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  Academic Programs / Art & Architecture

Tyler School of Art

General Information

Founded 1935
Acting Dean: Hester Stinnett

Elkins Park Programs
7725 Penrose Avenue
Elkins Park, PA 19027

Main Campus Programs
1947 N. 12th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122

(215) 782-ARTS

Financial Aid and Scholarships
Special Programs
Honor Societies/Awards
Student Association Information
Special Facilities


Goals and Objectives

The Tyler School of Art provides a comprehensive curriculum in fine arts, crafts, design, art education, art history, and architecture. The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) professional programs are offered in Ceramics/Glass, Fibers, Graphic and Interactive Design, Metals/Jewelry/CAD-CAM, Painting/Drawing, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, and BFA Studio with Teaching Certification on the Tyler Elkins Park Campus. A concentration in Digital Imaging is available to BFA studio majors. The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Art (with a concentration in Studio Art, Visual Studies, or Digital Media), the BA in Art History, the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Art Education, BS in Architecture, and the Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) professional program are offered on Temple University’s Main Campus. Summer classes and weekend workshops are available. For information on graduate programs, please go to the Tyler website at


Stella Elkins Tyler donated her estate to Temple University in the early 1930s. With an interest in progressive education and a deep appreciation of her mentor, the sculptor Boris Blai, Mrs. Tyler offered her estate with the expressed wish that, through Boris Blai, it would become an environment for the advancement of the fine arts, scholarly study in the arts, and individual creativity.

As founding Dean of Tyler School of Art, Blai instilled the School with a commitment to progressive education emphasizing the student’s mastery of technique within the framework of a liberal arts curriculum. Dean Blai insisted upon individual attention to each student’s needs as the basis of successful teaching. During his 25-year tenure Dean Blai shaped the school into one of the finest visual arts centers in the country, and his founding ideals still remain paramount to Tyler’s educational philosophy.

In 1960 Dean Charles Le Clair succeeded Boris Blai. During this period the Tyler campus was improved with construction of a residence hall, and two studio/classroom buildings. In 1966 Dean Le Clair founded the Tyler Study Abroad program in Rome, Italy. Tyler’s Rome campus thrives today as one of the most respected fine arts study abroad programs in Europe. The program has expanded to include a full range of liberal arts, architecture, business, and law courses with an emphasis on those relating to Rome, Italy, and the European Common Market.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Tyler’s curriculum continued to grow in response to new definitions of art-making and the role of art in society. New programs and modern facilities in design, ceramics, glass, metals, and photography were added. During this time, Tyler developed the Art and Art Education department and the Art History department on Temple’s Main Campus. These departments serve majors seeking the BA degree with a major in art or art history, the BS degree in art education, and non-majors throughout the University. Today, the curriculum at Tyler continues to address contemporary needs by incorporating digital technology, video, installation, and performance.

From its modest enrollment of 12 students in the first freshman class in 1935, Tyler now boasts a student body of over 1,400 and serves another 2,000-3,000 students each year in elective and core curriculum courses. Today, Tyler is a dynamic organization, serving students at its Elkins Park campus, as well as Temple’s Main Campus, the Ambler Campus, and the Temple University Rome and Tokyo campuses. For over 65 years, the foundation of Tyler’s program has been a faculty of practicing artists and scholars teaching highly talented and motivated students.

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Tyler is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The Architecture Program is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which is the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture.

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Admissions Information

Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science Programs

Entering undergraduates are admitted to the Tyler Main Campus programs by the Director of Admissions of Temple University based on a review of the applicant's academic credentials. This procedure requires the applicant to file all records and test scores in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions of Temple University on the Main Campus. No portfolio is required for freshmen entering the BA or BS programs. See Undergraduate Admissions for more information.

Transfer Students

To receive transfer credit for studio credits taken at other institutions, a student must present a portfolio for each course.  An evaluation will determine whether equivalent, elective, or no credit is to be awarded.  The department will accept a maximum of 24 s.h. of transfer studio credit towards the major.  Transfer evaluations are conducted in the Fall and Spring semesters only.

