International Studies: Incoming

Pacific Northwest College of Art supports a growing international exchange program through articulation agreements with international partners. These exchanges are usually in the 2nd year of 3 yr programs or the 3rd year of 4 year programs. PNCA accept students on a space available basis depending on their area of interest, major and study plans, and will consider students in all majors and assist in developing individual learning plans for each student. 

If your institution does not have an exchange agreement with PNCA and you are interested in attending PNCA for one or two semesters, please contact the International Studies office for details on the conditions that apply to exchange visitor status.

Application Process

Application Materials and Deadlines
Once you have been approved by your home institution to apply for exchange at PNCA please complete and send the following materials directly to PNCA’s Office of International Studies:

  • Exchange application
  • Statement of interest (usually one page)
  • Official or certified university transcript showing all past and current courses and grades
  • Portfolio of artwork: 12 to 15 images or clips on DVD or CD (include descriptions)
  • Official financial documents indicating sufficient funds
  • Copy of the biographical page of your passport

See: International Exchange Application

See: Official Incoming Student Visa Information

Application Deadlines
Fall semester exchange: April 1
Spring semester exchange: October 30

Decision
When the International Studies office receives your complete application by the deadline for exchange, it will be sent to the chairperson of the department in your major field of study (Design Arts, Studio Arts & Media Arts). The department chairperson will review your application and will make the final decision regarding your acceptance for exchange at PNCA.

As soon as the department chairperson reaches a decision on your application, the International Studies office will contact you and your home institution’s exchange or international office coordinator with the result.

Academic Calendar System

Two 16-week terms during the Fall (late August-mid December) & Spring (late January- mid May).

Academic Information
Exchange students must enroll in a full-time course load of at least 12 credits. Students typically enroll in 15 credits (five classes) ; usually four studio classes and one academic class. Exchange students may take classes in their major area and in any other studio area for which they are qualified, space permitting. Studio classes generally meet once per week for six hours, and most academic classes meet once per week for three hours. Students should expect to spend approximately 45 hours per week engaged in learning activities both in and out of class. In most studio classes, students will create studio work and will participate in critiques and presentations. Exchange students are expected to attend all class meetings and complete all course work. Grades and credits will be awarded at the end of the semester.

Class Schedule
Students should indicate their class preferences in their Letter of Interest. PNCA will create exchange students’ schedules in consultation with the Academic Advisor (via email) based on a combination of (1) the classes that students request on the exchange application, (2) class recommendations by PNCA department chairs, (3) student qualifications for classes that require prerequisites, and (4) class availability. We recommend that students carefully examine the courses available in several departments at PNCA and list as many alternate courses as possible on the exchange application so that we can try to accommodate each student’s preferences as much as possible.

Class names and descriptions for each undergraduate department may be found online.

Download Course Descriptions. Note that not all classes will be offered every semester.

Students will receive their class schedule at International Student Orientation. Once classes at PNCA begin, students will have two weeks (called the “add/drop period”) to make changes to their schedules if they wish. Upon completion of the student’s exchange period at PNCA, the Registrar’s Office will send an official transcript (record of courses and grades) to the exchange program coordinator at the student’s home institution.

Credits Abroad

Credit systems vary throughout the world and it is important to understand how the credit systems abroad relate to the credit system at PNCA. One PNCA credit is equal to 45 hours of work (class time + homework). In researching courses abroad, consider the following transfer systems:

European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)

Many universities throughout Europe use the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). 2 ECTS credits are equivalent to 1 PNCA credit. Students studying abroad at universities that use ECTS should take about 30 ECTS credits per semester in order to maintain adequate progress toward their PNCA degree. (A minimum of 24 ECTS credits is required to maintain full-time status.) Conversely, exchange students should take a minimum of 12 PNCA credits-24 ETCU for full time visa status and 15 PNCA credits -30 ETCU for the home institution equivalent. This is usually 5 courses.

United Kingdom

At most universities using the British system, students take modules, which when accumulated equal about 60 UK credits per semester. 4 UK credits are equivalent to 1 PNCA credit. Students studying at universities in the UK should take 60 UK credits per semester in order to maintain adequate progress toward their PNCA degree. (A minimum of 48 UK credits is required to maintain full-time status.) Conversely, exchange students should take a minimum of 12 PNCA credit for full time visa status and 15 PNCA credits for the home institution equivalent. This is usually 5 courses.

International Studies Office

Sarah Lonnquist
Associate Director of International Studies

503 821 8909 Office
503 821 8929 Fax

Oreonok (Lennie) Pitkin
Director of International Studies
Professor, Chair, Studio Arts

503-821-8884 | Office
503-821-8929 | Fax

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