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.
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.