Multimedia artist whose work stems from spirituality, dreams and personal experiences
Sophie Semenza '22 (Sculpture)
Sophie Semenza

'22

Sculpture (BFA in Fine Arts)
Artist who creates marionette puppets that portray America’s "ideal woman"
Ciara Wright sculpting a clay figure on Broad Street in Philadelphia
Ciara Wright

'18

Sculpture (BFA in Fine Arts)
Hometown: Berwick, Maine

Faculty Spotlight


Sculpture students at UArts will learn from top professional artists and educators whose work has been exhibited internationally and featured in films and publications.

A headshot of Laura Frazure
Laura Frazure

Sculpture (BFA in Fine Arts)
Award-winning sculptor whose work has been exhibited internationally
Mark Campbell '74 headshot
Mark Campbell

Sculpture (BFA in Fine Arts)
Artist and educator whose work has been exhibited nationally
Michael Grothusen; medium closeup of a man wearing a denim shirt and a blue jacket
Michael Grothusen

Sculpture (BFA in Fine Arts)
Mixed-media sculptor and installation artist, exhibited at Philadelphia Museum of Art

As part of the required Fine Arts commons courses, you will have the opportunity to study with faculty from across the Painting and Expanded Drawing and Print Media emphases. Our faculty have received grants and awards like the Pew Fellowship in the Arts, Pollock-Krasner Foundation grants and the Arte Laguna International Art Prize, among others.

See More Faculty

Curriculum

Our curriculum is based on skillbuilding, research, studio experimentation, artistic invention and daily practice. Your personal vision and innovation will anchor the development of your work. In Sculpture, you will be prepared to make significant cultural contributions for industry, gallery and museum exhibitions, public art, and use your skill sets to build your own entrepreneurial and creative capital.

The structure of our curriculum educates you in an environment that allows for either deep study in a discipline or the option of drawing from the breadth of creative practices across the university, including dance, design, music, film and writing.

You will deepen your cultural and intellectual understanding of the world around you and prepare yourself to contribute to the field of sculpture at a high level after graduation.

Students who complete the Fine Arts Major with an emphasis in Sculpture will

  • demonstrate independent, creative problem solving and original thinking through the development of a distinct and personal approach to art making that is informed by contemporary issues and historical precedents.
  • demonstrate critical and conceptual development through research and analysis, applying readings, theories and methodologies toward the production of critically informed artworks.
  • acquire and demonstrate the professional skills needed to be successful as practicing artists, entrepreneurs and productive citizens, including further study at the graduate level.
  • effectively communicate, verbally and in writing, the thoughts behind their choices and decisions about content and strategies.
  • demonstrate proficiency in a number of advanced techniques in their individual studio practice, including a deep familiarity with materials and processes.

Sample Curriculum

Duration: Four years, full-time
Credits: 120

Major requirements: 61.5 credits
Discipline history: 12 credits
Critical Studies: 30 credits
Free electives: 16.5 credits

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First Year

Fall Semester: 16.5 credits
Image/Time (3c)
Object/Environment (3c)
Drawing: Objects & Space (3c)
Art, Design and Moving Image I (3c)
Writing Composition I (3c)
Free Elective (your choice) (1.5c)

Spring Semester: 16.5 credits
Drawing: Natural Forms and The Human Figure (3c)
Color (3c)
Found and Fabricated or Body as Form (your choice) (3c)
Writing Composition II (3c)
Art, Design and Moving Image II (3c)
Free Elective (your choice) (1.5c)

Second Year

Fall Semester: 15 credits
Fabrication & Mixed Media (3c)
Sophomore Projects (3c)
Critical Studies (your choice) (6c)
Free elective (your choice) (3c)

Spring Semester: 15 credits
Digital requirement (3c)
Expanded Materials (3c)
Modeling & Carving (3c)
Discipline history (your choice) (3c)
Contemporary Issues (3c)

