December 13, 2017

New MA in Design Systems

Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) at Willamette University

MFA in Collaborative Design field work. Photo: Laura DeVito, MFA CD 2013.

Program for future creative leaders desiring to engender meaningful change

New for fall 2018, Pacific Northwest College of Art’s Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies announces an MA in Design Systems. This new 40-credit program embraces the reality that all creative endeavors are embedded within complex systems: of design, relationships, hierarchies, production, power, collaboration, and competition. The MA in Design Systems was developed for the early- to mid-career creative who wants to master those systems, whether inside a firm, between organizations, or among multiple stakeholders. The program's faculty, mentors, partners, and participants share a vision where future creative leaders effect systemic change, creating equitable, resilient, and profitable solutions for a changing world. The MA in Design Systems draws on the city of Portland, the Pacific Northwest, and the Pacific Rim as learning labs for design leaders to effect meaningful change.

The MA in Design Systems joins its sister program, the MFA in Collaborative Design program, a 60-credit program with a studio emphasis and a mentored capstone project. The MFA in Collaborative Design is tailored for early- and mid-career creatives who wish to continue working while taking late afternoon and evening classes to up-level skills and aptitudes for a rapidly changing design environment. The program takes a critical and entrepreneurial approach to “wicked” problems such as resource depletion, emerging technologies, climate change, and global demographic shifts.

These two innovative programs are designed for hybrid designers, artists, strategists, ecologists, systems thinkers, sociologists, neuroscientists, attorneys, and technologists who are committed to making a difference in the world.

For more information, contact Chair, Peter Schoonmaker, pschoonmaker [​at​] or visit

Request info.
Apply now.

Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies at PNCA
For over 100 years, Pacific Northwest College of Art has served as a creative center for artists and designers with an educational philosophy that emphasizes individualized curricula, independent inquiry, and cross-disciplinary exchange. The graduate programs of PNCA's Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies are designed to support students as they grow and define a sustainable, engaged, and dynamic practice that will continue to evolve years after graduation. PNCA’s graduate programs are rooted in meaningful faculty-student relationships and close community, enhanced with mentors drawn from greater Portland, and expanded further still with visiting artists, curators, and scholars. Located in the heart of Portland, PNCA is in the center of a progressive and affordable urban center known for its independent spirit, innovative mindset, and creative industries.

Low-Residency MFA in Visual Studies / MA in Critical Studies / MFA in Applied Craft + Design (with Oregon College of Art and Craft) / MFA in Collaborative Design/MA in Design Systems / MFA in Print Media / MFA in Visual Studies

Thank you!

An email with a confirmation link has been sent to the email address you entered. To complete your subscription, click this link.