Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program
School of The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Earliest start date
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program
The one-year Post-Baccalaureate Certificate offers an intensive year of studio art study and practice, closely advised and supported by SMFA faculty. The program is ideal for students who have completed a bachelor’s degree and want to immerse themselves in intensive studio artmaking.
Whether you have recently graduated or are changing careers, the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate provides excellent preparation for graduate degree study in art or for professional practice as an artist.
You design an individualized studio art curriculum. You may experiment across media or focus intensely on one discipline. SMFA faculty will provide you with instruction, support, advice and encouragement throughout your course of study. In frequent individual consultations, instructors will critique your work and guide your development. Every week, you’ll come together with your classmates in a seminar that guides your progress, builds camaraderie and fosters artistic growth. You’ll also go on field trips and attend lectures by visiting artists, museum curators, gallery directors, collectors and critics.
In your independent studio work you’ll develop your art and your process. Each semester, you’ll present the accumulated work of that semester to be assessed for studio credits at Review Boards.
The Post-Baccalaureate program attracts applicants from a wide range of backgrounds. Some Post- Baccalaureate students are recent college graduates seeking a year of intensive studio education before beginning independent work as artists. Others come to initiate professional art practice after working in a different field.
Still others are working artists whoseek to expand their skills or explore new media.
Completion of the Post- Baccalaureate Certificate prepares students for a variety of paths.
Some choose to continue their studies in the SMFA’s Studio Diploma program, entering at the fourth year level. Others go on to graduate degree programs, such as the MFA. Many participate as fellows in professional artists’ residencies. Whether immediately, or after further formal study, most graduates sustain professional practice as artists.
Intensive time in the studio With a curriculum of courses chosen almost entirely by yourself, your Post-Baccalaureate year allows you to immerse yourself in your studio work. You may choose to focus on one medium—or explore media across the curriculum. The choices are many: The Museum School offers an average of 275 studio courses each year.
A focus on contemporary art Post- Baccalaureate students actively engage the contemporary art world through field trips and dialogue with visiting artists. Readings, gallery visits and class discussions focus on contemporary art—and examine how each student’s art fits into that historical context.
Each Post-Baccalaureate student has the use of a semi-private studio space in the Mission Hill building, a short walk from the SMFA’s main building and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. For most of the semester, students have 24–hour access to studio spaces and facilities.
A unique way of granting studio credits
At the Museum School, you won’t get grades for studio art classes. At Review Boards, in addition to evaluation of your art for your semester’s credit, you’ll get thoughtful, constructive critiques on the entire semester’s body of work from a group of engaged faculty members and peers. A Review Board is an intense and productive process that allows you to step back and see your work in context, as a whole. Presenting students learn to talk about their work, while reviewing students hone their ability to think critically about art.
A close-knit community
Post-Baccalaureate students develop a sense of camaraderie as they work closely with one another and with faculty in weekly seminars, in joint and individual critiques of artwork and in discussions of students’ development and needs.
The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program is a one-year program that consists of two full-time semesters of studio courses (including the Post-Baccalaureate Seminar), plus one Visual and Critical Studies (art history) course.
Post-Baccalaureate students register for 14 credits of studio art coursework each semester of the program, chosen from across the SMFA curriculum. The Museum School awards credit for studio art at the end of each semester during Review Boards.
Visual and Critical Studies (art history)
All Post-Baccalaureate students take one course in art history, either in the spring or the fall semester.
The Seminar is a mandatory core component of the curriculum during both fall and spring semesters. The Seminar includes professional presentations, student presentations, directed group discussions and writing projects, critiques of work, and visits to museums, galleries, collections and other sites.