Undergraduate Application

There is no cost to apply to PNCA's undergraduate programs. You can apply here at admissions.pnca.edu/apply
Admissions Office
511 NW Broadway, Portland, OR 97209

step by step

How to Apply

  • 1

    Learn how to prepare 10-15 Portfolio items and materials you'll need below.

  • 2

    Go to admissions.pnca.edu/apply and create an account.

  • 3

    Select BFA/Undergraduate Program - Spring or Fall 2020 under "Available Programs."

  • 4

    Fill out form and upload portfolio items.

  • 5

    Click "Submit."


Application Deadlines

We are currently accepting applications for Spring and Fall 2020. Early applications for Spring 2020 is November 15, 2019 and for Fall 2020 is December 15, 2019.

Early Application Scholarship

Upon acceptance to PNCA, early applicants are eligible for a $1,000 scholarship each year renewable for four years.

Priority Deadline

Apply by midnight on January 31st, 2020 to be eligible for all of our top juried scholarships and top merit-based scholarships.

contact us

We are here to help. For any questions about how to apply, get in touch Monday - Friday 9-5pm PST at 503-821-8972 or anytime at admissions@pnca.edu.

application process

Application and Portfolio Preparation

You can preview questions on the application below, learn how to prepare your portfolio to upload, and learn about transcripts and test scores.

Application Form Questions

You'll see the Application Form once you log in to your application at admissions.pnca.edu/apply, but you can preview the questions here.

  1. I understand I am allowed to submit unofficial transcripts now as part of my application. I also understand that I will need to submit official transcripts to PNCA before I can begin classes, or if I wish to receive transfer credit for courses taken at other colleges.
  2. By submitting this electronic application, I affirm that all of the information submitted is true, accurate, and complete. I understand that all materials (except for my portfolio) submitted in support of my application become the property of Pacific Northwest College of Art and will remain confidential.
  3. Date of Birth
  4. Please answer Month/Date/Year: XX-XX-XXXX
  5. Country of birth
  6. Email Address
  7. Ethnicity
  8. What is your preferred gender pronoun?
  9. Have you attended California State Summer School for the Arts (CSSSA)?
  10. Have you ever been found responsible for a disciplinary violation at any previous school you have attended, whether related to academic misconduct or behavioral misconduct, that resulted in your probation, suspension, removal, dismissal, or expulsion from the institution? (Answering "yes" to this question will not automatically exclude you from admission to PNCA. You will have an opportunity to explain the circumstances.)
  11. Have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor, felony, or other crime? (Answering "yes" to this question will not automatically exclude you from admission to PNCA. You will have an opportunity to explain the circumstances.)
  13. Will you be attending PNCA full-time or part-time?
  14. Social Security Number
  15. If you do not have a social security number, please type in 000-00-0000.
  16. A Social Security Number is required to apply for federal, state, and in some cases private financial aid, as well as claim tax credits for higher education costs known as the American Opportunity Tax Credit in accordance with the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997.
  17. Federal law requires Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) to provide specific information to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for the purpose of filing an information return (IRS Form 1098-T "Tuition Statement") for each student in attendance, with a few exceptions.
  18. The information required by the IRS includes the student's name, address, Social Security Number (SSN) or Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN/iTIN), and enrollment status, as well as the amount of tuition paid or billed, and scholarships received. (26 C.F.R. 1-60505-1(b)(2)(ii).
  19. Failure to provide a correct Social Security Number or TIN while claiming tax credits for specified education expenses may result in a penalty levied against the student by the IRS in the amount of $100, per year, until the missing or incorrect information is provided (26 C.F.R. 1-60505-1(e)(4).
  20. Are you a first generation college student?
  21. Are you an incoming First Time Freshman or a Transfer student?
  22. Education History
  23. Be sure to include information for all high schools and colleges attended.
  24. High School Diploma or Equivalent Earned
  25. * This question may have follow-up questions.
  26. Have you attended another high school other than the one listed above?
  27. * This question may have follow-up questions.
  28. Have you attended college?
  29. * This question may have follow-up questions.
  30. Have you attended another college in addition to the one above?
  31. * This question may have follow-up questions.
  32. Are you an international applicant?
  33. TOEFL or MELAB scores are required of International Applicants whose native language is not English. Students who hold a bachelor's degree from a US college or college at which the language of instruction is English do not need a TOEFL.
  34. Official score documentation must be sent directly to PNCA Admissions by a TOEFL/MELAB office.
  35. * This question may have follow-up questions.
  36. Essay (Optional)
  37. Please provide your artist statement. (Optional)
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Building your portfolio

How to prepare your portfolio

Your portfolio is your best opportunity to show us who you are as an artist or designer. Show us the work that is uniquely your own, work that showcases your ideas, imagination, willingness to experiment, and talent. Work is evaluated on conceptual content, design and composition, originality, technical skill, and creative potential.

