Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies

MFA in Visual Studies

PNCA’s Master of Fine Arts in Visual Studies is a 60-credit, two-year program that is multi-disciplinary and mentor-based. The flexible character of this kind of program allows students to work within a singular discipline (traditional painting, for example) or to pursue a combined practice that bridges disciplines and media. This generalist structure compliments PNCA’s educational philosophy of supporting independent inquiry and encouraging cross-disciplinary dialog. Our students also benefit from a dynamic national and international roster of visiting artists and designers.

Graduate work at PNCA offers motivated students the opportunity to work closely with professionals from the faculty and arts community. In our mentor-based program students are connected with a studio practitioner who provides one-on-one support and guidance for their disciplinary practice. Mentors are chosen to match the focus and concerns of the individual student. The mentor relationship provides the backbone of our program, and participating faculty and community members bring diversity, richness and depth of experience to our MFA candidates.

Performance by Tim Stigliano, 2012 MFA in Visual Studies graduate from PNCA in Portland, Oregon

Tim Stigliano MFA ‘12 in recent performance on rooftop of the Stagecraft Building for First Thursday

The MFA facilities at PNCA provide private studio spaces as well as a shared community environment. While graduate students engage in independent studio investigation they also meet as a group for critique seminars and on-campus activities. The critique seminar class allows students to engage in ongoing critical dialog around their own work and the work of fellow students. This class combines critique, readings, and a visiting artists program that emphasizes intellectual investigation into the language of visual studies.

The program offers students exhibition and travel opportunities, as well as the opportunity to connect with a network of visiting artists and alumni. In addition MFA candidates benefit from the active visual arts scene in Portland, Oregon with institutions including Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA), Yale Union, and the Lumber Room, as well as contemporary galleries and artist-run spaces.

To receive information or updates on the MFA in Visual Studies, please contact the Admissions Office at admissions [at] pnca.edu, or fill our inquiry form.

A brief glimpse into the MFA in Visual Studies at PNCA. Click the images for more information.


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