Applicants to any Tyler program must meet the deadlines established by the Undergraduate Admissions Office.  Please refer to the Temple website for updated undergraduate deadline information.  After the priority deadline dates listed by Temple Undergraduate Admissions, applications are accepted on a rolling admissions basis.

Applications and application materials may be obtained by calling: 215-782-2828 or 215-782-2875 or writing: Office of Admissions, Tyler School of Art of Temple University (801-00), 7725 Penrose Avenue, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania 19027 or through the Tyler website ‘Request a Catalog’ link at:

Architecture Program

Admission to the University does not guarantee admission to the Architecture Program. Admission will be granted to those students with strong academic credentials. While not required, a portfolio is recommended. All students are initially admitted into the Architecture Basic Studies Program and, if desired, apply for admission to the accredited Bachelor of Architecture (5 year) Professional Program during the fourth studio semester.

Students seeking advanced placement in architecture design studio will be evaluated by portfolio. Students not presenting a portfolio of work will automatically be placed in first year design studio, regardless of previous credits. Contact the Architecture Program at 215/204-8813 for further information.

A maximum of 12 semester hours of credit will be allowed by the Program in relevant work experience, Advanced Placement, or CLEP examination. Matriculated, enrolled students may apply for work experience through the Director of Academic Services.

Bachelor of Fine Arts Program

Entering undergraduates are admitted to Tyler by the Director of Undergraduate Admissions of Temple University after consultation with Tyler's Assistant Dean for Admissions following the review of the student's academic record and art portfolio. This procedure requires the applicant to file all records and test scores in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions of Temple University on the Main Campus. See Undergraduate Admissions for more information.

Please refer to the University deadlines on the Undergraduate Application or go to the Temple website for deadline information. After the priority deadline dates, applications are accepted on a rolling admissions basis.

Applications and application materials may be obtained by calling: (215) 782-2828 or (215) 782-2875 or writing: Office of Admissions, Tyler School of Art of Temple University (801-00), 7725 Penrose Avenue, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania 19027. email:

Portfolio Review

In addition to satisfying academic requirements, all BFA freshman applicants are required to present a portfolio of fifteen to twenty pieces of original artwork for evaluation. Regularly scheduled portfolio reviews are held on the Tyler Campus. Applicants living at a considerable distance from Tyler may elect to submit a portfolio in 35mm slide form instead of appearing for an in-person interview. Those who live in or near the Philadelphia area, however, are expected to present a portfolio of original work during a portfolio review day. This is an occasion when applicants and their families may see the campus and discuss Tyler's educational program with faculty, staff, and students. Tyler also participates in a number of National Portfolio Day events where students can meet with staff or faculty for a portfolio critique. For a complete list of NPDA events in which Tyler will participate, please contact the Tyler Admissions Office. Transfer applicants must submit a slide portfolio via the U.S. mail and must include a sturdy, self-addressed, stamped envelope for the return of the slides (see Transfer student information below). Diskettes or CD-ROMs may be sent in addition to, not in lieu of, a slide portfolio for freshmen or transfer applicants.

While the application to Tyler is being processed by Temple University, an interview by a member of the Tyler faculty or by the Admissions Staff must be arranged. All work included in the portfolio should have been completed during the previous year and should represent as broad a selection as possible: drawings from life, work in both color and black and white media, design examples, photography, prints, crafts, or sculpture. Portfolios must include five strong examples of drawing from observation regardless of the major the applicant wishes to pursue. No work that is copied directly from photographs or magazines should be included. It is not necessary to mat or frame any of the art work for this presentation. Original work must not be sent through the mail.

The freshman applicant is advised to submit work done independently as well as under instruction. The transfer student should submit work that is representative of the college level studio work completed to date.

