Vanessa Michalak, The Quiet Room (detail), 2012. Oil on canvas.

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

The Post-baccalaureate Certificate is a one-year program that offers intensive 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 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-bac Program?

Completion of the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate prepares students for a variety of paths. Some 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 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.

Studio space

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 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.

Studio Art

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.

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


• 14 credits of studio art, including the Post-Baccalaureate Seminar, plus one course in Visual and Critical Studies (may be taken fall or spring semester)


• 14 credits of studio art, including the Post-Baccalaureate Seminar