Pennsylvania College of Art & Design is a professional art college that offers a 4-year Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree. The BFA is the desired professional degree for artists and designers. PCA&D is accredited by NASAD, the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, and has Middle States Accreditation. Students at PCA&D can major in digital media, fine art, graphic design, illustration and photography. All students spend the first year in foundation, building a solid set of art and design skills and concepts. The liberal arts curriculum is also an important component of your education. These classes build critical-thinking skills and examine the creative process in a wide range of subjects. 65% of your classes take place in the studio and the remaining 35% are in the liberal arts.
PCA&D offers personal attention not found at other colleges with just under 300 students in our BFA programs. Unlike larger institutions, we enroll only a limited number of students to maintain a close-knit creative community, providing students with smaller classes and more individualized instruction. Our student to teacher ratio average is 8 to 1.
An average of 94% of respondents to our annual survey of graduates reported being employed full-time or pursuing advanced education within one year of graduation. PCA&D is proud of our alumni and the innovative work they are accomplishing. You can read more about our alumni in our alumni profiles.
Yes. All students complete a professional internship prior to graduation.
In addition to required internships for all students, students are exposed to client-based coursework, competitions, guest artist lectures, field trips, and professional practice courses during their senior year. Examples of areas covered include business ethics, copyright laws, taxes, billing, pricing, contracts, self-promotion, resume building, grant writing, and other “nuts and bolts” information important to the working artist’s life. All PCA&D faculty are practicing artists and designers who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience into the classroom. They also work with students individually to guide them toward their profession. PCA&D students also have the opportunity to join student professional organizations such as the student chapters of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, Society of Illustrators, and the Society of Photographic Education.
Pennsylvania College of Art & Design is located in the heart of historic downtown Lancaster is within walking distance of many arts and cultural sites. Lancaster is a mid-sized city, with a population of 60,000 – big enough to support many cultural activities, yet small enough to be friendly and accessible. All necessary services (banking, post office, groceries, laundry, etc.) can be found in the downtown area, and Lancaster’s bus system (RRTA: Red Rose Transit Authority) offers students alternative transportation if they do not have a car. In addition, the Lancaster Amtrak Train Station can affordably get students to nearby major metropolitan areas, such as Philadelphia, Baltimore, DC and New York City. The Lancaster Airport and Harrisburg International airport are easily accessible for students needing or desiring air travel.
Approximately 65% of the college’s students are non-commuters and require housing in the area. PCA&D offers a ‘Housing Referral Service,’ providing housing and roommate listings to foundation, transfer, and returning students. Typically, our students travel 5 blocks or less from their apartment to the college. Pennsylvania College of Art & Design has evening security to monitor our facilities while students use studio space. PCA&D also offers a ‘Ride Home Program’ for our BFA students living in Lancaster city limits. This service is available for students who are working after class hours and would feel more comfortable taking a cab home instead of walking. This service is free and only requires the student to have their student ID with them.
Our rolling admissions process allows us to review applications year round. Priority is given to applicants who apply early. Applications should be submitted by March 1 for the fall semester and December 1 for the spring semester for priority consideration. Transfer students must be accepted to PCA&D before receiving a final credit evaluation from our dean of students.
Our admissions process requires all students applying for the BFA degree program to present a portfolio of artwork.
Pennsylvania College of Art & Design is one of the most affordable private art colleges in the country and is an excellent value for those seeking a professional degree in the visual arts.
More than 90% of PCA&D students receive some form of financial assistance. Students may be eligible for a full-range of federal, state, and institutional assistance that includes scholarships, non-repayable grants, educational loans, and part-time work study. PCA&D also offers a convenient payment plan that can cover any balances remaining after deducting financial aid awards. Please visit our section on tuition and fees for the most updated listing on costs.
Priority consideration for PCA&D institutional scholarships and grants is given to students that complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1. Apply online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. When filing the FAFSA, be sure to enter Pennsylvania College of Art & Design under the college choice section, our school code is 016021. For more information, contact the financial aid office at firstname.lastname@example.org.