2020 Graduate Applications
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Graduate Applications

The Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies at PNCA welcomes applications from motivated students. Here you will find information on how to apply and the particular application requirements for each of our seven graduate programs.

STEP BY STEP

How to Apply

2020 Applications open September 1, 2019.

Priority Application Deadline is February 1, 2020.

Applications are reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis until cohorts are full.

Please note that you can only apply to one graduate program at a time, with the exception of the MA/MFA dual degree option. We accept applications through admissions.pnca.edu/apply.


  • 1

    Read the application requirements below for the program to which you'd like to apply.

  • 2

    Prepare your portfolio items and/or other required materials.

  • 3

    Submit your Application form and materials, and pay the PNCA graduate application fee of $65 at admissions.pnca.edu/apply.

International Students

We welcome students from around the world. There are additional application requirements for international applicants.

International students are eligible for merit scholarships upon acceptance. Minimum GPA requirement for International applicants is 2.7.

Learn more

Application Requirements

All individuals applying to join the graduate school must submit the following documents and materials within the application:

Unofficial Undergraduate Transcript

Submit an unofficial transcript from the institution that granted/ will grant your undergraduate degree. This can be a scan of a paper transcript or a digital file downloaded from your degree-granting school. If admitted to PNCA, your official transcript in its original sealed envelope will need to be submitted to PNCA before starting classes.

Resume/CV

Submit a resume and/or CV that is up to date. Include professional experiences as well as related activities such as awards and exhibitions. Your total submission should be limited to two pages.

Two References

The strongest references are those who are familiar with your practice/ scholarship/ skills/ experience. Recommendations from relatives or personal friends may not be acceptable. Applicants are asked to enter the name, title, organization and relationship of the recommenders selected as part of the online application process.

In addition to the general application requirements, each program sets requirements and preferences on submitted materials. The information below will help you to prepare the strongest application possible for your program of choice. For students applying to the dual MFA/MA pathway, you should prepare all requirements for both programs.

MFA in Applied Craft and Design

Statement of Purpose [500 -700 words]

Write and submit a typed statement which describes what you hope to learn and accomplish in the AC+D program, where you hope your studies will lead, and why you are interested in this particular program.

Portfolio of 10-15 images

How to put together a strong portfolio for Applied Craft + Design

It is recommended that submitted work be recent and represent your strongest work, while displaying a range of creative approaches and/or medium explorations. Within the portfolio, the committee often appreciates viewing 2-3 in-progress works that communicate your most recent material or conceptual inquiries.

MFA in Collaborative Design / MA in Design Systems

Statement of Purpose [ 500 - 700 words]

Address why you are pursuing the MFA in Collaborative Design. Describe one project you are interested in pursuing, or identify a problem in the private, public or social realm you are interested in exploring while in the MFA or MA program.

Projects of Interest

Provide 1 to 3 URLs of interesting work or projects that have been documented in some way on the web (video documentation, artist's portfolios, blog coverage, news articles, etc.) These links will allow us to better understand your interests, preferences, and the kind of precedent work that may inspire you. You must then explain why the work you linked interests, excites or animates you. This is a good opportunity to re-articulate or expand your interests and goals. For students from backgrounds other than art and design, this can help us understand why you have identified collaborative design, design thinking, and making as your area of study for a masters degree.

Digital Portfolio

Provide 1-3 URLs to webpages or digital files that contain examples of your recent work. You can submit image galleries or time-based examples of recent visual work, professional writing, blog posts or your Twitter feed, abstracts of peer-reviewed articles, etc. Links to PDF, PPT, or other common file types are acceptable. Your portfolio is an important part of your application and is an opportunity to present previous experiences, interests, and interactions in any field, including but not limited to art, design, science, journalism, economics, engineering, technology, business, etc.

MA in Critical Studies

3 Essay Questions

  1. Who is your intellectual family? Which artists, critics, writers, theorists, philosophers, activists, etc. have influenced how you see the world? What have you done, or what will you do differently based on that perspective? [500 word limit]
  2. In your view, what part of contemporary image-making or visual culture needs a critical eye and why? [500 word limit]
  3. Why do you want to be a student in PNCA's Critical Studies program? What do you plan to do with this degree? [250 word limit]

A Writing Sample [1500 - 2000 words]

Submit a writing sample from the last two years. This can be an excerpt from an academic paper, are view of a piece of art, a blog post - anything that you think highlights how you use the written word.

MA in Design Systems:

Statement of Purpose [ 500 - 700 words]

Address why you are pursuing the MA in Design Systems. Describe one project you are interested in pursuing, or identify a problem in the private, public or social realm you are interested in exploring while in the MFA or MA program.

Projects of Interest

Provide 1 to 3 URLs of interesting work or projects that have been documented in some way on the web (video documentation, artist's portfolios, blog coverage, news articles, etc.) These links will allow us to better understand your interests, preferences, and the kind of precedent work that may inspire you. You must then explain why the work you linked interests, excites or animates you. This is a good opportunity to re-articulate or expand your interests and goals. For students from backgrounds other than art and design, this can help us understand why you have identified collaborative design, design and systems thinking as your area of study for a masters degree.

OPTIONAL: Digital Portfolio

Provide 1-3 URLs to webpages or digital files that contain examples of your recent work. You can submit image galleries or time-based examples of recent visual work, professional writing, blog posts or your Twitter feed, abstracts of peer-reviewed articles, etc. Links to PDF, PPT, or other common file types are acceptable. Your portfolio is an important part of your application and is an opportunity to present previous experiences, interests, and interactions in any field, including but not limited to art, design, science, journalism, economics, engineering, technology, business, etc.

