Visual Studies at the University of Pennsylvania prepares students to forge innovative connections across the disciplines that study vision and images. Students acquire a critical awareness of seeing and the problems and possibilities for investigating, thinking, and writing about seeing in the 21st century. Fundamentally interdisciplinary, the Visual Studies Program partners with the Departments of Philosophy, Psychology, History of Art, Fine Arts, and Architecture. Students may also find interest in Penn Programs such as Cinema Studies and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies or outside of the School of Arts and Sciences in the Annenberg School of Communications, and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
Each year the program hosts a Visual Studies Lecture Series designed to encourage student interactions with Penn Faculty and internationally acclaimed artists, designers, historians, engineers. philosophers, and psychologists committed to interdisciplinary practice. The lecture series also provides Visual Studies seniors with invaluable opportunities to have in-progress thesis critiques with visiting artists and scholars.
In addition to the Visual Studies Curriculum, majors enjoy activities organized by the Visual Studies Undergraduate Advisory Board (UAB). The UAB organizes film screenings, museum and gallery visits in Philadelphia, New York City and Washington D.C. as well as social dinners or teas. These events provide the opportunity for majors to continue the conversations that begin in the classroom and to inspire new ones, as well as to see old and new art and design first hand.
For a PDF on the Visual Studies Program, including student voices on what Visual Studies is and a sampling of what our graduates go on to do, please follow this link.