Graduate Studies

Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies

The MA and MFA programs of the Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies at PNCA support the development of experimental, interdisciplinary, and collaborative creative practices through experiential learning, student-centered seminars, and one-on-one mentorship. Graduate study is individualized and self-directed, yet highly collaborative, and supported by a broad network of peers, faculty, visiting artists, writers, and scholars, as well as community partners.

For more than 100 years, the Pacific Northwest College of Art has served as a dynamic creative center for emerging artists, designers, and creators with an educational philosophy that emphasizes individualized curricula, independent inquiry, and cross-disciplinary exchange. Graduate programs within the Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies at PNCA support students as they professionalize as artists, scholars, and cultural workers. Our students develop a broad range of skills, and a network of peers and mentors that support their work as they continue to evolve years after graduation.

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Study in Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon is an ideal city for creating and connecting, where graduate students can take advantage of a range of cultural and natural resources. Environmentally conscious students can participate in research related to art and ecology along the Columbia River to the north, Mt. Hood to the east, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Willamette Valley to the south. The city is home to internationally recognized cultural institutions, creative industries and agencies, and a thriving community of artists, designers, musicians, and writers. PNCA regularly partners with cultural institutions such as the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA), Portland Art Museum, Northwest Film Center, the Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC), and a variety of local galleries and design firms in order to provide students with internship experiences and curricular enhancement.

Center for Contemporary Art & Culture

The Center for Contemporary Art & Culture at PNCA brings influential artists and curators to PNCA to participate in exhibitions, lectures, critiques, studio visits, and workshops with students. The Center has recently shown work by Cauleen Smith, Letha Wilson, Bruce Nauman, and David Horvitz. Additionally, the Center is the steward of the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Craft. Graduate students interested in curation and curatorial studies can gain hands-on experience in courses offered in collaboration with the Center such as “Thinking Through Exhibitions” and through curatorial fellowships.

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Graduate School Events

The Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies brings artists, scholars, designers, curators, and critics from around the world to engage with students in a variety of formats including lectures, conversations, panel discussions, group critiques, workshops, and intensive seminars. Each program provides an array of different events, off-site trips, and retreats that allow for active engagement with visiting writers, researchers, artists, entrepreneurs, activists, organizers, and creatives.

Our visiting artist lecture series brings outside voices on to campus and directly into the MFA students’ studios in the form of one-on-one studio visits. These visitors bring a professional focus to the student’s educational experience while contributing to, challenging, and expanding the discourse at PNCA. Programs like Watershed, offered through the MFA in Print Media, bring artists for an extended period of time to work directly with students on professional prints. Watershed demonstrates the close access students receive to nationally and internationally recognized artists while engaging in experiential learning, with a focus on professional practice.

Graduate Program Viewbooks

Other Documents

Get in touch

For more information about our graduate programs, to schedule a tour, or for questions about the application, please email or phone Admissions at 503.821.8956.