MFA in Print Media

Statement of Purpose [500 -700 words]

Please use this statement to address the focus of your work and the direction you wish to pursue in the MFA in Print Media. Discuss your reasons for applying to the MFA in Print Media and the goals you wish to achieve during your time at this program. Be specific as to your focus of research and how you see this evolving or changing during your time in the Print Media program. Discuss how the "print matrix" informs the outcomes of your work and reference the influences and issues that shape the context for your creative practice.

Portfolio of 10-15 images

How to put together a strong portfolio for Print Media

The PRINT MEDIA application review committee is looking for documentation of recent work that best represents your current creative practice and research. This selection of work can be a variety of disciplines and formats as it relates to your application for Print Media.

MFA in Visual Studies

Statement of Purpose [500 -700 words]

Please use this statement to address the focus of your work and the direction you wish to pursue in the MFA in Visual Studies program. Discuss your reasons for applying to PNCA's MFA in Visual Studies Program and the artistic goals you wish to achieve during your time in the program. Be specific as to your focus of research and how you see this evolving or changing during your time in the Visual Studies program. Describe the pathway you envision for yourself as part of the program. Discuss the issues, concerns and influences in your work. Please reference three contemporary artists that inspire your practice.

Portfolio of 10-15 images

How to put together a strong portfolio for Visual Studies

The ideal applicant for Visual Studies creates a portfolio of recent work that best represents their current creative practice and interest. This selection of work can be in a variety of disciplines and does not necessarily need to be a single, cohesive body of work. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the program, varied modes of making is understood and appreciated.

Low Residency MFA in Visual Studies

Statement of Purpose [500 -700 words]

Use this statement to address the focus of your work and the direction you wish to pursue in the Low-Residency MFA in Visual Studies program. Discuss your reasons for applying to PNCA's Low-Residency MFA in Visual Studies program and the artistic goals you wish to achieve during your time in the program. Be specific as to your focus of research and how you see this evolving or changing during your time in the Low-Residency MFA in Visual Studies program. Describe the pathway you envision for yourself as part of the program. Discuss the issues, concerns and influences in your work.

Portfolio of 10-15 images

How to put together a strong portfolio for Low Residency Visual Studies

It is recommended that submitted work be recent and represent the applicant’s strongest work. We look for portfolios that show evidence of engagement in critical thought. This selection of work can be in a variety of disciplines and does not necessarily need to be a single, cohesive body of work. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the program, varied modes of making are understood and appreciated.

Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing

Statement of Purpose [500-700 words]

Describe specific goals around creative writing, reading, and writing community immersion. In the statement, indicate the genre track in which you want to do your primary work. Choose from the following options: Prose (nonfiction or fiction); or Poetry; or Cross-Genre (writing that crosses genres or mediums); or Literary translation.

Creative Writing Sample

Submit a 15-20 page creative writing sample or portfolio in the genre in which you want to do your primary work.

The sample may be comprised of:

  • 15 pages of Poetry
  • or 20 pages of Prose
  • or 20 pages of Cross-genre
  • or 15-20 pages of Translation

Critical Writing Sample

Submit a 3-5 page sample of critical work on writing forms and methods.

Portfolio Preparation

How to prepare your portfolio

Your portfolio is your best opportunity to show us who you are as an artist or designer. Be sure to highlight your strengths as well as work that can indicate your goals for developing a creative practice at PNCA.

You are required to submit 10-15 images of visual artwork including but not limited to: drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, digital painting, graphic design, video work, animation, sound, performance art, interdisciplinary art, etc.

Include Title, Medium, and Dimensions (or length for time-based work) information where applicable. You are encouraged to submit descriptions with each piece if you would like.

File Sizes and Types

We support media files as large as 5GB, but please be advised that larger files will take longer to upload from your Internet connection and may stall if you are on a wireless connection or one that cannot sustain a connection for the necessary period of time. Uploaded documents may contain no more than 75 pages.

We support the following file formats:

File Type

Extension

Slide / Image

.bmp, .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .tif, .tiff

Video

.avi, .flv, .m1v, .m2v, .m4v, .mkv, .mov, .mpeg, .mpg, .mp4, .webm, .wmv

Apple ProRes is not currently supported. If uploading a .mov, please use an alternate codec.

Audio

.aac, .aif, .aiff, .iff, .fla, .m4a, .mpa, .mp3, .ra, .wav, .wma

Documents

.doc, .docx, .odg, .odp, .odt, .pdf, .ppt, .pptx, .rtf, .wpd

Next Steps

Notification of Acceptance

The individual Graduate Program Enrollment Committees review applications once they have received all required materials from the applicant including the letters of recommendation. You will be notified by email, as well as hard copy via USPS, of PNCA’s admissions decision. Notifications begin by the end of February for summer and fall enrollment.

Tuition Deposits

If you accept PNCA’s offer of admission, a nonrefundable $350 tuition deposit is required to secure a place in the incoming class and gain registration privileges. The tuition deposit is due on the date indicated in your acceptance letter. The $350 deposit is credited to your student account upon registration.

Deferred Enrollment

Accepted students who wish to defer admission to a subsequent semester may submit a request for deferment in writing to the Admissions Office. Students may not defer more than one year from their original acceptance semester. All deferment requests are reviewed by the individual Graduate Program Enrollment Committee.

Get in touch

For any questions about your application or the application process, please contact Admissions M-F, 9am-5pm PST at 503.821.8956 or email grad_admissions@pnca.edu any time.

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