PNCA’s Post-Baccalaureate residency is a two semester program (30 to 36 units) of rigorous work comprised of mentor-guided independent studio work, studio electives, and the study of art history and theory. Students focus on one of three areas of study: Design Arts, Media Arts, or Studio Arts.

PNCA’s Post-Baccalaureate residency provides individuals the following opportunities:

  1. to build a strong portfolio to gain admittance into MA/MFA visual arts programs,
  2. to become immersed in a studio-based environment where art and design practice, critique and discussion, peer learning and high level mentorship is the daily norm,
  3. to transition into or to further secure a life of creative practice and work.

Areas of Study

Design Arts
Communication Design

Media Arts
Video and Sound

Studio Arts

Students have the option to apply directly to the Post-Baccalaureate residency.  Applicants to PNCA’s MFA programs may automatically be considered for the Post-Baccalaureate residency if their application is not accepted for their MFA program of choice.

Successful applicants will be matched with an experienced mentor chosen for their expertise in the student’s chosen field of study and personal direction. Mentors are selected for their abilities to engage and challenge the diverse intellectual and practical needs of the candidates, and are predominantly drawn from PNCA’s 100 plus full-time and part-time teachers. Each faculty member at PNCA is an accomplished professional artist, designer or scholar maintaining a career practice in their field. Students will have access to the College’s digital labs and shop facilities, which support all manner of creative 2-D, 3-D and time-based making, as well as the library’s extensive collections and resources. Of considerable importance to the student’s growth and experience is his or her access to PNCA’s robust Visiting Artist and Scholar Program of nationally and internationally known artists, designers and scholars. Additionally, PNCA offers a wealth of exhibition venues, from designated sites for student work to the 511 Gallery, which hosts exhibitions of work by national and international artists and designers, and the Museum of Contemporary Craft and Design.

Upon completion students may expect to have produced a significant body of personal/professional work, shown their work in at least one public student exhibition, created a digital and/or a material portfolio, acquired the ability to curate that portfolio with a specific use and/or audience in mind, expanded their critical thinking and listening skills, developed a network of professional contacts, improved their knowledge of studio processes and methods, and achieved a stronger understanding of contemporary art and design practices and context.

Independent Studio: In consultation with their mentor each student will undertake in-depth, self-determined, studio exploration, engage in research relevant to their studio work, and participate in critique and dialog. Students may choose to take Independent Studio for 6 or 9 credits depending upon their desire/need to take an additional Elective or an Internship. 

Studio Elective: Chosen, in consultation with their mentor, from PNCA’s advanced undergraduate level curriculum, the Studio Elective supports the student’s specific area of specialization and career interest, provides an opportunity for further skill acquisition, encourages the exploration of new ideas and directions, and builds critical dialog and reasoning skills.

Upper Level Art History / Theory:  Chosen in consultation with their mentor, from PNCA’s Art History and Theory courses. These courses are dedicated to the study of contemporary visual media, critical studies, theory and practice, and advanced art history content.

Elective: Post Baccalaureate students may choose to take another elective. Choosing this option requires Independent Studio to be taken as a 6-credit load. Approval from the mentor and Director of the Post Baccalaureate Program is required.

Dedicated Studio Space

Enrollees are provided with their own individual space within the senior studios on campus. The building features 24-hour access and security, and includes access to all campus resources, student services and exhibitions.


Applications are accepted for the fall semester of each year.

Post-Baccalaureate residency is a generally completed in one-year (two semesters), the program may last a maximum of four semester. Students seeking to continue their studies beyond two semesters must re-apply to the program during their second semester.

Please note:  International students are not eligible to apply to this program, unless they are permanent residents of the United States.

Click here for the full list of requirements and instructions on how to apply.

Students completing the Post-Baccalaureate Residency with an individual ranking in the top 20% - 25% will be given preference for admission to PNCA’s graduate programs upon completion of a graduate application.

Please see Financial Aid for details about scholarships and tuition.

Viewbooks & Packets