About the College

Message from the Provost
Letter from the Director and President

Focused on the idea of direct and intensely creative education, the Corcoran College of Art + Design is the only college of art and design in the museum- and college-rich environment of Washington, D.C. It is one of the only art schools in the country fully integrated with a world-class museum. The Corcoran’s vibrant and active community includes more than 600 degree students pursuing a wide range of associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in the visual arts. Undergraduate studies culminate with an exhibition in the main galleries of the Corcoran’s own renowned museum, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, while MA candidates may produce a symposium, publicly defend their theses in our Atrium, or exhibit in the galleries.

The College belongs to the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area and the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design; these affiliations extend our classrooms, allowing students access to coursework at other Colleges and Universities in Washington and beyond. The Corcoran’s career office provides support, development, and guidance, helping students secure internships and jobs at National Geographic, American Red Cross, the Smithsonian Institution, National Public Radio, and The Washington Post , just to name a few.

The Corcoran’s Visiting Artist Series, in conjunction with our exciting roster of public programs open to all students, brings contemporary artists, designers, scholars, writers, and musicians to the Museum’s stages, podiums and galleries virtually each night of the week.

The Corcoran is known for our international programs, including culturally diverse, intensive study-away opportunities in Mexico, Scotland, India, Israel, El Salvador, and more. We host a vibrant Artist in Residence program, with international faculty teaching and mentoring our students. The College also offers part-time credit and non-credit classes for teens and adults through its Continuing Education department and offers an innovative Study Away at the Corcoran opportunity for visiting college students during the summer. Classrooms and studio spaces are located alongside museum exhibitions in the Corcoran Gallery of Art and amid the galleries and design showrooms surrounding our historic Georgetown campus.


William Wilson Corcoran founded the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1869. He donated additional funding to establish the school in 1878. The Corcoran's evolving collection includes more than 17,000 works and objects and is considered one of the best American art collections in the world. The Corcoran's original 19th-century location at Pennsylvania Avenue and Seventeenth Street was designed by James Renwick and is now the Smithsonian Institution's Renwick Gallery.

Click here for a more detailed history of the institution.

Fast Facts


Type of Institution

Private, non-profit


615 Total Degree Students
347 Undergraduate
268 Graduate 

Countries Represented


Campuses (Map, directions, and visiting information)

500 Seventeenth Street NW
Washington, DC 20006

1801 Thirty-fifth Street NW
Washington, DC 20007


Founded in 1890, The Corcoran College of Art + Design is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104; Tel. (267) 284-5000). The Commission on Higher Education is an Institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation. The College is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design while the Government of the District of Columbia Educational Licensure Commission licenses the College to grant AFA, BFA, BA, MA, and MAT degrees.

The College is also authorized by the District of Columbia State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) to prepare candidates for D.C. licensure in art education.

Facts about Washington, D.C.

  • 65 museums, monuments, and other cultural resources
  • Over 150 embassies and international organizations
  • More than 120,000 students pursue college degrees in the metropolitan region
  • 15 colleges and universities
  •  Approximately 9,000 acres of public parks weave through the Washington metropolitan area