PNCA is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by building an inclusive educational environment that utilizes both onsite and remote learning options.
The two-year MA in Critical Studies program combines the study of critical theory with the practice of creative research, so students learn not only to critique but also to intervene, reimagine, and remake. The program is designed to help students develop modes of thinking, writing, and making that cross disciplinary boundaries.
Situated in the context of a 21st-century art school, Critical Studies examines overlaps and tensions between critical theory and visual studies and investigates the role critical theory and art can play in transforming institutions and ideologies.
The two-year required course sequence builds from identifying key questions and issues in critical theory and cultural studies to providing students with the methodological, research, writing, and professional skills they need to ask good questions and to investigate those areas of inquiry in a thesis project of their own design. The thesis writing occurs during the second year, resulting in both an academic research paper and opportunities for public scholarship based on the student’s professional interests.
Graduates of the Critical Studies program have gone on to pursue doctoral degrees, Fulbright fellowships, nonprofit work, arts administration, curatorial careers, teaching, entrepreneurship, publishing, and public scholarship.
The MA in Critical Studies students recently had the opportunity to spend time in the serene landscape of the Caldera Art Center near Sisters, Oregon.
This curated digital reader accompanies November's 2020 PNCA Graduate Symposium: “Forms of Care: Building the Worlds We Need.” It offers podcasts, webinars, articles and more to empower our community as work to find creative ways of sustaining, nourishing, and caring for our world.
Leading up to the Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies annual two-day symposium on November 20-21, graduate students from the MA in Critical Studies program will host a series of conversations that are open to all who want to participate. This year discussions on November 12, 16, and 18 will focus on the symposium theme, “Forms of Care: Building the Worlds We Need.”
Teaching Assistantships / Graduate Fellowships
Teaching Assistantships are an opportunity for students who are interested in teaching to gain valuable experience in a leadership role in the classroom during their time as a graduate student. Once enrolled, students have the opportunity to apply for Graduate Fellowship awards.Learn More
Bridgelab Career Services
BridgeLab offers resources that include workshops, information sessions, one-on-one career advising, networking opportunities, and a strong alumni network to support your professional development.Learn More
We connect students with opportunities for paid work including on-campus positions and off-campus internships. Internship opportunities are also available to international students.Learn More
Four-day Caldera Retreat
During the second year of the program, students join a visiting scholar and MA Chair for a four-day intensive of study, dialog and community in the beauty and solitude of Caldera located next to Blue Lake at the foot of the Cascade mountains.
Credit-bearing international studies trips
Students can participate in special international studies trips such as Global Studio Berlin with Dr. Brigitte Salami.
This multi-disciplinary social science seminar (available for art history credit) uses the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall as a springboard for an in-depth investigation into the political, social and artistic heritage of this global metropolis. It considers the role of Berlin and its artists (and architects) during the Kingdom of Prussia, the Weimar Republic and World War I, the Third Reich (the Greater German Reich under the Nazi regime) and World War II, and follows its history through and beyond the country’s occupation by Allied Forces and its division into a communist and a capitalist nation) during the Cold War.Learn More
Students can span into technology, math and science to enrich their research by creating additional connections to programs such as the Art and Science Initiative and Make+Think+Code, the art and technology lab at PNCA.Learn More
Many forms of financial assistance are available to our students.
Merit scholarships are assessed based on the student’s personal history of scholastic achievement, as well as their contributions to culture and community. Consideration will also be given to traditionally underrepresented students and those who demonstrate financial need. No separate application is required for merit scholarships.
MA students can apply for Teaching Assistantships which afford students the opportunity to work in the classroom and gain pedagogical experience pending completion of a Critical Pedagogy class. TAs are compensated per semester once they are placed in a class.
Students are encouraged to apply for external scholarships. These can be found by searching online databases including the U.S. Department of Labor’s free scholarship search tool, and sites such as Fastweb, Scholarships.com, and Scholarshipsportal.
One full tuition scholarship (renewable each year for up to 2 year for an MFA or MA student and up to 3 years for a Dual degree student) will be awarded to a Black/African American student.
One full tuition scholarship (renewable each year for up to 2 year for an MFA or MA student and up to 3 years for a Dual degree student) will be awarded to an Indigenous, Native American, or non-Black student of color.
Two scholarships of $5,000 each (renewable each year for up to 2 year for an MFA or MA student and up to 3 years for a Dual degree student) will be awarded to a Black, African American, Indigenous, Native American, or non-Black student of color.
Conversations are enlivened by visiting writers and scholars throughout the year. These visiting scholars and writers include Maggie Nelson, Sarah Schulman, Walidah Imarisha, C. Riley Snorton, Z. Nicolazzo, Allan de Souza, and Cheryl Strayed.