Stuart Weitzman School of Design

With 3 research degrees, 8 professional degrees and 15 certificates offered, the Weitzman School of Design's graduate programs are consistently ranked among the top 10 in the nation, and serve as a platform for groundbreaking research as well as community engagement.

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The Weitzman School of Design prepares students to address complex sociocultural and environmental issues through thoughtful inquiry, creative expression, and innovation. As a diverse community of scholars and practitioners, we are committed to advancing the public good–locally, nationally, and globally–through art, design, planning, and preservation. 

The University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design is committed to creating an educational setting in which all students, faculty members, and staff members are valued.

We strive to create an inclusive culture that celebrates difference and is strengthened by contributions from people of all races, religions, countries of origin, genders, ages, sexual orientations, physical abilities, learning differences, and socioeconomic backgrounds. 

We aspire to support and retain a student body, faculty and staff who are representative of the multiple communities and publics with which we collaborate and work. 

A diverse community here enhances our ability to prepare the next generation of artists, architects, landscape architects, planners, and preservationists to become leaders and innovators in a multicultural society.

We are proud of our exceptional legacy of advancing design education, scholarship and practice, and improving the quality of everyday life through design. We recognize that we should measure our success not just by what we do but by how we approach our work. The values and guiding principles below reflect our commitment to creating a culture of trust, integrity, and fairness.

We treat each other with respect – faculty, staff, and students – regardless of background or position


We strive to create an inclusive environment, embracing difference and welcoming diverse perspectives


We believe that everyone in our community should feel welcome, valued, and unafraid to ask questions or raise concerns


We seek to foster a supportive community, celebrating our successes and learning from our mistakes


We encourage risk taking and exploring beyond established boundaries in pursuit of excellence


We believe in teamwork, recognizing that differences of opinion are constructive and should be addressed collegially and respectfully


We are committed to frequent, open, and transparent communication


We recognize that some members of our community may experience unfair barriers or advantages and we make changes to ensure that everyone has access to equal opportunities


Although the Weitzman School of Design dates its founding from 1890, architecture courses were first offered in 1869, making Penn’s architecture program the second oldest in the United States. In 1921, the Department of Architecture joined with the Department of Music and Fine Arts to create an independent undergraduate School of Fine Arts modeled on the French École des Beaux Arts.  In 1958, the School was renamed the Graduate School of Fine Arts, reflecting the shift to graduate degree offerings in architecture, city and regional planning, landscape architecture and fine arts.  In the 1980s, a program in historic preservation was added.  To more accurately capture the School’s sphere of influence, it was renamed the School of Design in 2003, and, in early 2019, the University named the School for award-winning designer Stuart Weitzman in recognition of his lifetime commitment and support. Today, the School is made up of a standing faculty of 43, approximately 160 lecturers and associated faculty, and more than 700 students.