Third Year

Fall Semester: 15 credits
Junior Projects Discourse I (3c)
Sculpture Body Lab (3c)
Critical Studies (your choice) (6c)
Free elective (your choice) (3c)

Spring Semester: 13.5 credits
Internship (1.5c)
Installation & Immersive Environments (3c)
Junior Projects Discourse II (3c)
Critical Studies (your choice) (3c)
Free elective (your choice) (3c)

Fourth Year

Fall Semester: 15 Credits
Fine Arts Thesis Groundwork (3c)
Advanced Sculpture (3c)
Critical Studies (your choice) (3c)
Critical Studies (your choice) (3c)
Free elective (your choice) (3c)

Spring Semester: 13.5 Credits
The Artists’ Manifesto (3c)
Professional Practices (3c)
Fine Arts Thesis Studio (3c)
Critical Studies (your choice) (3c)
Free elective (your choice) (1.5c)

Explore the full curriculum.

Visiting Artists, Internships and Careers

Visiting Artists

Throughout your studies, you will be exposed to a variety of internationally recognized guest artists and speakers, in order to introduce you to the limitless possibilities for your future.

Recent Sculpture visiting artists include 

  • Rina Banerjee
  • Scott Donahue
  • Rachel Frank
  • Miguel Antonio Horn
  • Stacy Levy
  • Mary Mattingly
  • Bev Semmes
  • Lee Stoetzel
  • Jonathan Van Dyke

Internships

As a Sculpture student in the Fine Arts program, you will gain hands-on professional experience during your Professional Practices course and a required internship. UArts Sculpture students have the opportunity to exhibit work in numerous galleries and exhibition spaces, on campus and beyond. Such opportunities provide professional experiences and introduce your work to an audience that includes peers, faculty and the greater Philadelphia arts community. 
 
Organizations that have hosted prior internships include

  • professional sculptor’s studios;
  • Spiral Q Puppet Theater;
  • industry fabrication studios, ceramic shops and foundries;
  • public art fabrication projects, including Miguel Antonio Hornn’s “ContraFuerte” installation and fabrication;
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art;
  • The Center for Emerging Visual Artists;
  • Vox Populi Gallery; and
  • Philadelphia Mural Arts.

Career Preparation

Our curriculum is rooted in a broad base of skillbuilding, forming conceptual frameworks and professional development. Faculty serve as mentors, helping you chart potential career pathways and introducing you to leaders in the field.  

Common career options for Sculpture graduates include the following.

  • Art director
  • Production designer
  • Commercial designer
  • Educator
  • Industrial designer 
  • Industry fabricator
  • Museum and gallery administrator
  • Special effects artist
  • Studio artist
  • Studio manager/assistant

Career Services offers comprehensive advising to students and alumni, to assist them in building career development skills and tools and provide access to professional opportunities and job market information.

Learn more about Career Services.

Alumni 

Our alumni work as artists and leaders across creative industries. They’ve collaborated on projects like the Mars rover, exhibited their artwork in museums internationally, founded special effects companies, and worked in the biomedical field. They have created fabrication companies, worked with theater set design, constructed large-scale commercial displays for companies such as Anthopologie and have been awarded prestigious fellowships like the Guggenheim Fellowship.

Andrew Smith, artist and self proclaimed Dream Weaver based in Philadelphia
Andrew Smith

'19

Sculpture (BFA in Fine Arts)
Artist with an emphasis on drag, costume making, fashion and dance
Halle Ballard, Sculpture alum
Halle Ballard

'19

Sculpture (BFA in Fine Arts)
Artist who keeps record of life events during the making of each piece
Megan Smock BFA '20 (Sculpture)
Megan Smock

BFA '20

Sculpture (BFA in Fine Arts)
Artist and educator who's interested in site-specific installation, bookmaking, ceramics and more
Pap Souleye Fall BFA '17 (Sculpture)
Pap Souleye Fall

BFA '17

Sculpture (BFA in Fine Arts)
Senegalese-American artist who's participated in the Dak’Art Biennale of Contemporary African Art
Corinne Sandkuhler BFA '20 (Sculpture)
Corinne Sandkuhler

