About Stamps

Who We Are

Banner image: Who We Are

The Stamps School of Art & Design prepares students to think in new ways, to educate them to become concerned world citizens, and to equip them with the skills for life-long accomplishment.

This commitment requires rigorous training in the key principles of art and design, collaboration across disciplines and across continents, and teaching by a faculty who are models of the creative thinkers and problems solvers our students will become.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is at the core of who we are and what we do at Stamps. “Addressing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion isn’t only imperative for our school’s success,” says Guna Nadarajan, Dean of the Stamps School of Art & Design. “At Stamps, we help to shape the creative practitioners of tomorrow. Our attention to these matters will have a direct impact on the future of the creative industries and the art and design world at large.”

In 2015, a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Planning Committee was formed at the Stamps School to compile data, assess need, and create a strategic plan for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Read more about the Stamps plan, activities, and events.

Our Programs: Leaders in Curriculum Innovation

Our commitment to innovation in teaching and learning is demonstrated by our visionary undergraduate program re-design. Almost 15 years ago, Stamps was one of the first art and design schools in the world to institute a curriculum of self directed study that emphasizes both conceptual and technical skill building and allows students to move freely among media. As we evolve to address the demands and opportunities of current and future creative practice, we continue to use the invaluable experience gained over that time to refine our Undergraduate and Graduate programs.

Creative Research: We Are Makers and Scholars

As a part of a tier one research university, we understand the synergies that are only possible when making and research work together as key components of creative practice. With over 100 top ranked university programs, we can offer unparalleled academic opportunities that enrich and deepen our students’ creative work.

We Bring the World to the School

Being a creative professional means working within a global community. Each week we bring the art and design world to our students, faculty and the public through our renowned Penny Stamps Speaker Series. Past visitors have included Marina Abramovic, Philip Glass, Michael Moore, Bill T. Jones, Stefan Sagmeister, Oliver Stone, Temple Grandin, and more.

We Bring the School Into the World

Artists and designers make work based on their understanding of context. At Stamps, we want our students to understand themselves in relation to their roles and responsibilities as global citizens. A required international experience prepares our graduates to enter the international economy, makes them more competitive for graduate study, fellowship opportunities, and employment, and expands the scope and reach of their work.

We Know that Creative Work Matters

We believe that creative work is about the public good, and we’re committed to establishing and maintaining an ambitious array of projects in collaboration with communities as close as Ann Arbor, and as far away as Tanzania. For a fuller description of our social engagements, click here.

Our Faculty

As art and design scholars with a deep and diverse range of creative capabilities, our faculty are role models for our students. They bring to the studio and classroom their commitment to conceptual innovation and media skill building, as well as their range of experiences as makers, collaborators, researchers and activists.

With a 12:1 student/faculty ratio, our faculty come to understand each student’s needs and challenges and can guide them as they move through the program. It’s a unique, personal, and often transformative relationship, informed, challenged and expanded by ongoing dialogue and critique.

Undergraduate Programs

We believe your education should be as individual as you are. Our anchor undergraduate offering, the BFA in Art and Design, is a self directed, interdisciplinary and studio-based experience. The BA in Art and Design is for more academically focused students who also want to maintain a strong engagement with creative studio work, and the BFA in Interarts Performance, jointly offered with the Department of Theatre and Drama, is for those students with an interest in both performance work and art and design. All undergraduate programs focus on creativity: critical thinking, project development, community engagement and collaboration, as well as mastery of technique and craftsmanship.

Graduate Programs

Our MFA in Art integrates creative production with rigorous academic studies, international study with regional community engagement, and theoretical grounding with skills development.

Our Master of Design (MDes) in Integrative Design emphasizes a dynamic mix of cross-disciplinary collaboration and problem-based inquiry. This unique two-year project-centered program brings together working teams of design students and professionals to engage complex social problems that require development of new knowledge and integrative design solutions. The work and research of each cohort will be centered on an umbrella project that addresses complex design problems related to critical social issues.


Stamps undergraduate and graduate degree programs are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD).

Penny W. Stamps

Alumna, design professional, arts advocate, philanthropist, and friend Penny W. Stamps (1944-2018) dedicated herself to elevating opportunities for the culture-makers of tomorrow. In 2012, the U-M Board of Regents named the School of Art & Design in her honor, creating the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan. The Penny Stamps Speaker Series, Stamps Gallery, and Stamps Creative Work Awards are also named in her honor. Learn more: stamps.umich.edu/penny