Pre-College Programs

Experience art school while leveling up your skills and your portfolio with our summer intensives for high school students.

Course Catalog / Register for Pre-College Classes

Art school experience for exceptional high school students

PNCA is known for our Pre-College Summer Intensives, when high school students from across the country live and work in Portland at PNCA for a true art school experience. Our Pre-College Summer Intensives help students level up their portfolios for college admissions in the company of other talented students. The sessions also help a teen try on art school, getting a better idea if pursuing a four-year degree at a dedicated art and design school for college feels right.

PNCA also offers Pre-College classes throughout the year. These multi-weekend classes have included figure portraiture and mural painting.

During the summer, high school students come to campus for extended Summer Intensives. There is always a four-week Foundation Intensive that is based on our first-year intensive for BFA students. And there are also a handful of one-week intensives that follow, allowing students to go deeper into a particular area of interest.

student work

Foundation Intensive

We call the first year at PNCA your Foundation Year, a time when we immerse you in media and making of all kinds, from drawing and two- and three-dimensional design to digital tools and time-based media. Our Pre-College Foundation Intensive lets you experience firsthand what Foundation year at art school will be like including training in and access to 2D, 3D, and digital tools to turn ideas into finished works. May be taken for college credit at PNCA.

Pre-College Brochure

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Studio Sessions

Our one-week Studio Sessions give you additional time and support to further develop your work by focusing on the discipline that interests you most. This summer our Studio Sessions include Figure Painting, Animated Arts, Illustration: Comics + Characters, and Screenprinting + Relief.

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Artists teaching artists

Our instructors are all practicing artists who will introduce you to campus exhibitions and events as well as the Portland art scene.

You'll also learn from artists how to best document your work and how to assemble a strong portfolio in preparation for college applications.

Pre-College Housing

We open space in our student housing in ArtHouse to pre-college students. Just a few blocks away from our main campus building on Portland's lush North Park Blocks, ArtHouse offers a full service student life program and 24-hour access to Resident Advisors.

Registration and Costs

Housing Fees and Application

Price includes breakfast and snack items and dinner. Students arrange for their own lunches.

Five weeks
July 5 - August 8, 2020
$2,400 (shared room)

Four weeks
July 5 - 31, 2020
$1,500 (shared room)

Single week
July 5 - 11, 2020
July 12 - 18, 2020
July 19 - 25, 2020
July 26 - Aug 1, 2020
Aug 2 - Aug 8, 2020
$500 per week (shared room)

We have space for 22 students during our summer intensives. We are careful to pair roommates and flatmates with those of the same gender expression and, as possible, lifestyle profiles such as dietary restrictions.

Once you have signed up for the Pre-College Intensive Week(s) of your choice, you may apply for housing by emailing, and we'll set up a time to get to know your student.



A limited number of scholarships are available for families who meet free/reduced lunch eligibility criteria. To apply for a scholarship, please fill out the online application and send documentation of eligibility to or by mail. Scholarships are awarded on a first come, first serve basis. Please apply by May 1.

Fill out the Online Application

Get in touch

For any questions about Pre-College programs as well as housing, please feel free to get in touch.

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