PNCA: Preparing Students for a Life of Creative Practice from Pacific Northwest College of Art on Vimeo.

Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) empowers artists and designers to reimagine what art and design can do in the world. This private fine arts and design college, founded in 1909 in Portland, Oregon, offers ten Bachelor of Fine Art (BFA) degrees, six graduate degrees including Master of Fine Arts (MFA) and Master of Arts (MA) degrees, a Post-Baccalaureate, and a range of Community Education programs for adults and youth. Dr. Donald Tuski serves as the school’s president.

PNCA is home to the Center for Contemporary Art & Culture which hosts exhibitions with artists such as James Rosenquist and Cauleen Smith. The college welcomes the community in each month for First Thursday arts celebrations showcasing student work and throughout the year with free public lectures by nationally-recognized visual artists, designers, and scholars. The recently launched Make + Think + Code, a center for art and technology, hosts artists- and technologists-in-residence as well as numerous art-tech community events.

At PNCA students learn to better understand the work they make and how it can make an impact in the world. Students hone skills and are introduced to entirely new ways of making. Just as importantly, they learn to think critically about their own work and that of others.

PNCA graduates are working artists who show internationally; successful, creative, small-business owners; animators and designers working for top firms such as LAIKA, Nike, Weiden + Kennedy; professional printers working for studios like Gemini G.E.L.; freelance illustrators with high-profile commissions; and commercial photographers.

Undergraduate Programs

PNCA students balance studies in the humanities and sciences uniquely tailored to students in an art college with hands-on art making in studios and labs. Undergraduate students choose from ten majors within four areas of concentration and benefit from interdisciplinary collaborations throughout their fine art and design education. Student galleries and project spaces throughout the main building offer students plenty of opportunities to show their work. Farther afield, students take advantage of PNCA Global Studios in Europe, Asia, Latin America, or Africa. Our Career Services Center and BridgeLab help students prepare for life after college through workshops, internships, and career counseling.

Graduate Programs

The Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies at PNCA is the result of an historic $15 million gift to PNCA, the largest single gift ever made to an Oregon cultural institution. At the time Hallie Ford made her unprecedented gift, she wrote in a statement that it reflected her desire, “to see a globally recognized center for visual art and design education located in Oregon.” Since receiving the gift in 2007, PNCA has launched six graduate programs: the MFA in Visual Studies, the MFA in Collaborative Design, the MA in Critical Theory and Creative Research, the Low-Residency MFA in Visual Studies, the MFA in Print Media, and the MFA in Applied Craft and Design (offered jointly with Oregon College of Art and Craft in an innovative partnership).

Continuing Education

Complementing PNCA’s degree programs is a dynamic Community Education Program that provides year-round classes to more than 1,400 adults and children. Offerings range from the fundamentals of drawing and painting to master classes in printmaking, as well as Certificatesin Communication Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, and Drawing + Painting. PNCA’s Pre-College Studios—a selection of week-long intensive studios for students ages 15 to 18 who want to experience studying at a top art and design college—help to prepare our community’s young people for the rigor of an art and design education. Our summer smARTworks youth camps are one-week themed workshops that guide children as they explore project topics and encourage their ideas to take form.

[Via Pacific Northwest College of Art]


School Info
Type: On-site
Program(s): Full-time
Medium(s) Taught: Drawing, Painting, Illustration, Animation, Film, Photography, Sculpture, Misc.
Instructor(s): Various
Tuition: $35,740 per year
Financial Aid: Yes


Contact Info
511 NW Broadway
Portland, OR 97209
Phone: 503-226-4391


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