Thank you for sending your students to Pacific Northwest College of Art at Willamette University for one or two semesters as exchange students.  We are delighted to welcome students to our community and we will do our best to support their academic and personal goals while in our care

The information on this page is focused on the PNCA/Portland Campus. For nominations to the Salem campus, please view the Salem WU Exchange Coordinators Fact Sheet.

If you need information not covered below, please email

Eligibility Requirements

  • 560/83 on the TOEFL, 6.5 on IELTS; 105 on Duolingo 
  • WU prefers a minimum of 3.0 GPA but trusts partners to make selections appropriately
  • Students should be in good academic and conduct standing at the home university



Host nominations and exchange applications must be submitted by the following deadlines. We can accept nominations up to the application deadline provided that your students are prepared to submit a completed exchange application right away.

If you have concerns about these deadlines, reach out to the OIE in advance by email at We cannot guarantee flexibility because of our course registration windows that we must meet to ensure exchange students are enrolled in classes they need or want to take here.

  • Fall semester start:    March 15     (nominations and applications)
  • Spring semester start:  October 1  (nominations and applications)

**  We have flexibility to accept late nominations but we cannot guarantee access to classes.  If you have strict requirements for your students while abroad, it's important they are nominated early enough to submit materials into the PNCA at WU exchange portal by the above deadlines. **

Nominating Procedure

Home university coordinators should nominate students via email to Include the following information about your student(s):

  • Full name of the student
  • Date of birth
  • Email address
  • Academic term(s) you intend them to be with us
  • Their major(s) at your institution
  • Their anticipated graduation date from your institution (month, year)

Exchange Application Procedure

Step 1:  Nominate your students for exchange to Willamette. See details above.

Step 2:  Have your student(s) access the online exchange application portal using the button below. The application portal will be open approximately during these windows:

Fall semester/Academic Year:  February 15 - March 15
Spring semester:  September 1 - October 1


When possible, we encourage your students to work in advance of the final deadlines.

A completed application will include the items below. The applicant will upload all supporting documents directly within the portal. 

SUBMITTED BY APPLICANT:  (all items will be uploaded into the portal by applicant)

  1. Online exchange application questionnaire 
  2. Personal Statement 
    • (roughly 1-2 pages in length) in English addressing the following: 1) As you prepare to spend a semester or year abroad studying at PNCA, introduce yourself and explain your goals for immersing yourself into the academic life and culture of PNCA and the surrounding community. 2) Please indicate the courses or field of study that you would like to pursue during your exchange semester and the reason for selecting PNCA. 3) What specific situations from your past (i.e. coursework, job experience, travel, intercultural experience) have helped you prepare to accomplish these goals? 4) Are there specific or new areas of art that you hope to explore during your exchange?
  3. Copy of passport:  
    • Must include the biographical information/photo page. It is more important that we can read the text, including the information across the bottom, than that we can see the picture.
  4. English language proficiency exam: 
    • If English is not your native language you must provide an official copy of your English language proficiency exam. WU requires a TOEFL score of 83 (560), an IELTS score of 6.5 or a Duolingo score of 105. 
  5. Affidavit of financial support: 
    • The exchange covers tuition but students are still responsible for covering living expenses, fees, insurance and books. Estimated at $12,750 per semester. 
    • Please upload the completed form (found in the portal) along with your financial documentation (please provide as one document/PDF of all pages).
  6. Portfolio items:  We will instruct you on how to share these items after we get the rest of your items.
    • We ask for 5-10 items, compressed as small as possible
    • Please add your last name and title on each item uploaded

(can be sent by email to

  • Official transcript from each college or university attended.
  • One signed academic recommendation letter on university stationery/letterhead. 
  • Although not submitted by you as coordinator, we will be asking students for an "affidavit of financial support" to prove they have funding for expenses not covered by the exchange so we want you to know this is part of the process.  Students will get the form from the portal and upload their documentation to the portal.  The current year form is available here.

We are unable to approve students for exchange with use with an incomplete application. Until the application is complete and they are processed by our admission office, we cannot register incoming students for classes. Course registration happens early in the pre-arrival process, so adherence to the deadline dates is key to students having a successful and rewarding exchange experience at Willamette. 

We appreciate your efforts to send students to PNCA at Willamette University!



Fact Sheet for WU - Portland Campus

We hope the following will be useful to you as you advise students.  If you have additional questions, please contact


If your exchange only provides for tuition coverage, the following costs (based on 2021-22) may be helpful as you advise students about budgeting. All estimates are per semester.

  • Apartments in ArtHouse are possible for all incoming exchange students.  Prices vary by type of room selected.  For a semester, these are the current costs:  Shared studio ($4,703), Shared bedroom in multi-bedroom unit ($5,338), Private bedroom in multi-bedroom unit ($7653) and Private studio ($9,406).  Students are allowed to live elsewhere but we do not have an off-campus housing office to assist.  Although not owned by Willamette, ArtHouse is WU operated and fees are added to the student account for PNCA students.  WU employs a professional Area Coordinator who works on site as well as student Resident Assistants (RA) who provide support and programming for students.
    • Students must pay a damage deposit of approximately $300 (when you move in) and pay renters insurance of approximately $70 per semester.
    • Students will be responsible for their own food budget. It is often a good guideline to think about it as equivalent to the amount spent on rent each month though it is possible to economize as needed.  At the same time, international students are not legally allowed to access public assistance so we have to make sure students show enough funding to support themselves for a semester or year.  
    • Since we cannot know what housing plan a student will select, we generally use a PNCA general calculation for housing and food:  $17,156 for a full year, $8,578 for a semester in 2021-22.
    • For students finding their own housing, it's typical to be asked to pay an application fee, a security/damage deposit (often equivalent to a month's rent) plus the first and last month of rent prior to moving in.  Some locations allow month-to-month rentals and some require longer leases.
  • Student fee assessed to on-campus students (including ArtHouse):  $75 per semester (used for residential programming)
  • PNCA students -- including those on exchange -- pay a technology fee of approximately $350 and an undergraduate activity fee of approximately $150 per semester
  • Insurance - WU Student Health plan: approximately $1,800 per semester 
  • Books & Supplies:  estimated at $600 per semester

