Programs

Eleven undergraduate programs, endless possibilities.

Here, you learn to see the world more thoughtfully, thoroughly, and from different perspectives.

By studying related histories and broadly exploring the contemporary, you expand your ideas around the scope of possibility for your own work and the impacts it can make in the world.

You hone your skills and learn a wide range of new ones. You are introduced to entirely new ways of making, and just as importantl y, you learn to think critically about your work and that of others through a robust critique process where you give and take constructive feedback on a regular basis.

And you do all of this in a supportive community of fellow students, faculty, and staff who care deeply about art and design. Class sizes are small, so you get to know your professors, and they get to know you. All of our faculty are working artists and scholars who focus on students first.

Whatever major you choose, you will develop creative, technical, and professional skills, productive studio habits, and the abilities to communicate, collaborate, and think critically, all of which will empower you to build for yourself a fulfilling and sustainable creative life full of possibility.

Your senior year or Thesis Year is an exciting time of transition from student to working artist or designer. You devote the year to developing and producing a project of your own design. I can honestly say that the experience of Thesis changed my life.

Justine Highsmith '17

The Four Year Flow

Students seated in a semi-circle for s foundations class with program chair and professor, Roy Tomlinson, at the start of Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA).

Foundation Year

A time to explore

In your Foundation Year, you’ll be immersed from day one in media and making of all kinds.

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Thesis

Preparing for graduation

Your senior year or Thesis Year is an exciting time of transition from student to working artist or designer. You devote the year to developing and producing a project of your own design.

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Areas of Study

Freedom to focus

In your second and third years, you'll take courses from within your major and may also take classes in other departments to explore a range of new possibilities.

Sample a wide range or focus on courses primarily from one of our Areas of Study. These are groupings of courses that focus on areas such as Art and Technology, Critical Studies, or Entrepreneurial Studies, among many others.

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Native-American-Voices-Speakers-Series-Bridgelab

Liberal Arts

Round out your education

Specifically designed for artists and designers, our Liberal Arts courses open the world wide with introductions to multiple perspectives, worldviews, and experiences.

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Mentorship

Mentor-supported every step of the way

From day one, students are assigned a First Year Mentor, their instructor for First Year Seminar. This mentor works with them throughout freshman year as the student adjusts to college life. 

When students declare their major, usually during the second semester of the Foundation Year, they are introduced to their Program Advisor who meets regularly with the student over the next three years to help advise on their graduation plans. Program Advisors also help students who need assistance with registering for classes.

In Senior Year, in addition to a Program Advisor, students are assigned a Thesis Mentor. A Thesis Mentor’s assistance is focused on supporting the development and production of the thesis project and the student continues to meet with their Program Advisor until graduation. 

Surround yourself with art and design

Come explore and experience how PNCA is dedicated to empowering students to reimagine what art and design can do in the world.

Life at PNCA