Penland welcomes serious students of all levels of experience—absolute beginners to professionals. We seek a diverse student population representing varied experiences, backgrounds, races, professions, and age groups (minimum age 18). Some workshops are tailored for beginners and some require prior experience; most welcome a range of skill levels.

We are currently registering for summer 2023 and fall 2023 workshops.

Workshop information is here.

Note: Penland workshops are subject to our COVID Safety Plan, which you can find here
Vaccination is required for spring workshops. Beginning with Summer Session 1, vaccination will no longer be required.
All aspects of our COVID safety plan are subject to change if public health guidance changes.

Trouble registering? Short help video here.

Already registered? Student Registration Portal Login

If you register for a workshop and do not receive an acceptance email, please check your spam folder.

Registration Process

Registration is on a first-come, first served basis and continues until workshops are filled. All registration takes place online. Spaces are reserved for scholarship students in all workshops except fall weekend workshops.

Download our step-by-step guide to walk you through the online registration process

Processing Fee & Deposits

A $50 application fee is charged when you apply. You may apply for several sessions at once with one fee. A deposit is required to secure a place in each workshop you want to be enrolled in. The deposit is $500 for fall/spring concentration workshops or $250 for all shorter workshops. You will also be charged for the cost of your housing and meals (including off-campus-student meal plans) at the time of registration. (This is built into the registration system we are using and we are unable to change it at this time.)

Scholarship applicants pay a $5 Slideroom fee but no deposit at the time of registration.


Scholarships are available for all workshops except for the fall weekend session. Some scholarships carry a work requirement; some require a partial tuition payment; some cover all tuition, room, and board. Scholarship students apply separately through Slideroom. 

-Summer scholarship information is here
The summer scholarship application deadline is 11:59 PM ET on February 15.

-Fall scholarship information is here. 
Fall scholarship application deadline is 11:59 PM ET on April 2.

Waiting Lists

If you are interested in a workshop that is full, and you would like to apply as a full-paying student, we encourage you to place your name on the waiting list. We get some cancellations, and the enrollment picture can change from week to week. Waiting lists are kept in order by the date requests are received. Applicants will be contacted if space becomes available. No deposit is necessary to have a space on a waiting list, and the $50 processing fee will not be charged unless you are enrolled.

To place your name on a waiting list, fill out the form linked below. If you would like to add your name to the list for multiple workshops, simply fill out a form for each workshop you are interested in. Please do not use this form if you need a scholarship; scholarship application information is here. 

Waiting Lists—add your name

Cancellations & Refunds

Please read our cancellation and refund policy here.

Stand-By Program

Residents of nearby counties in Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee are offered half-price tuition when they take unfilled spaces less than two weeks before the beginning of a workshop. This offer is also available to all K–12 teachers and all teachers at colleges, universities, or community colleges, regardless of where they live. For details contact the Penland registrar or visit the standby page.


The Penland campus is located on uneven, hilly terrain that poses accessibility challenges. The following studios are accessible: books, clay, drawing and painting, glass, iron, letterpress and printmaking, lower metals, photography, papermaking, and wood. The upper metals studio and both textiles studios have stairs that limit access; both are made partially accessible by stair lifts.

Housing that meets ADA standards is available in several buildings. Accessible parking is found at the dining hall and at all studios. A limited number of golf carts are available for use on campus; please let us know if you will need one.

While we do our best to accommodate all students, we know that our campus is not accessible for everyone. We are happy to talk with you about what our campus can or cannot do in this regard. Please contact our registrar to discuss in more depth how we can help you come to Penland: 828-765-2359, ext. 1306 or And please know that improved access is part of our long-range campus planning.

Session Schedule

  • All sessions–except the fall weekend session–begin with an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM on Sunday. The last workshop activity is an auction or a show-and-tell at on Thursday night. The last meal is Friday breakfast; campus departure time is 10:00 AM on Friday.
  • The fall weekend session begins with an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM on Friday. The last workshop activity is a show-and-tell at 5:00 PM on Sunday. The last meal is Monday breakfast; campus departure time is 10:00 AM on Monday.
  • The schedule for studio assistants and scholarship students who have a work commitment differs from the above. See the scholarship and studio assistantship pages for details.


Penland sessions include free movement classes. Current movement information is here.

Penland Housing

Although you are welcome to participate in Penland workshops while staying off campus, most students choose to stay maximize participation by staying on campus. Penland housing is quite simple. Buildings are not air-conditioned. Furnishing is basic: a bed and a place to put your clothes.

Housing assignments are made on a first-come, first-served basis. We do our best to match students with the type of housing they request, but this is not always possible, and we cannot honor requests for specific rooms or buildings. 

Additional housing information and photographs of representative rooms can be found here

Note: we only house people enrolled in workshops.

Gender-Inclusive Housing
Gender Inclusive Housing is a housing option that allows students to share a space with fellow students regardless of their sex, gender identity, or gender expression. This option is available, along with gender-specific housing, on our online application form. 



