The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate is a one-year program that offers intensive studio work supported by professional development through seminars, studio visits, and guest curators and artists. Students receive individualized attention through the close advising and mentorship of the Post-Baccalaureate faculty. Whether your undergraduate degree is in Economics, English, or Fine Arts, you’ll be joining a community dedicated to studio art practice and invested in pursuing their next professional steps.

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 preparing for a career pivot, the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate offers an immersive studio experience that is 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.


Program Benefits

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.

Intensive time in the studio.

With a curriculum of courses of your choosing, and 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.

Post-Baccalaureate students are given an individual studio in our Mission Hill building where they’ll join a dynamic group of Post-Baccalaureate and Master of Fine Arts candidates. The Mission Hill building, at 160 St. Alphonsus Street, is a short walk from 230 The Fenway and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. For most of the semester, students have 24-hour access to studio spaces and facilities. More than just a space to make your work, your studio is a place to explore community and build the relationships that will carry you through the program and your career..


In the Post-Baccalaureate Seminar you’ll cultivate professional skills while surveying the landscape of contemporary practice. Through presentations by visiting artists, faculty, and fellow students you’ll explore professional options, hone presentation skills, and clarify direction. You’ll engage in grant writing, residency applications, and curatorial opportunities, while building a professional network with gallerists and working artists. In addition, the Consultation provides a weekly studio visit during which you’ll receive feedback and support for your developing studio practice.

Coursework & 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 14 semester hour units of studio art coursework each semester of the program, chosen from across the SMFA curriculum.

Visual and Critical Studies (Art History)

All Post-Baccalaureate students take a 3 semester hour unit course in Art History, either in the spring or the fall semester, offered on the Fenway campus through SMFA’s Visual and Critical Studies department.

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
17 semester hour units


Studio Art, including the Post-Baccalaureate Seminar
*Visual and Critical Studies may be taken in Fall or Spring
14 semester hour units


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

Program Director

Nan Freeman