Mission, Vision, Values

Tyler's Mission


The Tyler School of Art and Architecture educates and inspires students to be active participants in society with the highest aspirations for creative and social achievement, individual expression, scholarly discovery, and innovation.


Learning at Tyler is a profoundly transformative process in which students exceed their own expectations as creators, scholars, educators, and active citizens. Tyler prepares students to make valuable contributions in a range of fields through the strength of their creative and technical skills, their ability to visualize solutions, and their personal vision informed by social and civic responsibility.


We are makers and thinkers from many practices, cultures, identities, and backgrounds. Together, we learn from and about each other and are transformed by that process into a community. We are inspired to seek out new bodies of knowledge and new ways of looking at what has come before us. We are part of a large, urban, public research university where students and faculty engage with the world's most pressing and complex issues. Our students learn how to be leaders prepared to navigate the opportunities and challenges of local and global societies as artists, designers, educators, scholars, organizational leaders, and in newly emerging occupations.



As we engage with the ongoing global evolution of the roles of creators and scholars, we value curiosity, divergent thinking, critical inquiry, and creative agency. We seek to recognize and question the ideas embedded in institutions and social systems that perpetuate and impede equitable access to resources, creativity, and knowledge.

Equity, Inclusivity, & Access

We believe that diversity in all its dimensions is a strength. We seek to create inclusive and welcoming learning opportunities. As we expand the possibilities for engagement, we do so with intentionality in constructing the essential elements of our educational mission:

  • our social and educational community
  • our pedagogical strategies
  • our physical and sensory environment

Public Engagement

We believe creative and scholarly practice plays a critical role in addressing the collective concerns of our city and our global environment. Through our work, we actively engage with the cultural and ethical issues at the heart of our communities.


  • Students develop sophisticated practical skills, using both state-of-the-art equipment and traditional methodologies, and learn how to navigate public and private-sector worlds while preserving individual creativity.

  • The Tyler experience integrates research and production with professional practice and civic engagement. We draw on our home city of Philadelphia for rich, accessible cultural and historical resources and unique opportunities for meaningful engagement with important urban issues.

  • Undergraduates explore a breadth of experiences, media, and technologies that provides a foundation for intensive study within a chosen discipline. Graduate students have access to a unique array of physical and intellectual resources within and beyond their chosen fields of study.

  • Students and professors work side-by-side on projects with historical, aesthetic, environmental, and social impact.