Craft a path toward your future as a practicing artist in a mentor-supported, studio-based program.

Program Description

Two immersive semesters to prepare you for the rest of your creative life.

Immerse yourself in a studio-based environment where art, design, and creative writing practices cross pathways.  Weekly critiques, studio discussions, peer engagement, and high-level mentorships provide a solid foundation to support the Post-baccalaureate residency as you move towards your goals.

PNCA’s Post-baccalaureate Residency is a rigorous two-semester program (24 to 36 units) supported by mentor-guided independent studio work, studio electives, and the study of history and theory courses connected to your chosen field. Students focus on one of four areas of study: Design Arts, Media Arts, Studio Arts, and/or Creative Writing.

Some of our residents are expanding or polishing a past undergraduate project while others are seeking to learn additional skills to their existing creative practice. If you are looking to develop a creative project past the two semesters, we recommend looking into one of our MFA/MA programs.

You are matched with mentors chosen for their expertise in your chosen field of study. Mentors engage and challenge you to expand your creative horizons, both conceptually and practically. Mentors are primarily, but not always, members of our faculty, accomplished professional artists, designers, writers, and scholars who maintain active practices.

In the program you will produce a significant body of work, with options to display, post, and/or exhibit completed work, create a digital and/or a material portfolio that you'll learn to tailor for a variety of opportunities, expand your critical thinking and listening skills, develop a network of professional contacts, improve your knowledge of studio processes and methods, and achieve a stronger understanding of contemporary practices and context within the Art, Design, and Writing fields with an emphasis on your chosen pathway.

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student work

Academic Objectives

  • Expand your skill set specific to your creative practice
  • Hone a distinctive artistic voice
  • Engage with advanced professional practices
  • Understand concepts of audience, collaborations, and context to make your work relevant and impactful
  • Develop a strong portfolio to gain admittance into a graduate program


Dedicated Studio Space

As a post-baccalaureate resident, you will have your own studio among the senior studios and access to all of the campus' resources. Your studio will be located in the main campus building with our expansive Printmaking Studio, Creative Technology Lab, Digital Print Studio, and Photography Lab. Nearby, in the Glass Building, you'll also find our 3D Labs for wood, metal, ceramics, moldmaking, and soft sculpture.


A person in a straw hat and blue denim shirt working on small white ceramic pieces in a pottery studio, with shelves of art supplies and unfinished pottery in the background.

Access to Tools and Resources

You will have access to the all of the College's state-of-the-art digital labs, including Creative Technology Lab, plus all of our shop facilities, which support all manner of creative 2-D, 3-D, and time-based making, as well as the Albert Solheim Library’s extensive collections and resources.

See Exhibitions. Make Exhibitions.

PNCA offers a wealth of exhibition venues where you'll not only see work from nationally and internationally recognized artists and designers, you'll have the opportunity to present exhibitions of your own work.


Chart a tailored path

Independent Studio: In consultation with your mentor you will undertake in-depth, self-determined, studio exploration, engage in research relevant to your studio work, and participate in critique and dialog. You may choose to take Independent Studio for 6 or 9 credits depending upon your desire/need to take an additional Elective or an Internship.

Studio Elective: Chosen, in consultation with your mentor, from PNCA’s advanced undergraduate level curriculum, the Studio Elective supports the student’s specific area of specialization and career interest, provides an opportunity for further skill acquisition, encourages the exploration of new ideas and directions, and builds critical dialog and reasoning skills.

Upper Level Art History / Theory: Chosen in consultation with your mentor from PNCA’s Art History and Theory courses. These courses are dedicated to the study of contemporary visual media, critical studies, theory and practice, and advanced art history content.

Elective: Post-Baccalaureate students may choose to take another elective. Choosing this option requires Independent Studio to be taken as a 6-credit load. Approval from the mentor and Director of the Post-Baccalaureate Program is required.

Program Director

Matthew Letzelter

Chair of MFA Print Media, Associate Professor in MFA Print Media, Director of Watershed, Director of Post Baccalaureate Residency
MFA, 2003, Pratt Institute
BFA,1998, University of Florida, College of Fine Arts

Matthew Letzelter is an artist who explores his practice through works on paper, print, paintings and photography with a focus on abstracted landscapes. He is currently an Associate Professor at the Pacific Northwest College of Art, where he is Chair of the MFA in Print Media Program, and Director of Watershed – Center For Fine Art Publishing & Research at PNCA. Prior to moving to Portland, Letzelter was the Master Printer at Stinger Editions and Visiting Professor at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, while also focusing research on digital print mediums. Before moving to Canada, Letzelter worked for Derrière L‘Étoile Studio in New York City as a professional fine art printer. He also worked for Petersburg Press and Suitcase Press in NYC.



Applications are accepted for the fall semester of each year

The Post-Baccalaureate residency is generally completed in one-year (two semesters), and the program may last a maximum of four semesters. Students seeking to continue their studies beyond two semesters must re-apply to the program during their second semester.

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For any questions about your application or the application process, please contact Admissions M-F, 9am-5pm PST at 503.821.8975 or email

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