Craft a path toward your future as a practicing artist in a mentor-supported, studio-based program.

Program Description

Two immersive semesters to prepare you for the rest of your creative life.

Immerse yourself in a studio-based environment where art and design practice, critique and discussion, peer learning and high-level mentorship are the daily norm.

PNCA’s Post-Baccalaureate residency is a two semester program (24 to 36 units) of rigorous work comprising 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.

Some of our post-bacc residents are working toward building a strong portfolio to gain admittance into MA/MFA visual arts programs, while others are transitioning into or strengthening their foundation for a life of creative practice and work.

You are matched with an experienced mentor chosen for expertise in your chosen field of study. Mentors engage and challenge you to expand your creative horizons, both conceptually and practically. Mentors are primarily, but not always, members of our faculty, accomplished professional artists, designers, and scholars who maintain active practices.

In the program you will produce a significant body of work, show work in at least one public student exhibition, create a digital and/or a material portfolio that you'll learn to tailor for a variety of opportunities, expand your critical thinking and listening skills, develop a network of professional contacts, improve your knowledge of studio processes and methods, and achieve a stronger understanding of contemporary art and design practices and context.

student work

Academic Objectives

  • Build a strong portfolio to gain admittance into a graduate program
  • Develop a critical and sophisticated art and design visual voice
  • Develop critical language in relationship to the area of focus
  • Further secure a life of creative practice and work through the development of stronger professional practices
  • Discern and describe levels of meaning and interpretation in contemporary art and design art
  • Understand concepts of audience, stakeholders, and context


Dedicated Studio Space

As a post-baccalaureate resident, you will have your own studio among the senior studios and access to all of the campus' resources. Your studio will be located in the main campus building with our expansive Printmaking Studio, Make+Think+Code creative technology lab, Digital Print Studio, and Photography Lab. Nearby, in the Glass Building, you'll also find our 3D Labs for wood, metal, ceramics, moldmaking, and soft sculpture.


Access to Tools and Resources

You will have access to the all of the College's state-of-the-art digital labs, including Make+Think+Code, plus all of our shop facilities, which support all manner of creative 2-D, 3-D, and time-based making, as well as the Albert Solheim Library’s extensive collections and resources.

See Exhibitions. Make Exhibitions.

PNCA offers a wealth of exhibition venues where you'll not only see work from nationally and internationally recognized artists and designers, you'll have the opportunity to present exhibitions of your own work.


Chart a tailored path

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

Studio Elective: Chosen, in consultation with your 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 your 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.

Program Director

Nan Curtis

Studio Arts Chair
Director, Post Baccalaureate Residency
Associate Professor, Sculpture, Foundations

Nan Curtis received her MFA from the University of Cincinnati and a BA from the College of Wooster in OH. Curtis’s practice is interdisciplinary and installation based, mining site, home and personal narrative to reframe what can be considered mundane. Major exhibitions include Mira Costa College, San Diego; DiverseWorks, Houston; Tacoma Art Museum; ConsolidatedWorks, Seattle; Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA), Elizabeth Leach Gallery, 1430 Contemporary Gallery, Pulliam/Deffenbaugh Gallery & The Art Gym in Portland; Linfield College, OR and with RSDS at Nottdance Festival & Melbourne Art Center. Nan’s work was chosen for the Portland2016 Biennial Salon, curated by Michele Grabner. Nan received the prestigious Bonnie Bronson Fellowship in 2011, attended several residencies in 2013/14 at Mira Costa College, OCAC and Caldera in Sisters OR.



Applications are accepted for the fall semester of each year

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

Learn more

For any questions about your application or the application process, please contact Admissions M-F, 9am-5pm PST at 503.226.4391 or email

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