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How to Apply
Learn how to prepare 10-15 portfolio items and materials you'll need below.
Create your application using the Apply buttons above.
Fill out the application, upload portfolio items, and submit transcript(s).
View our Undergraduate Viewbook Online
Early Application Deadline
Upon acceptance to PNCA, early applicants are eligible for a $1,000 scholarship each year renewable for up to four years.
Fall applicants must apply by November 15, 2022.
Spring applicants must apply by November 15, 2022.
Apply by midnight on February 1st, 2023 to be eligible for all of our top juried scholarships and top merit-based scholarships for Fall 2023.
BFA Equity Scholarship Deadline
Application Deadline: Monday, January 31st, 2023 at 5:00 PM PST, For the Fall 2023 application cycle.
International Application Deadline
If you are outside of the United States and need a visa to arrive, you must apply before the deadlines below:
Fall applicants: June 15th
Spring applicants: November 15th
All students applying to PNCA’s BFA program are automatically considered for merit/portfolio based scholarships. These scholarships start at $18,000 per year, and are renewable. Scholarships are available to both U.S. citizens and international students. (Students who have previously attended PNCA as an admitted BFA student are not eligible for these scholarships.)
All students applying to PNCA’s BFA program for the Fall semester prior to February 1st are automatically considered if we have received your submitted FAFSA. The scholarships are available to both U.S. citizens and international students. (Students who have previously attended PNCA as an admitted BFA student are not eligible for these scholarships.)
BFA Equity ScholarshipsClick here to learn more
Community College Transfer Partner/Transfer Agreement Scholarship
Students who have attended a community college from our Transfer Partner or Transfer Agreement list and have completed 60 semester or 90 quarter credits (and have received passing grades in each course) are eligible for an additional $5,000 scholarship on top of their initial admissions scholarship, renewable each year for up to three years at PNCA.Click here for a list of Transfer Partner Schools and Transfer Agreement Schools
PNCA Pre-College Scholarships
High school students who attend a PNCA Pre-College course (either online or in person) are eligible to receive a $1,000 per year, renewable for up to five years at PNCA. In order to qualify for this scholarship, you must present proof of enrollment to your PNCA Admissions Counselor or include proof of enrollment in your PNCA application.
Oregon Scholastics Scholarships
PNCA offers scholarships for students who participate in the Oregon Scholastics event and receive a Silver or Gold Key. Speak with your PNCA Admissions Counselor to learn more!
International Students are eligible to receive a $1,000 renewable scholarship if they meet the following criteria:
- Do not hold U.S. citizenship
- Do not have a U.S. Green Card
- Is not eligible to fill out FAFSA
Please note that International Scholarships cannot be combined with the OR/WA/CA Transfer Scholarship.
Application and Portfolio Preparation
Learn more about our application process and building your portfolio below.
Your portfolio is your best opportunity to show us who you are as an artist or designer. Show us the work that is unique to you, work that showcases your ideas, imagination, willingness to experiment. We are looking for potential. You'll be able to give us insight into your point of view and your personal story.
Include a range of your best works showcasing core skills like drawing (emphasizing composition, contour, gesture, or life drawing) as well as experimental works such as mixed media or video.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
For each piece you will upload to your portfolio on our application page, you will need
- Dimensions (2D/3D artwork) / Length (Time-based work)
File format guidelines:
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.
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.
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.
First time freshmen/high school students:
You may submit unofficial/in progress transcripts at the time of application submission. Upon graduating high school, please request your official transcripts from your high school and have them sent to the PNCA Admissions Office either via mail or email. If sending via email, they must come from a certified transcript service.
Transfer students with less than 30 semester or 45 quarter credits must also submit their official high school transcript. For students with more than 30 semester or 45 college credits, please submit transcripts from all colleges attended. They can be unofficial upon applying, but must be official upon completion of courses. Please send all transcripts to the PNCA Admissions Office either via mail or email. If sending via email, they must come from a certified transcript service.
Send transcripts to: email@example.com or mail transcripts to: PNCA Admissions Office 511 NW Broadway Portland, OR 97209
PNCA reserves the right to rescind the admission and/or scholarships of any student should their credentials vary too greatly from the ones reported on their unofficial transcript. Please make sure that these transcripts include your full name, the name of your school, your birthday, and graduation date.
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.
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 request a letter from a family member. The letter of recommendation must be emailed or mailed to the PNCA Admissions office directly from the person writing the recommendation letter. When you apply, there will be instructions on how your recommender can submit the letter of recommendation.
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.
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 we have received all required materials from the applicant. You will receive your admission decision by mail and email.
If you accept PNCA’s offer of admission, a non-refundable $500 tuition deposit is required to secure a place in the incoming class and gain registration privileges. The $500 deposit is credited to your student account upon registration.
PNCA Undergraduate Admissions Deferral Policy for 2022 terms
The PNCA Admissions office allows deferrals for Spring and Fall 2022 incoming students. In order to defer, the student must have already submitted their $500 non-refundable tuition deposit. The student may defer up to one or two future semesters. Admissions scholarships will stay with the student, but juried scholarships will not. Equity Scholarships are also not deferrable. If a student is awarded a juried or Equity scholarship, they will not be able to defer this scholarship. It will be reallocated to another student. A student is allowed to defer their acceptance up to two times total. After that, the student must reapply to PNCA. In order to submit a deferral request, please contact your Admissions Counselor.
Participation in peaceful protests and demonstrations
Pacific Northwest College of Art respects the First Amendment rights of those who wish to participate in peaceful protests and demonstrations. Applicants, admitted, and deposited students will not be negatively impacted in our admission process if they choose to participate in such protests. We will not rescind any offers of admission to students who choose to exercise their rights, regardless of their high school’s disciplinary policy.