For Students

Safety measures in place to protect students enrolled in interactive and experiential labs, studios, and other programs requiring close proximity to other people. Measures include, but are not limited to, reduction of class sizes, the installation of shields between workspaces, and the use of enhanced PPE.

Academic Program Delivery

Under the President’s leadership and with consultation from the Core Response Team, PAFA has conducted a comprehensive analysis of the makeup of its face-to-face, online, and hybrid courses across all domains.  Class size and delivery formats have been considered and in all venues, the appropriate combination of online physical distancing, sanitation, masks, and other needed safety measures will be used.

Undergraduate students in the second year and up and graduate students will only be working and studying in the Samuel M. V. Hamilton Building. All in-person instruction for all students will conclude before Thanksgiving, and the fall semester will continue online until December 11 for undergraduates and December 15 for graduate students. Refer to the Academic Calendar for key dates in the semester.

Shops, labs, and individual studios will be closed after Thanksgiving.

Annual Student Exhibition

The 119th Annual Student Exhibition (September 11–October 4, 2020) will be installed in the Historic Landmark Building (Alumni Gallery, North Wall of the Salon Gallery, and Gallery 9), and all three public levels of the Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building.

Installation will begin on August 3. 

The ASE will open to the members and essential workers on September 11 and to the general public on September 12. The exhibition will close on October 4.

Class of 2020 Commencement Exercises

While PAFA had planned and intended for an in-person commencement for the class of 2020 to take place in September, to coincide with the opening of the Annual Student Exhibition, the current public health threat of COVID-19 is such that this will no longer be possible. Instead, an online celebration will be held in September, and 2020 graduates will be invited to an in-person graduation in May 2021, provided that public health circumstances have improved by then. 

COVID-19 Education

A short mandatory orientation for COVID-19 concerning technology access and utilization, screening and student identification, and other change in campus life will be presented at orientation. Virtual versions of the orientation will be available for later review.

First-Year Students: Historic Landmark Building (HLB)

First-Year students and new transfer students will work only in the Historic Landmark Building and will enter through the Broad Street entrance.  First-year studio courses will be a blend of on-campus and online learning.  The approximately 44–50 incoming students will work in small classroom settings of about 7 students per room. Art History, Writing, and Foundation Experience will all be taught online.

The Historic Landmark Building will be open to students, Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM–6:00 PM, and will be accessible only to students taking first-year studio courses.

Upper Level and Graduate Students: Hamilton Building (HAM)

All undergraduate liberal arts and seminar courses will be held online. All upper level undergraduate studio courses will be online, with the exception of Landscape Painting and some critic meetings, which will be offered in a hybrid format.

Graduate seminars will be taught online and graduate studio courses and critiques will be a blend of on-campus and online modes, as outlined by Graduate Chair, Kevin Richards.

Hamilton Building Personal Studios

Personal studios will open July 13 and remain open five days per week, Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM–6:00 PM. Students will be required to schedule the days they will be on campus.  Schedules will be arranged via an online form shared with students. Questions should be directed to Kate McCammon (

Beginning August 27, studio hours will expand to 8:00 AM until 10:00PM, with access seven days a per week. The studios will be accessible to MFA students and undergraduates in their final year of study at PAFA. This will comprise about 100 students. They will be spread out among floors 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10.

Studios shared by third-year students and the shared studio on the 7th floor will not be open.

Each student’s security badge will control which floors they can access. For example, an MFA student who is a sculptor with studio space on the 10th floor will be permitted to access the 7th and 10th floors.

Workshops and Digital Labs

Hands-on experiences in the fall for upper level undergraduate students and graduate students will include access to printmaking and sculpture workshops and digital labs.  These spaces will be open Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM–5:00 PM. 

Access to workshops and labs will be scheduled by appointment.


The Library will be closed for on-site study.  However, librarian Brian Duffy ( will make books and other library materials available for pickup at the West Desk of the Student Entrance. Email your requests to and Brian will let you know when they are available for pickup.

Papermaking Studio

The papermaking studio will be closed during the fall semester.

Tableau Café

Tableau Café will resume operations for staff, faculty, and students only on July 13.

All customers must enter through the Broad Street Lobby and exit into the Maguire Gallery. Summer hours of operation are 8:00 AM–2:00 PM.

The Café will open to the public when the Museum reopens on September 11, with the following hours:

Thursday–Friday8:00 AM–4:00 PM
Saturday–Sunday11:00 AM–5:00 PM

Service through the end of 2020 will be takeout only.

Furniture will be consolidated to allow for a waiting area for coffee orders. All food will be pre-packaged by Constellation in its central kitchen. There will be no open containers of food or food prepared on-site, such as soups, bagels, and panini.

Student Employment and Internships

To reduce campus density, there will be limited student employment/internships and no internships for outside candidates at PAFA for the rest of 2020.

Student Housing & Residential Life

PAFA will offer student housing at Stiles Hall. Each student will have a private bedroom, with no more than 2 students per apartment.

Each apartment in Stiles Hall includes a bathroom, kitchen, and living area. Drexel University (from which we rent space in Stiles Hall) is reserving COVID-19 isolation rooms to quarantine any students in the event they become infected.

Stiles Hall will be staffed by Jimmie Greeno III, Vice President of Safety and Security & Pandemic Safety Officer, Elizabeth Ajagbe, Residential and Student Life Coordinator, and two Resident Assistants.

Quarantine, Isolation, and Care

There will be a 14-day self-quarantine requirement for all students living in Stiles Hall upon arrival for the fall semester.  

Drexel University (Stiles Hall) will be providing specially designated housing to those students who must isolate or quarantine, according to public health guidelines.  For those students who test positive and require isolation, there will be one residential area designated for this purpose.  

Student services will conduct daily phone check-ins with students in isolation to ensure that students are getting what they need and following self-care guidelines and every 2-3 days with students in quarantine.  The Student Care Coordinator will also conduct check-ins.  Students will be permitted to return to their on-campus housing after they have met Philadelphia Department of Health guidelines for ending isolation or quarantine.

Student Health & Wellness

COVID-19 has altered many facets of life for members of the PAFA community. These changes can take a toll on our emotional well-being and may result in stress, fear, and/ or anxiety. Please contact Julianne Fomenko, Student Care Coordinator for resources and services available to support you.