The Fisher is the primary research collection for the College of Arts & Sciences' History of Art, Architecture, Fine Arts, and the Department of Visual Studies program. The Department of the History of Art, formed in 1960, offers an undergraduate major and undergraduate courses in Ancient Near Eastern art, Egyptian, Islamic, South Asian, East Asian, Greek, Roman and Etruscan; Early Christian and Byzantine; Medieval; Italian Renaissance; Northern Renaissance and Baroque; Nineteenth and Twentieth Century; and American and Contemporary Art. The Graduate Group in the History of Art, which consists of members of the Department, faculty from other Penn departments, and curators and scholars from other Philadelphia institutions, offers courses leading to the A.M. and Ph.D. degrees in the fields above as well as in Ancient Near Eastern and Egyptian art, Islamic art and South Asian art. The Group admits about 10 new students each year. The Graduate Group in Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World (AAMW) is an interdisciplinary program of courses leading to the Ph.D. degree in the ancient cultures surrounding the Mediterranean basin, and the Graduate Group in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies offers courses in East Asian art leading to the A.M. and Ph.D. degrees.
The collection also supports Penn Design's graduate studio programs in Fine Arts which includes a range of media from photography and painting to time-based media and performance art. Research centers or collections affiliated with the Fisher Fine Arts Library also include the Institute of Contemporary Art, Slought Organization, the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Architectural Archives, and the Arthur Ross Gallery.