Students staying on campus pay for all meals as part of their room and board charge. Penland provides excellent, nutritious meals made with fresh ingredients. There is always a vegetarian option, but we cannot promise to accommodate special dietary needs. If you have questions about food at Penland, please send an inquiry to

Off-Campus Students

Students who live in the area or prefer to find their own lodging may enroll as off-campus students and participate in all activities of the Penland session. Off-campus students may select a meal plan when enrolling.

Cost of Materials/Studio Fees

Tuition does not cover the cost of materials used for students’ own production. (Hot glass tuition does cover the cost of clear glass in the furnaces.) Most workshops require you to bring certain materials and tools with you, and all of them have a studio fee—that is not included as part of tuition—for supplies used by the group. We will notify enrolled students of the estimated studio fee in advance. Look for this information on your materials list. If we anticipate a workshop having and unusually high studio fee, that information will be listed with the website workshop description.

Studio Safety

In many workshops students may be working with tools that can cause injury if improperly used. A safety tour and information about the proper handling of tools and materials is part of our workshops; however, students assume the risk of working with tools and materials provided by the school.

Studio Information

Information about Penland’s studios, including a list of the tools and equipment in each studio, is available here.


Drugs and Alcohol—Alcohol is not permitted in the studios. The legal drinking age in North Carolina is 21. The use of illegal drugs while at Penland is strictly prohibited. We cannot tolerate behavior that jeopardizes your safety or the safety of others.

Personal Property—Penland is not responsible for the security of property belonging to students, instructors, or staff.

Pets—Students are not permitted to have pets with them while at Penland. If you work with an ADA compliant service animal, please contact the registrar.

Unacceptable Behavior—Penland reserves the right to dismiss any student, without refund, for behavior that is disruptive to the community learning and living environment. Penland may refuse admission to students with a past history of unacceptable behavior.

COVID-19 Safety—Students, instructors, and staff are all subject to Penland’s current COVID-19 Safety Guidelines. Anyone who intentionally or repeatedly violates these guidelines will not be allowed to remain on campus.

College & Teacher Credits

Penland students can receive college credit through Western Carolina University (WCU) through the procedure outlined below.

Fees: $100 per junior and senior level undergraduate credit, $110 per graduate credit, $65 application fee. (These fees are subject to change without notice.)

Credit Hours: 1 credit for 1 week of study; up to 3 for  2 or 2-and-a-half weeks; up to 5 credits for 6 weeks; up to 9 credits for 8 weeks.

Contact Hours: Students must have at least 30 contact hours per credit hour earned.

  • Students currently enrolled at WCU are not responsible for the $65 application fee and will need to provide their WCU student ID number to our registration office.
  • Neither Penland nor WCU are able to accept funds from a third party for payment (Pell Grant, Americorp, FAFSA, etc)

You must pre-enroll before you arrive at Penland:
Undergraduate students must be eligible for upper level studio art course at their home institution (junior and senior level).   Check with your degree program to be sure that credit you obtain from WCU will transfer. Please contact the Penland registrar for an enrollment packet.

 Students must have all enrollment materials submitted to the Penland registrar by the following dates:

 Spring Workshops: 

  • December 1

Summer 2023 Workshops:

  • May 1

Fall Workshops:

  • August 1

If applying for graduate credit, you should apply to WCU online as a graduate transfer student not obtaining a degree from Western at this page.

Once you have completed the online enrollment process for graduate credit, please notify the Penland registrar to complete the enrollment process. The process must be completed at least three weeks before your workshop begins.

Penland workshop instructors are hired for their artistic and teaching abilities and do not always have the requisite degrees to teach college level courses. Therefore, Penland’s college credit program is managed by a person with the requisite degree, a terminal degree in studio art. This person will meet with all students at orientation to distribute a syllabus and expectations for the workshop. They will also evaluate the individual effort at the conclusion of the workshop and submit the earned grade. The workshop instructor will not be responsible for grading or the earning of college credits. Grading information is provided to Western Carolina University by the Penland registrar’s office.

A certificate of course completion is also available.  Please notify the registration office 2 weeks before the start of your workshop. We are unable to accommodate requests for certificates of completion after the session has ended. 

Teachers interested in receiving Public Education Certificate renewal credits for Penland workshops must contact their local school board.


Arrival & Departure

Penland is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Spruce Pine, NC, 52 miles north of Asheville. The easiest way to get here is by car, but commercial van service (not affiliated with Penland) to and from the Asheville airport and bus terminal is available before and after each session for a fee. Plan to arrive at Penland between 1:00 and 4:45 PM on Sunday. Most sessions begin at 5:00 PM on Sunday. EXCEPTION: the fall weekend session begins at 5:00 PM on Friday.

Note: Studio assistants and scholarship students with a work requirement must arrive in time to work on Saturday morning before their session begins.


Workshop activities for most session end with a show-and-tell or an auction at 8:00 PM Thursday night. Friday breakfast will be the last meal provided; please plan to depart campus by 10:00 AM.

Fall weekend sessions: workshop activities will end at 6:00 PM Sunday; students are welcome to stay through Monday morning. Monday breakfast will be the last meal provided; please plan to depart campus by 10:00 AM

Travel Information document