Costs are generally listed online for the current year and typically increase a bit for subsequent years. 

One thing your students are most surprised about is the cost of our on-campus housing and meal plan. Costs are listed both for an academic year and per semester. Room rates and meal plan costs are posted separately, so be sure to combine room and meal plan costs for a total of what your expected living costs will be. Information for 2022-2023 will be available later spring 2022.


Class registration begins soon after our posted deadlines for application materials.  We are not allowed to register exchange students until AFTER their paperwork has been processed by our admission office.  Although we can take documents from your students at any time, please keep in mind late submissions may delay their abilities to register for classes.

Important notes about classes:

  • Not all courses are offered every semester.  The Course Catalog lists all courses offered by PNCA, but does not always confirm which semester courses will be taught. The class schedule indicates courses that will be taught in the upcoming semester. It is released a few weeks before the registration period begins. 
  • Online course schedules go 'live' just before class registration begins.  It is often not possible for us to know for sure if particular classes will be offered until the class schedule is released. Students should keep a list of alternate classes they want to take, in case the first choice classes are not available.
  • Prerequisites: We cannot register a student for a course with a prerequisite (a pre-required course) if we cannot determine that they've taken that course at their home university.
  • Some classes have class standing restrictions. These are noted on the course schedule.  In most cases, this prevents upper-level students from entering some lower-level courses which are protected for 1st and 2nd-year students.  Most exchange students are coming either as 3rd or 4th-year students, but some are 2nd-year students.  WU determines this by the graduation date at the home university.
  • Taking a diverse class schedule: It can be difficult to take more than 2 courses per semester in a particular academic discipline. The PNCA at WU curriculum is based on a "liberal arts" design where students take courses in their major and minor as well as courses across the curriculum. If your students can also register in this way, they will find course registration to be an easier process.
  • Art studio classes and time commitment:  On studio classes, we've been told it's best not to have more than 2-3 of these per semester due to the workload unless required by your home institution but this is something you can discuss with us when it is time to register.
  • US immigration requires minimum in-person enrollment. Students must take at least 12 credits to satisfy the U.S. immigration requirement for full-time enrollment.  The exchange allows students to take up to 18 credits.  A normal course load for a PNCA at WU student is between 12 and 18 credits.
  • Exchange students coming to PNCA are NOT allowed to take graduate courses. Instead, incoming students must select from the undergraduate course offerings at WU. 

Helpful links to course listings:

  • Online catalog (not all courses offered every semester)
  • Online course schedules  (indicates courses to be offered in a specific semester)


WU enrolls all students in a Student Health Plan because we require all students have health insurance that meets set minimums established by regulation and WU policy. Students have enrolled automatically and billed for the coverage.  If they want to waive (opt-out of) the WU coverage, they must submit waiver paperwork by the deadline set each semester. Waivers are not guaranteed.

For insurance information (including cost) and all forms for enrollment or to waive the WU plan:


All students will be given specific arrival information AFTER they are nominated.  WU will provide instructions for traveling from the Portland, Oregon airport (PDX is the abbreviation) to ArtHouse if they choose to live there.  We will inform students about arrival procedures (including move-in and move-out dates) by email as part of the pre-arrival processes.

In general, fall semester starts in late August.  Arrival precedes this date by approximately one week, but students should not book tickets until they receive their official email from WU Office of International Education (OIE).

In general, spring semester starts in mid-January.  Arrival precedes this date by approximately four days, but students should not book tickets until they receive their official email from WU Office of International Education (OIE).

Winter Closure and Housing and food: WU including PNCA has a 4-5 week long winter break between fall and spring semester.  There is a period of time 1-2 weeks when all offices are closed but otherwise OIE staff are available even when classes are not in session.  During winter break, access to PNCA facilities is limited.

WU has a one-week break during fall and spring semesters (late November in fall and mid-March in spring).  Campus offices remain open during these breaks so students can access campus spaces including studios.

General WU calendar:

Non-Smoking Campus

As of January 1, 2016, Willamette (including PNCA) became a non-smoking campus and this policy extends to PNCA at WU. WU prohibits smoking and vaping anywhere on University property (classroom, residence halls, and campus walkways) and in university vehicles. More information can be found on the Smoke Free Campus Policy.

Although marijuana is legal in Oregon, use or possession of any form of marijuana (smoking or ingesting) is prohibited on campus. Refer to the Alcohol Policy for details about alcohol and marijuana use on campus. International students are not legally allowed to use or possess marijuana anywhere in the United States while they are in the United States as visiting students.

Willamette University

Office of International Education

Global Learning Center
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

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