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Ranked among the top eight graduate schools in the nation for art and design according to the 2020 U.S. News and World Report, the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan provides a unique approach to transdisciplinary research and creative practice.


The mis­sion of the Stamps School is to be an inter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized leader in inter­dis­ci­pli­nary art and design edu­ca­tion, grounded in research, prac­tice, cre­ative excel­lence and com­mu­nity engage­ment – to pre­pare the next gen­er­a­tion of glob­ally com­pe­tent cre­ative pro­fes­sion­als who are capa­ble of respon­si­bly engag­ing and col­lab­o­rat­ing with pro­fes­sion­als in a wide vari­ety of fields and cul­tural con­texts to address the chal­lenges of the present times.

Our grad­u­ate and under­grad­u­ate stu­dents enjoy a sup­port­ive, curios­ity-filled cul­ture of mak­ers and schol­ars seek­ing to acti­vate their cre­ative prac­tice as an engine for cul­tural change and inno­va­tion. The school offers under­grad­u­ate degrees in art and design and two grad­u­ate level degrees: an MFA in Art and an MDes in Inte­gra­tive Design.

Who we are — and why.

As a tight-knit but out­ward-look­ing cre­ative com­mu­nity, housed in a tier-one research uni­ver­sity, the Stamps School is strongly posi­tioned to deliver a research-based, trans­dis­ci­pli­nary cur­ricu­lum with val­ues of Diver­sity, Equity, and Inclu­sion at the heart of who we are and what we do. 

Skilled mak­ers, we cre­ate work about a world that we seek to under­stand deeply, with nuance and com­plex­ity. We reimag­ine the role of cre­ative prac­tice in research — and as research. We col­lab­o­rate across aca­d­e­mic dis­ci­plines and with com­mu­nity groups out­side of the uni­ver­sity as well. Grounded in engaged cre­ative prac­tice, we are com­mit­ted to cre­at­ing and con­tribut­ing to work that makes a dif­fer­ence in our com­mu­ni­ties and in our world. We are agents of change, shap­ing cul­ture and shift­ing the future. 

Lead­ers in Cur­ricu­lum Innovation

Stamps was one of the first art and design schools in the world to insti­tute a trans­dis­ci­pli­nary cur­ricu­lum of self directed study for under­grad­u­ate stu­dents. Our cur­ricu­lum builds both con­cep­tual and tech­ni­cal skills that allow stu­dents to move freely among media and leaves them bet­ter-equipped for fast-chang­ing labor mar­kets. Under­grad­u­ate stu­dents work with their aca­d­e­mic advi­sors, fac­ulty men­tors, and the Stamps Cur­ricu­lum Designer to curate a cus­tomized col­lec­tion of stu­dio classes to sup­port their unique cre­ative vision. 

  • Stamps under­grad­u­ate stu­dents are well-versed in a wide vari­ety of mak­ing meth­ods — with many oppor­tu­ni­ties to dive deep into aca­d­e­mic pur­suits that fuel and inform their cre­ative work. There are no media-spe­cific majors in the under­grad­u­ate pro­gram at Stamps. Career prepa­ra­tion, engaged cre­ative prac­tice course­work, and required study abroad cred­its are vital hall­marks of the Stamps under­grad­u­ate experience.
  • The Stamps MDes in Inte­gra­tive Design is a project-based grad­u­ate pro­gram where stu­dents mas­ter design research method­olo­gies through hands-on, real-world projects. Through deep col­lab­o­ra­tion with con­stituents, stake­hold­ers, and part­ners from the cor­po­rate and the non-profit sec­tors, each small cohort of stu­dent design­ers addresses an umbrella wicked problem.” 
  • The Stamps MFA in Art is a trans­dis­ci­pli­nary, research-based grad­u­ate pro­gram designed for those artists whose cre­ative projects encom­pass stu­dio-based inves­ti­ga­tions, as well as inquiry in fields of knowl­edge out­side the tra­di­tional scope of art prac­tice. Past grad­u­ates have engaged with fields as diverse as neu­ro­science, immi­gra­tion law, ecol­ogy, eco­nom­ics, and gen­der stud­ies to inform and expand their cre­ative work. 

Pub­lic Programs

The Witt Vis­it­ing Artists pro­gram, the Penny Stamps Speaker Series, and the Stamps Gallery com­ple­ment and expand the Stamps cur­ricu­lum. Through these pub­lic pro­grams, our stu­dents ben­e­fit from an oppor­tu­nity to learn from and to net­work with lead­ing artists, design­ers, and thinkers from across the globe. They obtain pro­fes­sional expe­ri­ence on the meth­ods and best prac­tices for devel­op­ing and facil­i­tat­ing schol­arly exhi­bi­tions and lec­tures, dis­cus­sions, per­for­mances, and sym­posia. Pub­lic pro­grams at Stamps fuel crit­i­cal cul­tur­al con­ver­sa­tions on the role of art and design in the 21st cen­tury. They facil­i­tate and lever­age com­mu­ni­ty con­nec­tions, and schol­ar­ship on an inter­na­tion­al scale. 

All Stamps School pub­lic pro­grams are free and open to the pub­lic. Explore our upcom­ing pro­grams and events.