Portfolio Review

 In order for the application to be completed, an 8 ” x 11” self-portrait, in pencil from a mirror reflection, must be sent to Tyler.  The application is not considered complete without the self-portrait; it becomes a permanent part of the application and is not returned.  This self-portrait should not be framed or matted.  Please refer to the Tyler catalogue for more information.  Tyler also requires a Statement of Purpose that is separate from the Undergraduate application essay as well as a completed BFA information form.  For more information on the Statement and the Self-Portrait, or to be emailed a BFA information form or portfolio review appointment form, please email

Transfer Students

To enroll with advanced standing, applicants must fulfill the admission requirements of Temple University as well as the special requirements of the School of Art. Applicants should demonstrate a level of art performance appropriate to the year for which they are applying. Usually this requires completion of a proportion of studio and academic courses comparable to that taken by Tyler students, as well as a comparable portfolio of 20 slides. The slides should represent all studio coursework taken, as well as work towards a specific major. The slides must also include five strong examples of drawing from observation, regardless of the major the applicant wishes to pursue.

All transfer students must submit a slide portfolio through the U.S. mail instead of an in-person review of art work. The slides must be accompanied by a detailed description list and a sturdy, self-addressed stamped envelope. To be as fair and precise as possible in making transfer decisions, the transfer committee  consistently applies a uniform standard to all applicants. A transfer committee comprised of Tyler faculty and the Assistant Dean for Admissions will review the slide portfolios and academic records of each application to determine the best placement level possible. However, we strongly encourage all transfer applicants to visit the Tyler campus and to schedule a campus tour.

Tyler accepts transfer students from accredited institutions of higher education and strives to keep any loss of credit to a minimum. The transfer student will be required to complete a minimum of 30 studio credits as a full-time student on the Tyler campus. In order to be considered for transfer credit to the BFA degree, studio credits must have been completed within the last 10 years.

If the transfer student has not completed the equivalent of Tyler's Foundation Program, he or she must  take the deficient courses,  beginning with the first semester enrolled at Tyler.

Transfer students are admitted at a specific studio level (second semester sophomore, first semester junior, etc.) which is determined by transferable courses, academic performance, and the portfolio evaluation by Tyler faculty.

Readmission Policy

See Academic Policies and Regulations in this section.

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Financial Aid and Scholarships

Financial Aid

Please see Financial Information: Financial Aid.
Detailed information can be found on at Applications for financial aid (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) are available through the Student Financial Services office at the Tyler Elkins Park Campus (215) 782-2769 on Wednesdays and Thursdays, or through Main Campus (215) 204-2244.


Tyler offers merit based and merit/financial need-based BFA scholarships dependent upon available funding. Generally, between ten and sixteen portfolio scholarships ranging from $1000 to full tuition are awarded to undergraduate students entering in the fall semester. Some of these scholarships may continue dependent upon available funds, cumulative grade point average, and/or demonstrated financial need. All scholarships and guidelines for consideration are printed on the Scholarship List form available in the Tyler Admissions Office and posted on the Tyler website. Students who wish to compete for portfolio scholarships must follow the deadlines and application procedures indicated on the Scholarship List form. BFA applicants submit a slide portfolio along with a sturdy self-addressed, stamped envelope that must be received by the published deadline.

Matriculated students also have the opportunity to compete for Tyler-specific scholarships, including the Wayne Becker Scholarship Award and the Betty-Ann Shema Morris Scholarship. Information about merit scholarships for continuing students is posted annually at the Tyler Elkins Park campus as well as through the Dean's office and department offices.

In addition to portfolio-based scholarships, a number of scholarships for students based on academic achievement are awarded through Temple University to Tyler School of Art. These awards typically range from $1000 to full tuition. For more information about these awards, please contact the Temple University Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Emergency Grants and Loans

Funds donated by alumni and friends of the school are available to students in the form of emergency grants and loans. Two such funds are the Boris Blai Memorial Tyler Student Aid Fund and the Stella Elkins Tyler Short Term Student Loans. Information about these funds is available through the Student Financial Services Office and the Business Office at the Tyler Elkins Park Campus.

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Special Programs


Juniors may elect a year or semester abroad. Housed in the Villa Caproni, facing the Tiber River just north of the Piazza del Popolo, the school offers courses in painting, drawing, graphic and interactive design, photography, printmaking, sculpture, architecture, and art history. Facilities include a library, an art gallery, private work areas, and full equipment in studio disciplines. Art history is taught through direct observation of original works and historic sites. The student also may elect to take courses in Italian, anthropology, history, or literature. For more information about Study Abroad options, see International Programs and Study Abroad.


