In the full-time Core Program, students devote their time and disciplined study to learning the fundamental and advanced concepts and skills of drawing and painting from life. Students work in a structured, organized studio with the hands on guidance of the school’s principle instructors. These studies ensure an objective understanding of visual phenomena and the classical principles of form, design, practice and discipline. The student learns to objectively self-teach through the thorough understanding of his or her art.

To provide the necessary resources and to ensure the focus of the student body, the Grand Central Academy of Art accepts no more than fifteen students per year into the Core Program. To be considered eligible for admission to the Core Program students must show, through portfolio submission and interviews, a serious work ethic, sincere desire to learn, and a commitment to make fine arts their career.

The student’s training at The Grand Central Academy will begin and end with rigorous drawing of antique casts and live models from direct observation. The GCA’s core curriculum is strictly devoted to the study of the elements of drawing and monochrome (grisaille) in the first year and proficiency must be proved before a student will be considered for advancement to working with color in the day program. Additionally, the first year will be considered probationary and students must show significant progress and serious work ethic to be asked to return the following year. Theoretical classes, including perspective, anatomy, color theory, composition and art history are designed to supplement and enhance their studies from life.

The GCA is organized into terms lasting between 10 - 12 weeks. There are three per academic year, followed by an intensive workshop schedule. The terms are referred to as Fall, Winter, and Spring. Tuition is $2667 per trimester. There are limited work study positions available. You must be a core student for at least six months to be eligible for one of these positions. Merit-based scholarships are awarded at the end of each year.

The core studio classes, limited to full time students, take place from 8:30 - 12:30 and 1:00 - 5:00pm, five days per week. Evening and Saturday classes (Part Time classes) take place five evenings a week and on Saturdays. These part time classes are open to the public.

During the last year of their studies, the students will also be introduced to the working methods and approaches of different schools and artists whose work exhibits an understanding of the principles of classical training to enforce in the students the importance of discovery, self-instruction, and the myriad methods of application and expression made possible from a well rounded, visual and intellectual education.