Jordan White Nike The North Face Puma Stone Island Underarmor

Program Info

The accelerated PNCA | PENSOLE design program readies students for a career in the product design industry.

This 15-credit, 12-week intensive is offered through PNCA in partnership with PENSOLE Design Academy. Students work on interdisciplinary teams comprised of a student focusing on one of the following emphases: 3D Materialization, 3D Modeling (footwear), Color & Material Design, Footwear Design, or Functional Apparel & Accessory Design.

While our focus lies within the footwear design industry, PENSOLE’s ‘learn by doing’ curriculum teaches students the entire design process: inspiration, concept-development, problem solving, color strategy, materials, prototyping, marketing, business, networking, branding, and professional development.

The program runs from February 25th - May 17th, 2019.

Students in this 12-week program participate in 12 hours of lecture and 12 hours of lab (collaboration/workshop) with the expectation of 16 hours of work time outside of class for a total of 40 hours per week.


Program Life

Partnerships with MLab and the Functional Apparel & Accessories Studio (FAAS) round out the PENSOLE experience


The MLab is the creative material resource for PENSOLE Footwear Design Academy. This creative business model drives education and innovation through design resources and partnerships with vendors. Our platform promotes an inspirational environment of comprehensive Color & Material Design education.

Learn More


Functional Apparel & Accessories Studio provides instruction through the processes of research, design, and development specifically for performance apparel and accessories.

Learn More

Pensole woke me up to what the footwear industry was all about. It was a long two weeks that gave me tools I couldn’t have picked up in two years.

Jacques Perrault, Adidas


Tuition and Fees

Tuition: $10,479

Fees: $300

Housing: estimated $3,000 - $5,000

This cost is the same for US and International students. Students who come to us from other institutions may speak with their current financial aid departments to understand if/how they can apply their current financial aid toward this program.


Students are responsible for finding and securing housing for the duration of the intensive. We have secured special PENSOLE rates for University Point Apartments: mention PENSOLE/PNCA when asking them about pricing.

Application Deadlines / Process

Important Dates

International Applicants:

Application Deadline: Wednesday, January 16th,[Applicant to PENSOLE]
Program Acceptance: Friday, January 18th,[PENSOLE to Applicant]
Acceptance Confirmation: Saturday, January 19th,[Applicant to PENSOLE]

*If you fail to return this Acceptance Confirmation by 9am PST on January 19th, 2019, your seat will be given to the next applicant on the waitlist.

Domestic Applicants:

Application Deadline: Tuesday, February 5th, [Applicant to PENSOLE]
Program Acceptance: Wednesday/Thursday, February 6/7th, [PENSOLE to Applicant]
Acceptance Confirmation: Saturday, February 9th, [Applicant to PENSOLE]

*If you fail to return this Acceptance Confirmation by 9am PST on February 9th, 2019, your seat will be given to the next applicant on the waitlist.


February 25th – May 17th, 2019.

First day of class: Monday, February 25th, 2019

Last day of class: Friday, May 17th, 2019 > Do not schedule flights home until after 7pm on Friday the 17th, as we have programming that day until 5pm.

Application Requirements

How to Apply

Ready to apply? You'll apply through Slideroom, but first here are the materials you will need to apply for one of the available tracks:

  • 3D Materialization
  • 3D Modeling (footwear)
  • Color and Material Design
  • Footwear Design
  • Functional Apparel and Accessories

(You'll choose one of the tracks when you apply.)

3D Materialization

3D is the future. One CMD spot will be dedicated to this course.

If you would like to apply to learn 3D materials, prerequisites include being a taskmaster with strong Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop skills, ability to follow instructions, and organizational skills.

PNCA PENSOLE SS ’19 MLab is exclusively launching the X-Rite TAC™ (Total Appearance Capture) 3D Materialization course. Learn, explore, and master this future role.

Your board must have the following:

  • Composition. Contact information must be on the bottom left corner of board; first and last name, email, academic status. Accepted size - 8.5" x 11". Accepted formatting - PDF (up to 10MB).
  • Material. Create a Material & Texture-board that utilizes multiple materials from various industries (Examples: automotive, outdoor and equipment). Your board will demonstrate Surface Design knowledge, as well as contain definitions of materials.
  • Video. In your video, please speak to your Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop skills, any 3D modeling if you have some experience with it (it is not required as a prerequisite, we are just interested to know), as well as the requested information for videos listed in the overall application.
  • Supporting documents. You may upload 3 additional PDFs (up to 10MB) of work you have done in Adobe Illustrator or in Adobe Photoshop that show your proficiency in either program.

3D Modeling (footwear)

3D is the future. Six seats will be dedicated to this course.

Students will learn MODO design software. Students will work with at least one and potentially two teams to 3D model/render their final footwear designs. They will also be working with the 3D Materialization student for materials for these rendered designs.

Your submission must have the following:

– Create a 3D model based (in any program you choose to use) on your own original footwear design.

Please note that if your files are not submitted using the requested naming convention, you will not be considered for the class.

– ONE Page - PDF that tells us the following:

  • Your name.
  • Your age.
  • Your goals for learning/using 3D modeling in your career.
  • The current 3D software you used for this submission.
  • ONE PNG of 3/4 view rendered image of the model.
  • File naming convention: LastName_FirstName_S19_3D_ Applicant.PDF

– ONE file of the 3D mesh in OBJ format.

  • File naming convention: LastName_FirstName_S19_3D_ Applicant.OBJ

Color and Material Design

Submit an original mood board (one page). Your board visually communicates a mood through choice of colors and composition. Your board demonstrates as well that you can follow instructions and guidelines.

Your board must have the following:

  • Composition. Contact information must be on the bottom left corner of board; first and last name, email, academic status. Accepted size - 8.5" x 11". Accepted formatting - PDF or 300 dpi .jpg.
  • Material. Your board communicates unique and innovative material choices from various industries. You express tactility and utilize descriptions of materials used.
  • Originality. Showcase your board through creative storytelling and inspiration. Show you are able to present a relevant and original point of view. Example: http://suzette-henry.squarespa.

Footwear Design

Submit one hand-sketch of an original design in black and white or color. No computer sketching. Multiple views optional.


Functional Apparel and Accessories

  • Head-To-Toe Outfit (male or female) in black/white or color; hand sketch or digital sketch
  • Layout must include call outs of the innovative design features, materials, and construction details
  • Note how the design features enhance or protect the athlete or consumer.
  • Applicant’s contact info (name + email + phone)
  • 8.5” x 11” layout
  • Be Original

See examples of sketch & layouts in link below:


More about PENSOLE

PENSOLE Footwear Design Academy was founded by D’Wayne Edwards, who at 30, was one of the youngest Design Directors in Nike’s history and is one of only a handful of designers who has designed an AIR JORDAN.

As a celebrated member of the global footwear community for the last 28 years, Edwards founded PENSOLE to give talented young design students - regardless of socioeconomic background - an opportunity to learn from the industry’s best, without financial barriers, and to provide the industry with a farm system for the next generation of footwear designers.

PENSOLE Footwear Design Academy is the only school in the United States dedicated to footwear design education from a holistic creative perspective. Since it’s founding in 2010, more than 250 Academy graduates have been placed professionally with footwear companies worldwide, in the following positions: brand/marketing, color and material design, footwear design, graphic design and technical design;as well as starting their own consulting or footwear brands.

Apply now

We accept applications through SlideRoom, where you'll be able to upload the above materials and fill out our application form.

Apply through SlideRoom