For Parents & Guardians

Academic Answers

When considering a professional art college vs. a liberal arts college with an art program, know that there are vast differences in the educational experience. Read on to learn more about the differences and how a BFA differs from a BA degree.

What is the value of a four-year professional art college vs. a college with an art program?

An art degree from a professional art college offers 34% more hours of studio training than a traditional four-year degree program at a liberal arts institution. Additionally, students work together to provide feedback and respectful critiques on one another’s work, and on projects inside and outside of the classroom and studios. And, career services are exclusively focused on careers for creatives, instead of careers for all students across the academic spectrum like at liberal arts colleges.

PCA&D Drawing Class

At every level in faculty, leadership, and academic support, all professionals have been practitioners and hold degrees in arts-related fields. As specialists, they bring real-life and active career networks for students to connect with in launching their careers as professional designers and creatives. 

Students work 1-on-1 with faculty in small class sizes to support students’ individual needs and aspirations. Your student will be busy, working extensively in a studio environment to maximize their potential. When they graduate they will have completed over 1,800 hours of work in the studio ensuring they have a broad skill set with deep knowledge in their studio practice. 

Is PCA&D accredited?

Yes, PCA&D is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, is approved as a college and for degree-granting privileges by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and is a member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design.

How do I know my student will be supported?

PCA&D’s small size and faculty ratio of 9:1 means students get individual attention in the classroom and in co-curricular experiences throughout the entirety of their academic experience at the College. Our community of dedicated educators and staff strive to support every student attending PCA&D. Academic support services are offered through the College’s Center for Teaching & Learning. Students who are requesting accommodations should email ada@pcad.edu.

Does the College find students internships?

Career Services is committed to establishing partnerships with companies and organizations to provide students with internships and career opportunities in the Art and Design Industry. As working artists, faculty have connections in their industries to connect students with some of the most interesting and productive experiences.

Academic Internships should be approved by the department chair. Some internships are paid and some are for credit. The Career Services team has a thorough vetting process and all information is clearly defined for the students to make an informed decision on whether or not the opportunity is right for them. Most of the academic programs require students to complete at least one internship.

Internship Program

PCA&D Class

Is service learning a part of the PCA&D experience?

Students work in an array of community settings. For example, PCA&D’s Designathon is a service-learning design competition that supports non-profit organizations. The Agency, the College’s in-house design firm, also works with community partners to provide design work for non-profit organizations in Central Pennsylvania.

Who’ll be my student’s advisor once they’re enrolled?

Department Chairs and Academic Affairs staff are always available to guide students in their academic plans of study. For information about academic advising, email PCA&D registrar’s office at registrar@pcad.edu.

Do you offer summer classes?

BFA program courses are scheduled primarily in the fall and spring semesters, but occasionally courses are offered over the summer. Continuing education classes are offered over the summer through the College’s Center for Creative Exploration.

PCA&D Drawing Class

What’s the difference between a BFA and a BA?

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree are typically seeking a degree that will prepare them for a career in the visual or creative arts. Course programs are studio-based in art and design fields, such as our 6 majors: Animation & Game Art, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Illustration, Live Experience Design & Production, and Photography & Video. At PCA&D, preparation for the BFA includes courses in professional practices and internships to ready students for their careers.

A BA in Studio Art is a broader, more flexible degree that often emphasizes multiple areas of studio practice. Both a BFA and BA include a strong Liberal Arts component to emphasize critical thinking, strong communication skills, and immersion in subject areas across disciplines.

get more Answers

Parents and guardians, we have answers to your frequent questions