In conjunction with the Glasgow School of Art, the Crafts Department of the Tyler School of Art offers an interdisciplinary studio program in Scotland. The program consists of four weeks of traveling and intensive studio workshops in a variety of media while exploring the art, culture, and geographic beauty of Great Britain.


Art, Media, and Design Summer Workshop in Japan is offered at the Temple University Japan campus in Tokyo. The summer workshop course incorporates lectures, site visits, readings, and discussions as well as a workshop component. Temple Japan now offers a BA in Art degree (digital media concentration).

Opportunities in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Unique to the Tyler Architecture Program is the ongoing involvement of the program in the reconstruction of the former Yugoslavia. One of the third and fourth-year vertical studios focuses on the field of postwar reconstruction planning for the Old Town district of Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovinia. Students attend month-long workshops in Istanbul and Mostar. The students participating in this program play critical leadership roles in these international workshops.

Yale Norfolk

Traditionally, Tyler has been invited to nominate a distinguished junior BFA Painting or Sculpture major for participation in the Yale Norfolk Summer School of Art and Music in Connecticut. Nominations are made by the PDS faculty.

Black Hills/Pilchuck/Skowhegan

Tyler offers one full scholarship each summer to the Black Hills Print Symposium in South Dakota. Nominations are made by the Printmaking faculty. The Symposium brings together professional artists and students from all over the country for a serious exchange of ideas and information. One scholarship is also awarded to the summer program of the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State. The Pilchuck School offers glassblowing, hot glass sculpture, casting, mixed media sculpture, flame working, and neon to students from around the world. The School emphasizes experimentation, investigation, teamwork, and personal growth. Nominations are made by the Glass faculty.

Each year students are nominated for a full scholarship to the nine-week Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Summer Program in Maine. The scholarship covers full costs of room, board, and tuition. Skowhegan enrolls 60 advanced students of painting and sculpture from schools across the country that work independently under the guidance of six resident faculty members and weekly visiting artists. Students who have completed the junior year are nominated by presenting work to the PDS faculty.

Foreign Exchange Program

Tyler participates in an exchange program in the area of Glass with the West Surrey College of Art and Design in England. This program involves a one-to-one student exchange for a Glass major in the upper division years for one semester. The formal agreement allows students to pay tuition to their home institution and maintain class-level status while experiencing the culture and education process of another country.

Career Development Services

Career Development Services provides students with up-to-date material on career planning, resume preparation, interviewing skills, and job search techniques. Students are encouraged to schedule appointments for career conversation and advisement. For more information, see the Student Support and Services: Student Services: Career Development Services, at ( or telephone the office on the Main Campus at (215) 204-7981.

Visiting Artists Program

The School and individual departments sponsor an active program of extracurricular events both on and off campus, including public lectures through critical dialogues and arranged introductions, exhibitions, and workshops. These offer students the opportunity to meet with the artists and discuss their work.

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Honor Societies/Awards

Annual cash, book, and gift certificate awards are given to graduating students who have excelled in art, demonstrated outstanding scholastic achievement, or distinguished themselves in a particular department. Among these awards are the Alec Abels Memorial Award in Painting, the Alumni Service Award, the Art and Art Education Department Achievement Award, the Essie Baron Memorial Award, the Billlikopf Awards, the Rudolf Staffel Award in Ceramics, the Boris Blai Memorial Award in Sculpture, the Jane D. Bonelli Art Education Award, the Kristin Huggins Memorial Award, the Del Val Potters Supply Award, the East Bay Batch & Color Awards, the Faculty Award in Art Education, the Faculty Award in Art History, the Faculty Award in Metals, the Frei and Borel Student Awards, the Graphic Design Alumni Award, the Graphic and Interactive Design Senior Project Award, the Jack Malis Glass Award, the Kalnin Graphics Award, the Allen Koss Memorial Awards, the Ann and Jack Moslkowitz Art Education Award, the Raphael Sabatini Memorial Award in Printmaking, the Herman Gundersheimer Award for Academic Excellence, the Herman Gundersheimer Award for Art History, the Carmela Corso Scholarship Prize, the Edith Weil Hecht Memorial Awards in Painting and Sculpture, the Lester and Violet Hecht Award in Printmaking, the Robert and Richard Hecht Awards, the Photography Faculty Awards, the Printmaking Faculty Award, the Bertha Lowenburg Prize for excellence in art, the Nathan Margolis Award in Ceramics, the Dorothy H. Ward Memorial Award, the Philadelphia Print Center Award, the Plastic Club Award, the Power Design Award, the Philadelphia Water Color Club Award, the Rio Grande Student Award, the Vivian Rosenberg Memorial Senior Project Award, the Sculpture Project Award, the Senior Painting Award, the Bruce Silver Outstanding Achievement Award, the Taws Artist Materials Award, the Rochelle Toner Award, the T.B. Habstoz Student Award, the Utrecht Supplies Award, and the Utrectht/Hallmark Award .

