Degrees Offered

BFA in Ceramics

“We’re not interested in creating artists in our own image,” comments Ceramics Program Head and Crafts Department Chair Nicholas Kripal. “We love that we draw students who are pushing the boundaries of the medium, students who want to be challenged.”

Students’ exploration of the craft can take many forms. There is equipment available for wheelwork, mold making and slip casting, as well as large kilns for hand-building and sculpture. Students are encouraged to investigate a wide range of processes, including the recent addition of 3D modeling and printing, as they develop their own personal visions.

Separate studio space is available for junior and senior ceramics majors, and students are encouraged to reach outside their own spheres for inspiration and ideas. As Kripal comments, “Many of our students are interested in interdisciplinary work, such as integrating industrial design and pushing it into the fine arts perspective, resulting in new hybrids. The fusion of ceramics with the performing arts is another standout example. We’re so excited about the opportunities present from the recent move to the Main Campus—being side by side with film, dance, media arts, being able to get lighting advice from the theater department—there’s a great new synergy here.”

The program makes a point of drawing on the energy and resources of the city as well. Students attend lectures and exhibitions at museums, galleries and other cultural institutions all over town, and participate in community art projects in the ongoing collaboration with Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Project.

BFA in Ceramics with Entrepreneurial Studies

In partnership with the Fox School of Business at Temple, Tyler School of Art offers BFA with Entrepreneurial Studies for all BFA major disciplines. The BFA with Entrepreneurial Studies is a 126 credit degree program integrating the disciplines of art and entrepreneurship. Program coursework includes 68 credit hours of art and art/related courses (which includes a 3-credit Tyler business, entrepreneurship or internship course); 14 credits of art history; 32 credits of Gen Ed; 3 credits of open electives and nine credits of Fox entreprenuership coursework. The BFA with Entrepreneurial Studies prepares students with the requisite skills for entrepreneurship in their respective studio discipline and necessary preparation to pursue graduate studies in their studio discipline, in entrepreneurship, or in similar professions upon graduation.

MFA in Ceramics

The MFA in Ceramics is a small, very selective program of students who work closely with their Tyler peers in Glass and Fibers. “The definition of all three of these crafts has changed so much over the past three decades,” explains Crafts Department Chairperson Nicholas Kripal. “It’s very interdisciplinary, with students creating work that comes from within the tradition but redefines it. We have students doing large-scale unfired clay installations, site-specific pieces, and video projects. We look for really innovative work, and we get it, from students who come to us because they’ve heard about Tyler as ‘the stretching school.’”

MFA students are expected to approach their work intellectually as well as aesthetically, and to conduct research and experimentation that furthers their ideas. An exceptional visiting artist series, opportunities for internships with Philadelphia’s many cultural institutions, proximity to the contemporary galleries, museums and professional networks of New York City, and daily exposure to instructor-mentors who are also award winning practicing artists, add unique dimension to the program.