Bachelor of Fine Arts
The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree prepares students for careers in their chosen artistic discipline or for succeeding in graduate programs in fine and design arts. PNCA’s curriculum features an intensive studio experience, beginning with a grounding in basic techniques, progressing through periods of innovation and critical study, and culminating in the development of an independent style. During their first year, students take foundation courses which provide the depth of understanding necessary for critical thinking and creative expression. Liberal Arts courses balance the program with cultural and historical offerings, while providing the basic requirements for the BFA degree.
Pacific Northwest College of Art requires a minimum of 120 semester credits for the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, with 45 of those credits drawn from the Liberal Arts Department. Studio credits total 75 credits. One semester credit represents three hours of work per week. Each lecture hour of class time in Liberal Arts requires an average of two to three hours of preparation.
Students attracted to fine arts studies share a passion for organizing and expressing ideas visually. Through intensive studio experience grounded in technique, critical thinking and the basic principles of visual organization, PNCA’s BFA program prepares students for a lifetime of artmaking, in their studios and in their careers.
PNCA’s intimate size (the student/faculty ratio is often as low as 10 to 1) and urban setting allow students to have the best of both worlds: a comfortable neighborhood within a sophisticated city. The College is well-integrated into Portland communities of artists, galleries, museums, graphic designers and advertising agencies.
First-year students participate in the Foundation Program to develop their visual and written communication skills and their course of study at PNCA. Sophomores declare a major and begin the process of gaining technical and conceptual skills in their chosen field. Liberal arts and sciences provide students with the tools for critical thinking, inquiry and research. In their junior year, students continue to acquire technical skills while gaining independence in their studio practice. Studio work culminates in the senior thesis, an ambitious, self-directed project of the student’s choosing.