Mission & History

Mission
Moore College of Art & Design is dedicated to excellence in art and design. Founded in 1848, Moore is the first and only visual arts college for women in the United States. Through its undergraduate bachelor of fine arts degrees for women and its coeducational graduate programs, Moore cultivates creativity, promotes scholarship and prepares its students for professional careers in the arts by emphasizing critical thinking, problem solving, risk-taking, and strong communication skills. Moore is dedicated to producing graduates that distinguish themselves as leaders in their fields.

As a cultural leader, Moore promotes access to the arts throughout the broader community. The Galleries at Moore introduce the work of significant regional, national and international artists to the community through distinctive exhibitions and educational programs. The wide-ranging Continuing Education programs also serve the community by providing opportunities for men and women to learn new skills for personal and professional growth. Through Moore’s acclaimed Young Artist Workshop, founded in 1921, the lives of children and youth are enriched through creative arts education.

Building on its historic legacy of educating women for successful careers in the visual arts, Moore is committed to adapting to the needs of future generations of artists, designers, scholars and educators throughout its diverse educational programs.

The Moore Values Statement

EXCELLENCE
We value creative and intellectual rigor driven by passion and determination to succeed.  


PROFESSIONALISM
We value experiences that foster integrity, ethical conduct, and give students a competitive edge.


LEADERSHIP
We value innovation, vision, and the ability to inspire.


SPIRIT
We value a vibrant, supportive, and engaging community that builds life-long relationships.


RESPECT
We value empowering all individuals to find their own voice and to hear the diversity of voices.

History
Founded by Sarah Worthington Peter in 1848, Moore College of Art & Design is the first and only women’s visual arts college in the nation. Established as the Philadelphia School of Design for Women, the College continues to thrive on the promise of empowering women to achieve financial independence by providing a high-quality, career-focused education. 


Today, Moore celebrates its rich legacy. Sarah Worthington Peter's original vision continues to drive the College’s mission to educate women for careers in the visual arts. Though our first major was textile design—established during the Industrial Revolution, of which Philadelphia was the center—the College now offers 10 BFA programs including Art Education, Art History, Curatorial Studies, Fashion Design, Fine Arts with emphases in 2D and 3D, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interior Design, Interactive & Motion Arts, and Photography & Digital Arts.

In recent years, we have expanded our curriculum to include post-baccalaureate programs in addition to continuing education programs for adults and youth. In 2009, Moore introduced three graduate level programs.

Note: Some publications refer to the founding of the College as having taken place in 1844. According to research conducted by Nina de Angeli Walls for her book "Art, Industry, And Women's Education in Philadelphia" (Westport, CT, Bergin & Garvey, 2001), the date apparently stems from Emily Sartain's years as principal of the school (1886 - 1920), when she adopted the date to satisfy a celebratory event she wanted to hold.

Read more about the History of Moore on the Connelly Library's Blog.

Accreditation
Moore College of Art & Design is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. (267.284.5000) The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the US Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Moore is also an accredited institutional member of the National Association or Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), and is accredited by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and the BFA major in Interior Design is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA formerly known as FIDER).