Amongst private art colleges, the Lyme Academy is known for its contemporary focus on the history and tradition of representational art, centered on the study of nature and the figure. Its small student body offers a uniquely personal education. With an enrollment of less than 80 current students, the Lyme Academy College is an intimate artistic community. Ninety-five percent of classes have fewer than twenty students. The student-to-faculty ratio is fourteen to one, which facilitates an academy-based teaching philosophy not often available at other art colleges.
BFA degrees have been awarded since 1996. Many alumni of this new college have gone on to earn their MFA degrees, and one has won a Fulbright Fellowship. The faculty has many notable regular and visiting instructors.