Bachelor's Degrees

Paris College of Art offers American degree programs in art and design wherein students who successfully complete four years of study receive a Bachelor’s Degree. At PCA, our students may pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in: Communication Design; Fashion Design; Fine Arts; Interior Design; or Photography. The majority of our degree programs begin with the Foundation Year; Photography students have the option of “direct entry” into their major beginning the first year. As well, students can complete the Global BFA in Film Art, a joint program with Emerson College in three years. PCA has also entered into articulation agreements with institutions of higher education in the United States, allowing students to complete two years of study in Paris and then transfer to the US to complete a professionally-oriented degree in Art Therapy (BA) with Anna Maria College.

All of our degree courses run for 15 weeks in the fall and 15 weeks in the spring and curricula require students to complete credits in art and design history and liberal studies.

In addition to the specific learning outcomes for each degree, all undergraduate students at PCA are expected to acquire four general competencies. At degree completion, students will be able to:

  • conduct research (defining a question, researching primary and secondary sources, sketching or prototyping)
  • communicate work effectively to a variety of audiences, both in writing and verbally
    situate work in a cultural and historical context
  • see connections between disciplines and demonstrate interdisciplinary awareness

Entry Options

First-Year Entry

Students who enter Paris College of Art as Freshmen (first-year) for the BFA degree program start in Foundation Year – the only exception being Photography majors who can begin directly in the department should they prefer. The Foundation program prepares students to undertake any of the rigorous studio disciplines we offer.

Transfer Entry

Students may apply to transfer to Paris College of Art from another university at the sophomore (second-year) or junior (third-year) level. Transfer applicant’s skills and abilities must be equivalent to those of Paris College of Art students at the same level and they must have sufficient credit for college courses completed elsewhere that are similar in content, purpose, and standards to those offered at Paris College of Art. Students may transfer up to 50% of the credits necessary to complete a degree at PCA.

The American Credit System

In the American educational system students earn credits for each course they complete. The number of credits required for graduation varies by program, as do the distribution requirements. Please check the department curriculum for detailed information. Students must complete at least 50% of their credit requirements at Paris College of Art. The most commonly used conversion rate to transfer U.S. credits into ECTS credits is to multiply by 2, i.e. a 3-credit (American) course would count as 6 ECTS credits.

Credit Definition

One credit requires one hour of direct face-to-face instruction per week over the course of 15 weeks, and at least double that time of independent work outside direct instruction time. Within that general framework, we distinguish between studio credits, non-studio credits, independent study credits and summer credits.

Credit Hour Assignments

Credit hour assignments are made based on time requirements and levels of achievement expected from the student, and must be consistent with the learning objectives, syllabus content and assignments for each course. Credit is earned only when curricular, competency, and all other requirements are met and the final examination is satisfactorily passed and the final grade is passing.

Types of Credit


Studio credits are attributed in classes requiring the creation of artwork, and because such creation typically involves specific tools, equipment, and space needs, the amount of direct instructional time in the classroom is longer and the amount of independent work expected outside of class shorter, than for non-studio credits.


Non-studio credits require more outside student work than do studio classes: independent library research, reading and writing assignments, data collection, visits to exhibits on which students write reviews and reports, etc.

Independent Study

Independent study credits are based on the same framework of 15 hours of direct instruction and a minimum of 30 hours of independent work per credit over the course of the semester. Because of the particular nature of independent study projects however it is not expected that the direct instruction take place every week.


Summer courses are more concentrated than courses during the academic year and students meet with faculty and receive direct instruction for longer periods each day, making it less realistic to require large amounts of independent work outside of class. A 2-week, 2-credit summer class thus requires 70 hours of direct instructional time and 20 hours of independent work on evenings and weekends, for a total of 90 hours of work (30 per credit).

PCA Catalogue

Learn more about Paris College of Art's programs.

View the Catalogue