BFA '15

Sculpture (BFA in Fine Arts)
Multidisciplinary artist who designs and creates custom art installations and fixtures for retail display
Ryan Berardi headshot
Ryan Berardi

BFA '14

Sculpture (BFA in Fine Arts)
Medical artist specializing in the making of medical and anatomical artwork
Frank Hartman in white shirt and khaki pants, brown diamond pattern tie, NASA ID badge, holding notebook
Frank Hartman

BFA '92

Sculpture (BFA in Fine Arts)
Mars Rover driver for NASA
A headshot of Kay Schimert BFA ’85 (Fine Arts/Sculpture). Photo Credit: Zack Garlitos
Katy Schimert

BFA ’85 (Fine Arts/Sculpture)

Sculpture (BFA in Fine Arts)
2020 Guggenheim Fellow, artist and educator

How to Apply

UArts offers recommended priority deadlines; students who apply and submit all required materials by the priority deadline will receive first consideration for scholarship aid from UArts. Applications received after the priority deadline will be reviewed on a rolling, space-available basis. 

International students requiring an F-1 visa for study in the U.S. might be subject to earlier deadlines to provide time for completion of the visa process. Contact Admissions for guidance if you are an international student who wishes to apply after the priority deadline.

Fall 2022 priority deadline: Our fall 2022 priority deadline to apply has passed, but we will continue to accept applications as space remains available in each program.

We cannot accept fall 2022 applications after Aug. 12, 2022.

The following materials are required for your application.

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A completed application for admission

Start or resume your application. 

  • The application includes two required short-answer questions: What excites you about UArts? What inspires you?

A nonrefundable $60 application fee
  • If you qualify for a fee waiver from NACAC, CollegeBoard, UArts or another source, indicate that on your application. If the cost of the application fee is a barrier, contact Admissions to request a fee waiver code.

Official high school transcript

  • Official transcripts must be sent directly from your school by mail, email or a secure electronic document-delivery service. 

  • International transcript requirements 

  • Transfer student transcript requirements

    • High school transcripts may be waived for transfer applicants who have completed a minimum of 24 credits of college-level coursework, including a minimum of 18 academic, non-studio credits.

    • Official college transcript(s)

      • Official transcripts must be sent directly from all the colleges you have attended by mail, email or a secure electronic document-delivery service. 

      • If you’ve attended college outside the U.S., you are required to have an official course-by-course evaluation of your college coursework sent to UArts. Additional guidelines for international transcripts are available

Your portfolio
  • A portfolio is required for all Art, Design, Film and Writing programs. Your portfolio may be uploaded during the application process or via your applicant status portal after submission. You must confirm when your submission is complete via the linked electronic form before your portfolio can be reviewed for admission.

  • Learn more about portfolio requirements. 

International applicants must submit proof of English proficiency.
Optional letters of recommendation
  • Letters of recommendation from teachers or mentors are optional and may be submitted by the recommender via email to undergradcredentials@uarts.edu or by your high school through a secure electronic document-delivery service. 

Apply Now.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

UArts recognizes the extraordinary talent of our students through a range of merit-based scholarships. All applicants are automatically considered for such scholarships—no special application is necessary.

Nearly 98 percent of UArts’ undergraduate students enrolled on a full-time basis are eligible for some type of need-based aid. Additionally, some scholarship opportunities take need-based criteria into account. All students who are U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens and are enrolled in a degree program are encouraged to apply by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

About the School of Art


The School of Art at University of the Arts deeply values and celebrates creative curiosity, interdisciplinary collaboration and exploration of numerous media and practices. You will be professionally prepared for a creative practice that emphasizes critical thinking and technical skill. You can create your own education through interdisciplinary learning and mixed media, or focus on a chosen discipline. No matter your path, you’ll learn to express your personal vision and innovate your chosen artforms.

Learn more about the School of Art.

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