Minors help you deepen understanding, broaden the scope of your education through the intentional selection of targeted classes, and communicate your focus in the future with a conferred minor as part of your degree.

Minors are open to students in all majors. Completing a minor does not require you to take additional courses. You simply make your course selections to fulfill the requirements of the minor, choosing from a wide range of 3-credit courses for a total of 15 credits. You work with your Academic Advisor to create an individualized plan to outline how this minor fits into your course of study and ensure that your curricular choices support their goals and interests.


Art and Ecology

In this interdisciplinary minor, you’ll develop a broad understanding of pressing ecological issues and their relationship to the social, political, cultural, and economic systems that impact the future of humanity, other species, and our shared planet. You'll understand how your own work as an artist or a designer can comment on, interact with, and impact the world.

Course highlights: Ecology and Resilience, Environmental Science and Ecology, Art + Ecology: Global Culture and Ecology

Art History

Art History examines the breadth of human creativity and considers how it influences and reflects the culture of its time. Power, myth, science, religion, philosophy and technique are all included. By delving into historical and contemporary artistic tenets and their social contexts, you’ll gain a richer and more diverse visual arsenal which will sharpen your critical faculties and help you develop a deeper understanding of your own work. The Art History minor includes writing and research skills that prepare you for graduate study and professional careers.

Course highlights: The Moving Image, Design History, Art of West Africa, Contemporary Topics, Theory and Culture of Art History


In this minor, you can choose to focus on clay as a dynamic sculptural medium or material for fabricating wares and functional objects as you develop skills and techniques while developing a broader understanding of historical precedents and contemporary practices. You’ll work in our dynamic Ceramics studio with seasoned pros to deepen your practice or expand outward into new pathways including entrepreneurial studio strategies.

Course highlights: Moldmaking, Experimenting with Materials

Creative Writing

Creative Writing at PNCA offers a unique opportunity to explore writing's relationship to contemporary art through interdisciplinary and hybrid forms. Through creative writing studio classes you’ll explore experimental writing practices including the use of language as a visual medium and incorporate writing into visual work as well as those focused on contemporary forms of fiction, poetry, and script writing.

Course highlights: Intro to Short Forms, Expanded Poetic Fields, Writing with Digital Media


Drawing is practiced by artists across genres and disciplines as a way to translate ideas to form, and use of drawing in its capacity as an exploratory medium is nearly universal. The Drawing minor offers the opportunity for sustained study and practice of drawing supporting both practices: drawing as exploration and drawing as form.

Course highlights: The Figure, Advanced Drawing-Process and Idea, Drawing Seminar: Systems, Structures, and Strategies


Fashion Design is a minor with a multi-disciplinary approach. We encourage students to delve into material exploration, garment construction, fabric manipulation and embellishment, silkscreen printing, pattern drafting and draping, textiles, concept development, and fashion sketching. The minor invites you to consider fashion as an embedded aspect of contemporary society while exploring the garment itself from many perspectives including costuming, wearable technology, textile design, soft sculpture, performance, and body augmentation. Course highlights: Printing on Fabric, Fashion Matters, Capsule Collection, Special Projects: Sewing Construction I


Gaming in both analog and digital formats is one of the most relevant and pervasive forms of entertainment worldwide. Beyond its role in entertainment, social scientists and cultural anthropologists alike have identified gaming as a dominant form of finding and building community in contemporary society, using game culture as an expressive means of connecting with others. In this minor, you’ll develop a general understanding of the philosophies, systems, and mechanics utilized in contemporary game and interactive design while becoming familiar with processes for research, experimentation, design, prototyping, and production.

Course highlights: World Building, Character Design, Scripting, Interactive Aesthetics

Graphic Design

Design shapes the way we interact with the world around us. The same skills that designers use working with clients can also be used to “move” people—for more powerful communication, or to create social change. This minor is a way for you to gain fundamental graphic design techniques working with typography and visual systems for a range of technology. You will also gain core skills in ideation, critical evaluation, and revision that you can take into a broad range of careers. A minor in graphic design will give you a general understanding of the broad possibilities within design and help you learn to speak the language of design for fruitful collaboration.

Course highlights: Signs + Symbols, Typography, Culture + Audience, Brand + Marketing


Photographic skills have endless applications and are increasingly valuable in a marketplace that relies on photography as a central form of communication. A Photography Minor offers the chance for students to deepen their technical knowledge and conceptual engagement with the medium of photography in their practice. Photo classes at PNCA address a range of professional and artistic goals that students bring: using photography in dialogue with other media, exploring analog processes in the darkroom, or developing a strong portfolio demonstrating lighting techniques. This minor is an opportunity for you to focus on an aspect of photography that would best compliment your aspirations.

Course highlights: Studio Lighting, The Photographic in Contemporary Art, Concept Capture Print, Photographic Investigations

Stop Motion

The stop motion minor becomes a vehicle for both majors and non-majors to gain experience in a quickly growing field. Portland is an animation town, with three stop-motion features in production this last year alone. We are lucky to regularly invite local industry professionals to share their work and expertise. Stop Motion as an art practice forms easy linkages with other majors and minors from Sculpture to Fashion to Illustration to Print Media to Applied Craft and Design. Animated Arts invites a healthy cross-disciplinary mixing of students with varying post grad goals be it industry or indie media production.

Our curriculum has an open studio format giving students a chance to gain a basic understanding of animation and explore pathways toward puppet fabrication, costuming, set construction, lighting, rigging, and cinema, prop sculpture, character development, storyboarding, and animating. With a general knowledge of animation, students can build out their portfolio demonstrating specific stop motion craft skills that are also imbued with their own creative spark.

Featured courses: Stop-motion animation, Advanced Stop-motion animation, Puppet Fabrication, Collaborative Production.

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