The Architecture Program offers the following awards: The Architecture Program Merit Award, the Bachelor of Architecture Award, the AIA Henry Adams Medal, the AIA Henry Adams Certificate of Merit, the Alpha Rho Chi Medal, the Alumni Thesis Prize, the Da Vinci Prize, and the Diener Brick Company Masonry Award.

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Student Services and Activities

(215) 782-2883

Student Services and Activities, located on the third floor of the Tyler Elkins Park Campus Tyler Hall, handles most of the non-academic, extracurricular activities including: entertainment, assistance and development of student organizations, off-campus jobs and housing, museum bus trips, recreational services, and the production of student publications. Student Services also handles student and faculty requests to reserve Tyler Gallery, Penrose Gallery, as well as PE107 for exhibitions. Students come here to deal with a myriad of problems. Additional information can be found at our Tyler Student Life website -

Student Organizations and Appointed Positions

Student Government- Two elected Tyler representatives participate in the Temple Student Government meetings on the Main Campus. This organization provides an integral link between students on all campuses and assures an ongoing dialogue with the administration.

Student Alliance- Elected student officers serve as liaisons between the Student Government, the general student population, and faculty and administration to ensure that the needs of the Tyler student body are fulfilled. The Student Alliance further provides an open forum for campus concerns and issues. A faculty member may be selected and act as resource person and/or adviser to the group.

Student Run Gallery- "Produce," the Penrose Hall student-run gallery, serves as a venue to promote both student works as well as professional exhibitors. Every year four exhibitions are chosen and curated by the student advisory board, which is composed of one representative from each undergraduate class along with one from Tyler Student Government and Student Alliance. A graduate student director manages the student advisory board and gallery budget. Students are encouraged to participate in the selection of exhibitions by becoming a part of the advisory board.

Student Program Board- Interested students organize, plan, and present culturally diverse and entertaining extracurricular programs open to the campus community as well as the general public. The General Activities Fee funds both groups.

GAF Steering Committee Representative (General Activities Fee)- Each year a student is appointed by the Director of Student Services and Activities to represent Tyler on the University's GAF Steering Committee. The committee oversees the equitable distribution of GAF money for the University/campus- wide programs, special events, and activities.

ACF (Artist Christian Fellowship)- Weekly Bible study along with a casual coffeehouse open to the campus community.

CATS- Students and alumni coordinate semi-annual fairs for the exhibition and sale of their craft work.

Beech Hall Residence Senate- Students discuss the rules and regulations of the residence hall and plan recreational events for residents.

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Special Facilities

Local and national exhibitions are scheduled in Tyler Gallery on campus and the Temple Gallery in Old City Philadelphia (45 N. Second Street) that demonstrate vital movements in contemporary art. The openings for these shows allow students the opportunity to meet and talk with the artists. Call (215) 204-8982 for more information. "Produce,” the Penrose Hall student-run gallery, serves as a venue to promote both student works as well as experienced exhibitors.

The Tyler Elkins Park and Main Campus programs house studios, workshops, and exhibition space for students in the curriculum. Specific information about facilities and studio spaces for individual majors can be found on the Tyler web site under the department pages.

The Student Computer Center located in Penrose Hall Library is available to all currently enrolled Tyler students, Monday through Sunday during posted library hours. Computer monitors are available to help.

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