Welcome Parents to the College of the Arts. Thank you for taking the time to read about our college and the exceptional degree programs we provide. On behalf of, and in partnership with, our local and global communities we fully engage in the responsibility to educate within, and advocate for, the creative practices associated with architecture, art, design, music, theater art, film, and dance.

Why choose College of the Arts? We provide a praxis (hands on learning) degree program.  All our majors utilize practical measures that develop critical thinking, problem solving, encourage creativity and long term learning.  Our programs prepare our students to enter the work force upon graduation and to be successful in their given profession.

Why should my student go to college?

• A college degree offers your student a wider variety of job options.

• Of all the job openings between now and 2016 that pay more than $15 per hour, about 70 percent will require some level of college.

• Over a lifetime, a college graduate will earn on average $1 million more than a high school graduate.

• College graduates typically have better access to health care than those with only a high school diploma.

• A person who graduates from college is more likely to own a home than someone with a high school diploma.

Why major in the arts? The Arts instill commmunication skills, collaboration, self-discipline, and organizational skills that enhance any endeavor. They develops curiosity,  creativity and “outside the box” thinking that can be utilized in any profession. Art exists in every aspect of our daily lives and we are reminded every time we listen to music, watch a show, read a book, decide on a wardrobe, traverse a city, enter a building, select a means of transportation, or even choose the food we eat, art is an influence. 

How to plan for success: The transition from High school to college can be confusing and stressful. How do students plan for college success? As a parent, you want to help your child select the right major, work out a financial plan, and learn how to succeed as a college student.

Here are some helpful suggestions for students during their first term at Portland State University. 

  • When registering for day, evening or online classes, be realistic with your time. Ask yourself if this schedule really works?
  • Consider internships, volunteer experiences and student organizations as a way to develop new relationships. Contact your advisor in the college or the career services department.  
  • If you need assistance with classes, don’t wait! Discuss options with your instructors and advisor immediately; request tutoring; check with the learning center.
  • To get a better feel of our academic programs, we suggest you schedule a campus visit.
  • Become an effective time manager. Time management is the key to students’ success. The learning resource or your advisor can assist student with improving time management.  Utilizing monthly calendars, planners, or phone apps can assist with keeping track your exams and study time.
  • Always see your academic adviser! It’s a good way to stay on track. A 4 year plan can easily become a 6 year plan.

Financial Aid is available to qualified student, click here for more information on how to apply.

Scholarships are available for most of our programs. Click here for more information on how to apply.

What Can You Do With an Arts Degree?  The starving Artist is term that has been used to depict the potential future for most individuals who have chosen the field of art. The negative perception assumes that there are very few opportunities for employment beyond teaching. There are plenty of jobs to be found in the arts industry, no starving required. According to the bureau of labor and statistics the industry offers plenty of opportunities for employment.

Clink on the link for more information about ‘what can I do with my degree in...’

School of Architecture

The School of Architecture at Portland State University offers an accredited professional education in architecture, following the four + two model: a four-year BA/BS undergraduate major in Architecture and a two-year Master of Architecture with full accreditation from the National Architectural Accrediting Board.

Degree Types: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science in Archtecture

Possible careers - Architectect, Project Design Manger, Senior Designer, Design Exhibition , Industrial Design, Architectural Design, Furniture Design, Interior Design, Civil Engineering, Building Inspection, Private home Inspection, Renovation, Urban Planning, Historic preservation, Technical architecture, Construction

School of Art + Design 

Offering a broad curriculum, including undergraduate degrees in Art History, Art Practices and Graphic Design, as well as MFA and BFA degrees in Art Practices, the School seeks a diverse student population and takes advantage of its geographical location in the heart of Portland, extending our classroom activities into the city's vibrant cultural community.

Major Options: Studio Art Practice, Graphic Design, Art History

Degree Types: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Fine Arts

Requirements and Deadlines:  Pre-Admission when accepted to PSU, formal and full admission takes place automatically during Junior year (assuming all class requirements have been met.

Possible careers - art director, art therapist, cartoonist, commercial artist, costume designer, play artist, glass designer, graphic designer, illustrator, eweler, ithographer, museum curator, painter, photographer, sculptor, studio artist, teacher

School of Theater and Film

Theater & Film programs at Portland State University strive to ensure a learning environment that instills the highest artistic standards required to commence careers in professional or educational theatre and film. 

Degree Types: Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Theater Arts or in Film

Film possible careers - film critic, film librarian/archivist, major studio administrator, university professor, screen writer, camera operator, cartoonist, cinematographer, film director, film inspector, ilm producer, photographer, screen writer, stage manager, technical writer 

Theater possible careers - actor, director, producer, playwright, stage manager, drama critic,  drama coach, arts educator, costume designer, lighting designer, scenic designer, sound designer, stage manager, stagehand,  prop designer, fashion model, art director, museum designer, makeup designer, drama therapist

The primary goal of Portland State University's School of Music is to generate and sustain an environment of creative inspiration and excellence in the practice, understanding and appreciation of the musical arts, for the benefit of students, faculty and the community at large. Portland State Chamber Choir wins first place at Seghizzi International Choral Competition. They are the first American Choir to win and compete in the prestigious 52nd Annual Seghizzi International Competition for Choral Singing.

Degree Types: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Music

Requirements & Deadlines:  Auditions for formal admission to Department of Music are held the second week each February.

Music possible careers - arranger, conductor, music educator, composer, music coach, musical composer,music director, music producer, professional musician, stage manager, critic, music therapist

Image: College of the Arts Hooding Ceremony, 2012