The Paris College of Art (PCA) is located in Paris, France, and was founded in 1981. It is an international college of art and design that is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and has US degree-granting authority. The campus is perfectly located in the 10th arrondissement and includes an amphitheatre, a gallery space, student and faculty social spaces as well as several art-related studios and labs. The school offers programmes in art and design, taught within an American pedagogical paradigm but still being influenced by its French and European environment. PCA offers Bachelor degrees in Communication Design; Fashion Design; Fine Arts; Illustration and many more, as well as Master degrees and certificate programmes (a non-degree option for mature students). Because of its international focus, PCA welcomes foreign students who want to experience what it is like to study in France’s capitol.
PCA also works closely together with cultural institutions in Paris and abroad which offers the students the opportunity to access prestigious research facilities and guides them in the artistic, entrepreneurial, design and cultural sector. The school aims to provide the highest international standard of art and design education, preparing students for a successful global career.
I spent a year with PCA, and I am happy to be done with them.
To highlight good things first, there are a handful of individuals at the school who really truly care about the students. The school also does a miraculous job of bringing together talented students from all over the globe. The students alone made the degree worth finishing.
Other than that, I can’t say much else that is good about PCA. The facilities are not good enough. As you’ve read already: no heat in the winter, ceiling panels that break and fall during class because of leaks in the ceilings, faulty printers, cramped studio spaces…
I was part of the Interior Design Masters Program, and it felt like year one or two of an undergraduate degree. I did not feel challenged (besides my patience), and much of the work that I did for PCA was hijacked by professors with too-strong viewpoints. There is no accountability in regards to grading practices, so students are often graded by the personal preferences of the professor, rather than by the quality of work. For an art school, where creativity is King, this grading procedure is dangerous and counterintuitive.
The school makes tons of promises to incoming students but fails every time to make these promises a reality. There is little to no help with finding a job or an internship after school. And CAP students, or students employed by the school, are overworked, underpaid, and disrespected. CAP employment is mandatory for undergrads and optional for grad students. CAP is recommended to students to help offset living costs in an expensive city like Paris, but the school holds 70% or more of your earned money until after you’ve graduated. Regarding VISA help, the school makes big promises about offering appointments and consultations for all your VISA questions but has a lot of trouble following up. My VISA appointment was cancelled 4 times in a row when my VISA deadline was just 3 weeks away.
To prospective undergraduate students, PCA is not where you want to place your effort and love for your work. You will not receive the same treatment in return.
To graduate students… pick anywhere else, unless you want to be treated like a child rather than the accomplished and talented professional you are.View more
Many of the professors are either uneducated or simply not interested in teaching. Some classes are spent watching YouTube videos put on by the professor instead of being taught anything of value, other professors clearly don’t know anything about the subject they’re teaching and are unable to help improve our skills. Many classes are just spent making moodboards with very little hands-on technical practice or real world advice.
The school claims to help with employment and internships- they do not, this is entirely false.
The heating doesn’t work, so the winter was spent in the cold until they could be convinced to bring in space heaters.
Very disappointing program and the school clearly has no interest in helping students succeed.View more
This is my first semester at PCA and I am very disappointed with this school. I am considering not coming back next semester. There are leaks in the ceiling, there is no soap, some of the bathrooms are completely inoperable, the printer is always down, the ceiling is missing in some classes, there’s no library or even space to sit and work. For this tuition, this is scandalous. This school feels like a scam. The worst is that we are expected in class without heating in DECEMBER. We are unproductive in class because of this issue. The administration’s offices have heaters but our classrooms do NOT. I am hearing that it won’t be fixed until next semester. I know there are heaters somewhere in this school but we don’t have them. I am actually curious where the $30,000 we all pay in tuition goes to. Every student I have talked to feels the same way. With that much money, the school should be renting out heated spaces to meet or at least make Zoom an option. Instead, we are expected on campus and freeze all day. I can’t draw or type because my fingers are too cold.
I have enjoyed my teachers and my studies. But the school itself is a shame.View more