Fast Facts


Pacific Northwest College of Art prepares students for a life of creative practice.


As Oregon’s premier college of art and design since 1909, Pacific Northwest College of Art has helped shape the region's visual arts landscape for more than a century. PNCA students study with award-winning faculty in small classes. In the last ten years, PNCA has doubled both the student body and full-time faculty, quadrupled its endowment, and added innovative undergraduate and graduate programs.

A $15 million capital campaign supported of the 2015 move to a new campus on Portland's North Park Blocks and the renovation of its main campus building, the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design at 511 NW Broadway.

Undergraduate Programs

PNCA students balance studies in the humanities and sciences uniquely tailored to students in an art college with hands-on art making in studios and labs. Undergraduate students choose from ten concentrations within four majors and benefit from interdisciplinary collaborations throughout their fine art and design education. Student galleries and project spaces throughout the main building offer students plenty of opportunities to show their work. Farther afield, students take advantage of PNCA Global Studios in Europe, Asia, Latin America, or Africa. Our Career Services Center and BridgeLab help students prepare for life after college through workshops, internships, and career counseling.

Graduate Programs

The Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies at PNCA is the result of an historic $15 million gift to PNCA, the largest single gift ever made to an Oregon cultural institution. At the time Hallie Ford made her unprecedented gift, she wrote in a statement that it reflected her desire, “to see a globally recognized center for visual art and design education located in Oregon.” Since receiving the gift in 2007, PNCA has launched six graduate programs: the MFA in Visual Studies, the MFA in Collaborative Design, the MA in Critical Theory and Creative Research, the Low-Residency MFA in Visual Studies, the MFA in Print Media, and the MFA in Applied Craft and Design (offered jointly with Oregon College of Art and Craft in an innovative partnership).

Continuing Education

Complementing PNCA’s degree programs is a dynamic Continuing Education Program that provides year-round classes to more than 1,400 adults and children. Offerings range from the fundamentals of drawing and painting to master classes in printmaking, as well as Certificates in Communication Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, and Drawing + Painting. PNCA’s Pre-College Studios—a selection of week-long intensive studios for students ages 15 to 18 who want to experience studying at a top art and design college—help to prepare our community’s young people for the rigor of an art and design education. Our summer smARTworks youth camps are one-week themed workshops that guide children as they explore project topics and encourage their ideas to take form.

Programs and Degrees

Bachelor of Fine Arts in four majors with ten concentrations
Master of Fine Arts in five programs
Master of Arts in Critical Theory and Creative Research
Continuing Education Programs
Certificate Programs in Digital Publishing, Fine Art, Graphic Design, and Illustration

Undergraduate Programs

Studio Arts
Painting + Drawing

Media Arts
Animated Arts
Video and Sound

Liberal Arts

Design Arts
Communication Design

Graduate Programs

MFA in Visual Studies
MFA in Collaborative Design
Low-Residency MFA in Visual Studies
MA in Critical Theory and Creative Research
MFA in Applied Craft and Design offered jointly with Oregon College of Art and Craft


Pacific Northwest College of Art is a co-educational, nondenominational, independent college, providing professional education in the visual arts and granting the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and the Master of Fine Arts degree. It is the oldest independent college of art in the Pacific Northwest. PNCA is an accredited institutional member of both the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The Council on Postsecondary Education and the U.S. Department of Education recognize both institutional accrediting bodies.

Accredited by

National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD)
The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)


Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design (AICAD)
National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU)
Art Resources Consortium Northwest (ARC NW)
Oregon Independent College Association (OICA)
Foundations in Art: Theory and Education (FATE)

Students (2015–2016)

Undergraduate Students: 420
Graduate Students: 116
CE Students (annually): 1,400


Faculty (full- and part-time): 104


Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design, 511 NW Broadway
Falcon Building, 321 NW Glisan St
MFA in Applied Craft and Design Studios at The Bison Building, 421 NE 10th Ave.
ArtHouse, student housing, 33 NW Park Ave
The Lodge Gallery at Allied Works, 1532 SW Morrison St.
PNCA @ ZGF 1223 Southwest Washington Street #200

Community Programs

Youth Programs: Classes in art fundamentals for children ages 4-17, with scholarship support for those who are economically disadvantaged.
Pre-College Program: Four week intensive summer art school program for high school youth.

Nonprofit Statement

PNCA is a nonprofit corporation authorized by the State of Oregon to offer and confer the academic degrees described herein, following a determination that state academic standards will be satisfied under OAR 583-030. Inquiries concerning the standards of school compliance may be directed to the Oregon Office of Degree Authorization, 1500 Valley River Drive, Suite 100, Eugene, Oregon, 97401.

Enrollment and Degree Verification

PNCA has authorized the National Student Clearinghouse to provide enrollment and degree verifications. The National Student Clearinghouse can be contacted at:
Mail: National Student Clearinghouse, 2300 Dulles Station Boulevard, Suite 300, Herndon, VA 20171