Undergraduate Studies

PNCA’s Undergraduate Program is focused on our four Core Themes: Studio Practice, Critical Inquiry, World View, and Professional Practice.

PNCA’s Bachelor of Fine Arts graduates leave equipped to pursue a freelance, academic, or agency career with a portfolio of interdisciplinary skills, specialized expertise, personalized style, and the professional life skills of collaboration, entrepreneurship, and interpersonal communication. A PNCA education enables our graduates to communicate, to critique, and to interpret with collegial professionalism.

Our alumni apply their technical and professional skills as well as critical and studio thinking to successfully pursue diverse professional paths. Among PNCA graduates are working artists who show internationally, successful small creative business owners, designers and animators working for top firms, freelance illustrators with high profile commissions, and commercial and editorial photographers.

Students graduate with the ability to:

  • Engage and pursue advanced art and design thinking
  • Independently examine and critique existing and emerging concepts and conditions
  • Take into account diverse cultures, values, and systems
  • Understand that the future is shared with others
  • Sustain a life of professional and creative growth


First Year

Strong practices are built on strong foundations. In the first year students are immersed in media and making and introduced to the histories of art, culture, and ideas. Students work closely with a faculty mentor who provides guidance as they build skills and knowledge, identify opportunities for growth, and come to a fuller understanding of what it means to engage in a life of creative practice. And even in this first year, each student can choose from a number of electives to customize his or her education from the start.

First year classes include:

Basic Drawing 
Visual Elements: 2D 
Visual Elements: Digital Tools 
3D Design 
Time Arts
First-Year Seminar
Exploring Visual Culture
Foundation Writing
Writing in Context
and Studio and Liberal Arts Electives


Second & Third Year

The next two years are about exploring new possibilities. Students have the freedom to branch out and explore courses in any medium, inside or outside of their concentrations.


Fourth Year

The fourth year is about the final transformation from student to professional. Each student collaborates with a faculty mentor to craft his or her own unique pathway to completion.

Students engage in a comprehensive Thesis project, producing a personal body of work, writing an in depth explication of that work, mounting an exhibition, and defending that work orally.

Students who plan to head towards career and/or professional employment opportunities can combine a series of Senior level courses with a professional internship to develop deep knowledge and advanced skills in a specific area.

PNCA expects all students completing its Bachelor of Fine Arts program to possess the competencies embedded in the four core themes of Studio Practice, Critical Inquiry, World View, and Professional Practice.

Majors & Concentrations

Design Arts

Communication Design

Media Arts

Animated Arts
Video + Sound

Studio Arts

Painting + Drawing

Liberal Arts


Learn more about BFA Requirements →