Visual Studies

The Visual Studies program at the Tyler School of Art and Architecture is a unique program that equally integrates art making with academic scholarship. 

Twenty-first century solutions to social problems require flexible thinkers with interdisciplinary methodologies. Contemporary artists can no longer survive solely on specialization; they need to be entrepreneurs, researchers, writers, administrators, collaborators and caretakers. Students’ intellectual, creative and practical skills are fostered in relationship to some guiding questions:

  • What kind of vision will be most powerful in the 21st century?
  • How can we visually communicate what is of value to us? 
  • How can we advocate for social justice? 
  • How can we be creative in ways that improve our own lives and the lives of others?

To address these questions and others, Visual Studies students have access to an intimate art school and the vast resources of Temple, a large public research university—both located in Philadelphia, a city known for its vibrant arts and culture scene. Led by award-winning interdisciplinary artists and supported by renowned art historians and a broader interdisciplinary faculty across Temple, students learn to think critically, hone technical skills and become artist-researchers, fostering historical and contemporary understandings about the global community and power of image-making.

Graduates of Tyler’s Visual Studies program go on to succeed as exhibiting artists, published writers, designers, curators, as well as careers in higher education, political advocacy and community leadership, among others. 


  • Tyler’s exhibitions and public programs space, Temple Contemporary, offers opportunities to observe curatorial practice
  • Visual Studies students work alongside historians, artists and designers, allowing them to be involved in the creative process up close
  • Access to state-of-the-art equipment and studios available through required coursework
  • Access to student exhibition opportunities in Tyler-wide exhibition spaces
  • Digital resources in our Visual Resources Center, including access to millions of digital images via ARTstor
  • Temple’s Loretta C. Duckworth Scholars' Studio (formerly the Digital Scholarship Center) provides a space for collaborative work and individual research, offering technology for textual analysis, working with big data, working in and creating 3-D spaces, geospatial technology, games, visualizations and more
  • Lecture programs and symposia bring leading art historians, artists and theoreticians to Tyler; university-wide programming offers access to scholars across every discipline and field
  • Access to full range of academic classes offered across Temple University

Student communities
The Visual Studies Club is an official student-run organization devoted to collaborative projects, organizing workshops and guest speakers, as well as the cultivation of community amongst Visual Studies students.


Apply Now: Undergraduate First Year 

Apply Now: Undergraduate Transfer  


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  • Undergraduate