Prepare 10 to 15 images or files of your best recent works. We see portfolios including drawing, painting, sculpture, video, sound, animation, film, photography, graphic design, digital projects, performance, and installation. For internet-based projects, submit a screenshot of the URL.

If you have any questions about what to include, contact us in the Admissions Office at 503-821-8972 or admissions@pnca.edu.

For each piece you will upload to your portfolio on our application page, you will need

  • Title
  • Medium
  • Dimensions (2D/3D artwork) / Length (Time-based work)

File format guidelines:

File Type




Up to 5MB

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


Up to 60MB

.m4v, .mov, .mp4, .wmv, .flv, .asf, .mpeg, .mpg, .mkv


Up to 30 MB

.mp3, .wma, .ogg, .flac


Up to 10 MB


Please don't submit original works directly to the Admissions Office.

Writing Samples

If you are considering Creative Writing as a major, you will submit two writing samples in PDF format in addition to your visual arts portfolio. Samples may be in any type of writing genre (fiction, non-fiction narrative, plays, scripts, poems, etc.), and can be an excerpt from a longer work. Samples should be no longer than 5 pages, double-spaced, single-sided, with a 10 pt font and 1.25” margins. Please include your full legal name at the beginning of the sample.

Additional Requirements

Artist Statement


It is not required, but we strongly encourage you to submit an artist statement to help us determine your ability to be a successful student at PNCA. This is an opportunity for you to distinguish yourself from other applicants and to share aspects of your work that are not reflected in your portfolio. Feel free to make the statement whatever you want it to be, but we are specifically interested in the interests and concerns that shape the art you make as well as your goals and ambitions.

Your statement should be between 2000 and 3000 characters (about 400 to 600 words). The online form will cut it off at 3000 characters, so check to make sure that the entire essay is included before submitting your application.


We only require official transcripts when you are accepted. For the purposes of your application, we accept unofficial copies of your transcripts which may include PDFs of scans of hard copies of your transcripts or copies printed as PDFs from your school’s website. The transcript must be generated by the institution and must include the name of the institution as well as the student’s full legal name.

PNCA requires a minimum GPA of 2.3*

If you are applying as a freshman, you will submit your current high school transcript along with transcripts from any other high schools attended. Home-schooled and GED students see below.

Transfer applicants or home-schooled applicants with more than 30 completed college semester credits or 45 completed college quarter credits do not need to submit a high school transcript or GED. And if you've previously earned a Bachelor’s degree, you don't have to submit high school transcripts.

Transfer applicants will need to submit transcripts from all colleges attended. In this case as well, we only require official copies of transcripts to be mailed after you are accepted but before classes begin if you are to receive transfer credits.

If college credit was earned while enrolled in high school, a copy of the college transcript is required in order for the courses to be considered for transfer credit.

* If your GPA is below 2.3, we ask for a letter explaining the circumstances, what steps you have taken to address it, and how you plan to succeed at Pacific Northwest College of Art.

Optional materials

ACT or SAT Scores

Scores from the ACT or SAT test are not required for admission. If you are currently attending high school and plan to take the ACT or SAT test and submit the results to PNCA, please know that your test scores will be used for advising purposes only.

AP Scores

PNCA grants credit for specific course requirements based on Advanced Placement (AP) Examinations of the College Board. Scores must be submitted to PNCA by the testing service. Credit is available in Art History, Literature, Natural Science, Mathematics, and Social Science.

Letters of Recommendation

Submitting a letter of recommendation is optional. If you choose to include a letter, we suggest that it be from a current teacher, guidance counselor, or mentor. Your recommendation letter may also be from an employer or professional reference. Do not submit a letter from a family member. The letter of recommendation must be mailed to the PNCA Admissions office.

Special Circumstances


If you did not complete high school, you will submit your General Education Development (GED) scores. For the purposes of the application process, unofficial copies of your scores will be accepted. If you are accepted by PNCA, you will be required to have official copies of your scores mailed directly to our Admissions Office before you begin classes.

Homeschooled Students

In addition to the application form and portfolio homeschooled applicants must submit one of the following:

  • Official Copy of your GED or state authorized examination that is recognized as the equivalent of a high school diploma (i.e. CHSE)
  • State issued Secondary School Completion Credential (if available)
  • Diploma or Certificate from a Recognized Home School Association


Notification of Acceptance

The Admissions Office reviews applications once it has received all required materials from the applicant. You will be notified by email and mail of PNCA’s admission decision.

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Tuition Deposit

If you accept PNCA’s offer of admission, a non-refundable $400 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 $400 deposit is credited to your student account upon registration.

Contact an Admissions Counselor today

We are here to help. For any questions about how to apply, get in touch M-F, 9-5pm PST

Office of Admissions


Office of Financial Aid

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