The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate is a one-year program that offers intensive studio art study and individual development 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 rigorous studio art-making. Whether you have recently graduated or are changing careers, the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate also provides excellent preparation for graduate study in art or for professional practice as an artist.

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 who seek to expand their skills or explore new media.

Why the Post-Baccalaureate Program?

Completion of the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate prepares you for a variety of paths. Some students go on to graduate degree programs, such as the MFA, many others participate as fellows in professional artists' residencies. Whether immediately or after further formal study, most graduates sustain professional practice as artists.

Program Benefits

Intensive time in the studio.

With a curriculum of courses of your choosing, with guidance from your faculty mentor, your Post-Baccalaureate year allows you to immerse yourself in your studio work. You may choose to focus on one medium—or explore mediums across the curriculum.

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 work and professional aims fit into that historical context.

Studio space.

Each Post-Baccalaureate student has the use of an individual studio space in the Mission Hill building at 160 St. Alphonsus St., a short walk from 230 Fenway and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. For most of the semester, students have 24-hour access to studio spaces and facilities.

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.

Certificate Requirements

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.

Studio Art

Post-Baccalaureate students register for 3.5 credits of studio art coursework each semester of the program, chosen from across the SMFA curriculum. SMFA 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 a one credit course in Art History, either in the spring or the fall semester.

Post-Baccalaureate Seminar

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.


Sample Course of Study


Studio art, including the Post-Baccalaureate Seminar, plus one course in Visual and Critical Studies
*Visual and Critical Studies may be taken in Fall or Spring
4.5 credits


Studio Art, including the Post-Baccalaureate Seminar
*Visual and Critical Studies may be taken in Fall or Spring
3.5 credits


Please email SMFA Admissions for more information on applying to the Post-Bac program or call 617-627-3395.

Program Director

Nan Freeman